- Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to launch vehicles designed by Frank Stephenson — of McLaren, Ferrari, and BMW fame — onto the Moon’s surface for a remote-controlled car rally.
- The cars will be sent into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in October 2021, SpaceX said.
- The vehicles will be partially designed, built, and raced by two teams of high-school students.
- Moon Mark, an entertainment and education company, is teaming up with aerospace companies Intuitive Machines and Lunar Outpost to organize the car race.
SpaceX wants to race remote-controlled cars on the surface of the Moon.
Elon Musk’s aerospace company plans to launch the vehicles in October 2021 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
It has enlisted legendary designer Frank Stephenson — known for his work at BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren, and others — to help design the cars.
The two vehicles will be partially designed, built, and raced by two teams of high school students, according to a statement published in November.
They will be carried in a Nova-C lunar lander made by Intuitive Machines.
The race is being organized by Moon Mark, a multimedia and education content company, which partnered with aerospace company Intuitive Machines. Space tech firm Lunar Outpost also joined the race partnership on November 17, the statement said.
Stephenson accepted the appointment as the race design director for Moon Mark Mission 2021 in November.
Those students racing the cars had to first earn the reward.
On July 14, Moon Mark announced that two teams of high school students had created valid car designs in just four weeks: “Team Atlas” is from Buenos Aires, and “Team Ilstar” comes from Shanghai.
The challenges they faced included drone and autonomous vehicle racing, e-gaming, and a space commercialization entrepreneurship contest, according to a statement.
“The two top teams from the qualifying rounds will win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build and race two vehicles on the Moon,” the companies said.
They will now work with Stephenson, an automotive designer, to create a vehicle that they will speed across the moon’s surface.
“This is a project helping to develop the innovators of the future, allowing them to dream big and realize that nothing is impossible,” Stephenson said in a statement.
“Space is a fascinating place, remaining untapped for budding designers and I’m very much looking forward to sharing some of my knowledge to those involved in this innovative project,” he added.
Mary L. Hagy, Moon Mark Founder and CEO said: “His extraordinary experience and talents in automotive and aerospace design will bring insight and inspiration to our young innovators.”
On November 25, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket for the 100th time, delivering 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit.
It was also the company’s 23rd flight of the year and the rocket’s seventh successful launch — the most SpaceX has achieved for any individual Falcon 9 rocket.