For at least a year now, Google has been sponsoring a competition organized by the X Prize Foundation–The Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, also known as Moon 2.0, has issued a challenge for teams to create and launch a privately-funded spaceflight wherein a robotic spacecraft must land on the surface of the moon and travel a specified distance while sending back pictures and data. One of the participants in the competition is a Japanese team named Hakuto, and Hakuto has an interesting addendum on their plans for the space launch.
Laughing Squid has reported that Hakuto is currently running a crowdsourcing campaign for their XPRIZE project that not only includes their rover, but also a large recreation of a weapon from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the show, Rei Ayanami, the most unsettling of the Eva pilots, uses Evangelion Unit-00 to hurl a weapon know as the Spear of Longinus (you know, named after the thing that pierced Christ’s side in the Bible) into space in order to kill the angel named Arael. The spear escapes Earth’s atmosphere and was pierced into the surface of the moon. Hakuto wants to build a replica of the Spear of Longinus and pierce it into the surface of the moon during the launch of their rover. This campaign has gained over a thousand backers and is the fastest-growing crowdfunding effort in Japan…ever. Obviously, basing your science experiment on anime is a surefire way to raise money. Sounds about right to me.
The video for their campaign is entirely presented in Japanese, but even just watching the visuals of it give a pretty good idea of what their plans entail. We’ve also included a few frames from the video’s animation. Sadly, even with pairing their plans with another team in the competition in order to secure an actual launch for their drones, it seems Hakuto will not be able to launch their Spear at the moon in time to take the prize from Google’s competition, but maybe that won’t be enough to stop them from trying.
[Images: Laughing Squid]
So what do you think? Is this something that would truly be worth the money to put toward it? Let us know in the comment section below.