In Brief

Last Chance to Enter Israeli Google Lunar X Prize Gaming Contest

Team SpaceIL
Team SpaceIL is a nonprofit organization and the only Israeli group competing in the Google Lunar X Prize. (Image credit: Google Lunar X Prize)

This week is your last chance to enter a competition for $25,000 to develop your own space exploration game. Games for Change, an organization that aims to make a social mark through digital games, is hosting a contest asking people to share their ideas for a space game that "takes players to the final frontier," officials with the organization said. Interested participants must submit their game ideas by Friday (March 14).

The game should be created to benefit SpaceIL, an Israeli group competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize. The grand prize will be awarded to the first private team to complete a set of goals including landing a probe on the lunar surface. Teams must be ready to launch by Dec. 31, 2015. To win the grand prize, the winning spacecraft must move 1,650 feet (500 meters) on the moon and successfully beam back video, images and data to Earth.

"SpaceIL is seeking to create a crowd-sourced simulation generator that invites players to land a spacecraft on the moon, producing comprehensive data that will enable them to optimize the real-world spacecraft design," Games for Change wrote in a statement. "The game would allow players to have a first-person experience in navigating an unmanned spacecraft. Through customizing their spacecraft and navigating to the Moon, they will actually help SpaceIL optimize their real spacecraft and mission design. SpaceIL will gather data about the different orbits, paths, and maneuvers players choose and see how much fuel was burned to find more fuel-efficient orbits and optimize their trajectory design software — saving both fuel and money in the process." [See Photos of teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize]

Finalists will be notified of their selection on March 21, and three finalists will present their game design to a judging panel on April 23 at the 11th annual Games for Change Festival. You can enter the Games for Change competition here:

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.