Google Funds Race To The Moon

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Google and the X Prize Foundation announced today the Google Lunar X Prize, a contest for private companies to land a privately funded robotic rover on the moon.

 Google Funds Race To The Moon
Google Funds Race To The Moon

Any company that does land a rover on the moon will have to achieve mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to Earth.

The grand prize winner that completes the mission objectives will receive $20 million, the second prize is $5 million and $5 million in bonus prizes. The deadline to win the grand prize is December 31, 2012, after that it will drop to $15 million until December 31, 2014, when the competition will end unless extended by Google and the X Prize Foundation.

Bonus prizes will be offered to those who complete additional tasks such as roving longer distances, filming equipment from previous moon visits, discovering water ice and surviving the lunar night.

"The Google Lunar X PRIZE calls on entrepreneurs, engineers and visionaries from around the world to return us to the lunar surface and explore this environment for the benefit of all humanity," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation.

"We are confident that teams from around the world will help develop new robotic and virtual presence technology, which will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration."

Google Funds Race To The Moon
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