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Google to launch docuseries about moon race with executive producer JJ Abrams

J.J. Abrams has taken moviegoers to a galaxy far, far away as the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but one of his upcoming projects focuses on a journey only as far as the moon. The filmmaker serves as executive producer on Google’s upcoming series of digital documentaries, Moon Shot, which will premiere this month. The series is set to debut on Google Play on March 15 and on YouTube on March 17, according to a post on the Google blog.

Moon Shot centers on the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP), a competition that launched in 2007 and has pitted 16 private teams against one another in a race to the moon. On top of massive bragging rights, there’s $30 million at stake. The teams have to design and build a rover that can travel to the moon, land, drive 500 meters across the lunar surface, and then send HD video and photos back to Earth. They have until the end of 2017 to accomplish this gigantic feat.

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Over the course of nine digital documentaries, the series will follow the GLXP teams. The competitors are diverse, ranging from a father-son team based in Vancouver to Silicon Valley tech experts to Indian IT specialists. They will discuss the obstacles they face, what they’ve given up for this competition, the importance of the project, and more.

“It’s not really just going to the moon,” says one man during the documentary series’ trailer. “Going to the moon is symbolic. It is about showing what is possible.”

The series is directed by Academy Award nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel (Virunga) and also comes from Google, Epic Digital, and Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot.

Moon Shot will be available for free when it premieres on Google Play on March 15 and YouTube on March 17.