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Audi hopes to send lunar buggy to the Moon

While some car companies prat about making dubious, viral-courting hover boards, Audi is quietly getting on with building horizon-broadening tech - in the form of a genuine Moon rover.

Okay, so it's still a PR-courting move, but one that could reap some serious prize money. The German car company has announced that it's partnering a team of fellow countrymen in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.

Working with the German engineers in team Part-Time Scientists, Audi is helping to build a lunar buggy that must land on the Moon, travel 500 metres and transmit back high definition video and images. 

Audi is lending its engineering know-how to the project in the form of Quattro all-wheel drive,lightweight construction, electric mobility and leather upholstery (kidding). 

It makes NASA's Curiosity look positively chubby

Should the project be a success, the Part-Time Scientists stand a chance of winning the $20 million (£12.7m) grand prize. In what sounds like a video game achievement list, there are "bonus" prizes for surviving the lunar night and visiting an Apollo landing site. Who said scientists didn't know how to have fun?

The lunar vehicle with the Audi lunar Quattro system - which allows each wheel to turn a full 360 degrees - is set to launch into space in 2017, travelling more than 380,000 kilometers in five days on its journey to the Moon. The target landing area is north of the moon’s equator, near the 1972 landing site of the Apollo 17, NASA’s last manned mission to the moon. Here, it will set about a 500 metre drive in temperatures fluctuate by up to 300 degrees Celsius.

Child's play.

[Via: Wired]

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