Dogecoin is going to make it to the moon, in the form of a rover! After conquering Earth by way of NASCAR, the meme-based cryptocurrency is aiming to live up to its “To the Moon!” slogan by 2015. That is, if all goes well with RevUp Render’s DogeCoin-themed Lunar Iditarod challenge. Instead of real dogs pulling sleds up in Alaska, a la the famous Iditarod, the cloud computing design firm is hoping to see little autonomous robots covered in Dogecoin logos racing each other—first in San Francisco, and then ultimately, on the moon.
RevUp forked over the seed money to snag the Doge-themed competition a spot on Google's forthcoming moon lander. In the Lunar Iditarod, participants would first design and build micro-rovers the size of smartphones, dubbed DogeSleds, that would race against each other on Earth, in five different stages. Competitors must pay in Dogecoins to enter each stage, naturally. The first stage costs 2,250,000 Dogecoin to enter (about $1,050 at time of writing), and each subsequent stage will go up in Dogecoin price.
The top three DogeSleds— the winners of the fifth and final stage, and those selected by the seven judges—will then be sent to the moon on the Google Lunar XPRIZE team's lunar lander. There, the three DogeSleds will then race against each other on a nine meter course on the lunar surface.
This trip will happen some time in Q4 of 2015, explained William Baird of Team Phoenicia, the orbital payload broker and service provider that is manifesting the rocket that these DogeSleds will ride to the moon. Requirements for the DogeSleds are pretty strict, and include not being heavier than 85 grams in mass, as well as having a built-in camera that can take a picture every 10 seconds. What’s a race on the moon if you don’t have the photos to prove it, after all?
Baird assured me this is “not a hoax whatsoever,” and told me in an email that he got involved because he finds the Dogecoin “community to be great,” and “strongly believe[s] in the potential of crypto currencies” as a “tool for the future of money and the financial industry in general.”
Besides RevUp Render and Team Phoenica, the non-profit that promotes Dogecoin awareness, Very Charity, has signed on as a friend of the Iditarod. Judges for the race also look legitimate, and include the co-founder of Dogecoin Jackson Palmer, Willian R. Claybaugh from Strategic Space Solutions and Dr. Sean Casey, the founder and director of the Silicon Valley Space Center. There’s supposed to be a judge from NASA as well, but he or she has not been announced yet.
Registration for this design and robotics competitions runs from May 21st through July 31st, and the first race on Earth will take place between September 5th and 7th. And then, to, you know.