Canadians Aim to Send Hockey Pucks to Moon

Team seeks Google Lunar X Prize
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 9:24 AM CST
The Canadian team is aiming to send a puck where no puck has gone before.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A team of Canadians is aiming to send a few hockey pucks up to join Neil Armstrong's golf balls on the surface on the moon. The Canadians are one of 29 teams from 17 countries competing to win some of the $30 million in prize money Google is offering to anybody who can transport a robot to the moon before 2015—and make said robot travel at least 1,640 feet and transit back high-def images and video, CBC reports. Three pucks will be mounted on the Canadian probe's motors to prevent it from tipping over.

"When you need to orient a probe, the normal way is to use a special weight," the team leader explains. "When I looked at what weight would be suitable I just picked up my son's hockey puck and took it in my hands and found that, 'Yeah, it's heavy and it will be absolutely perfect for this job."' He admits that his team's chances of winning Google's $20 million top prize are slim ("there's a one in 100 chance that it will succeed"), but his group plans to have the first version of its lunar craft ready in early 2013 and are currently getting the funds together to have it launched into space.

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