Science

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Google Offers Millions in New Moon Race

February 26, 2008 12:11 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The Google Lunar X Prize offers $30 million to the first two teams that can land and maneuver their robotic rovers on the Moon.

30-Second Summary

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According to the Google Lunar X Prize Web site, the first two teams to successfully roam the moon for at least 500 meters and send “a defined data package, called a ‘Mooncast’, back to Earth” will win $30 million in prizes in the Google Lunar X Prize.

Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, told reporters he sees this as a way of supporting entrepreneurship.

"The idea of seeing these rovers on the moon and returning after 40 years ... faster than the national programs, it's really exciting. We love entrepreneurship here—it's worked well for us. So we're looking forward to the launches in the coming years,” he said.

CNET reporter Stefanie Olsen explains that the cost to competitors of putting a robotic rover into space will most likely to exceed the prize purse.

But there is more at stake for entrants than just the prize money. According to Olsen, they “hope to make money by developing renewable transport systems for the moon or aiding robotic missions in space.”

The first team to land on the moon and perform all the required tasks wins $20 million, the second team to do the same will win $5 million.

The remaining $5 million will be offered as bonuses for the teams who accomplish tasks such as visiting a historic landing site or detecting lunar ice.

Headline Link: ‘Google Sponsors New Race to the Moon’

Background: X Prize and Virgin Galactic

The X Prize Foundation
Virgin Galactic

Related Topic: Space tourism

Reference: Smithsonian space Web site

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