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These marquis explorers included:

Richard Garriott, a legendary video game developer, entrepreneur and one of the first private citizen astronauts to board the International Space Station, which established him as America’s first second-generation astronaut.

Dr. David Gallo, renowned undersea explorer and the first oceanographer to use a combination of manned submarines and robots to map the undersea world, was the co-leader of the recent Titanic exploration and project leader for the successful search for mission Air France Flight 447.

Mark Synnott, global adventurer, mountain climber, filmmaker and photojournalist, who has climbed some of the biggest ice and rock walls on the planet, ventured into among the least-visited locales on earth and photographed the globe's most spectacular sites.

International Space Station, NASA Astronaut Mike Fossum and human-powered circumnavigator Erden Eruç participated in this engaging event with pre-recorded messages from the remote locations in which their exploration adventures are taking place.

Additional special guests included Team Landroids of New Jersey, a group of five 8th-grade neighborhood friends who participate in various science competitions and robotics challenges. Team Landroids, the grand winners of the 2010 MoonBots 2.0: A Google Lunar XPRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge, were on hand during this announcement demonstrating their winning robot.

The Exploration partnership

Innovation and the pioneering spirit common to all explorers also are part of Shell’s DNA. As a technology leader in energy, we constantly pursue new frontiers and drive new solutions to meet the global energy challenge, and we welcome, invite and seek out opportunities that might help us do what we do better.

In the end, it’s always about people and innovation — enabling and driving the right energy solutions. Something the people of the world always need more of. We at Shell believe the exploration spirit, collective ingenuity, innovation and new technology will help keep delivering creative, sustainable solutions to meet the world’s growing energy needs. Therefore, we are pleased to partner with the XPRIZE Foundation as sponsor of the XPRIZE Exploration Prize Group. We look forward to the exciting discoveries this collaboration may deliver for the betterment of life on Earth.

About XPRIZE

Founded in 1995, the XPRIZE Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself.

The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. The XPRIZE Foundation conducts competitions in four Prize Groups: Education & Global Development; Energy & Environment; Life Sciences; and Exploration.

Prizes won include the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private, suborbital space flight; the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE for creating safe, affordable, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe); and the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X CHALLENGE for advanced rocket development.  Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10 million Archon Genomics XPRIZE presented by Medco, and the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE.

For more information, visit www.xprize.org .

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