Google to Finance Moon Challenge Contest

Google Inc. is bankrolling a $30 million contest that could significantly boost the commercial space industry and spur the first non-governmental flight to the moon.

Call it Moon 2.0. The bulk of the prize will go to the first private company that can land a robotic rover on the moon and beam back a gigabyte of images and video to Earth, the Internet search leader said Thursday.

The Google Lunar X Prize joins another prize already dangling in front of potential competitors: $50 million that hotel magnate Robert Bigelow is offering the first private American team to rocket a manned craft into orbit by 2010.

The race to the moon won’t be easy or cheap. But whoever fills the requirements in the Google contest by the end of 2012 gets $20 million.

The winning spacecraft must be tough enough to survive a landing and be equipped with high-definition video and still cameras. And it must be smart enough to trek at least 1,312 feet on the moon and send self- portraits, panoramic views and near-real-time videos back to Earth that will be streamed on Google’s Web site.

Source:  Associated Press


2 Responses to “Google to Finance Moon Challenge Contest”

  1. Bob Says:

    If companies launched a manned spacecraft into orbit, jettisoned to the moon and then launched an unmanned rover to beam back the imaging, they could collect the $50 Bigelow prize and $30 million Google X Prize at the same time.

    $80 million would be a decent amount for just one launch.

    Wonder if there’d be any takers?

  2. futureinsight Says:

    interesting, but may be too much to do in one launch.

    I keep hearing that there are six companies that could vie for the Google X Prize. Anybody know who they may be??

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