Google Offers Total $30 Million Prize For Private Moon Mission Rover

By | September 17, 2007 | Satellite News Feed

Google Inc. will provide the money for a $20 million prize to any non-governmental effort that places a rover on the moon which then performs certain duties, and as well is offering two other prizes of $5 million each.

The search-engine giant is working with the X-Prize Foundation, best known for having sponsored the X-Prize contest to reward the first privately built craft to enter space.

The lunar rover that wins the $20 million must beam back a gigabyte of images and video to Earth.

As well, the rover would have to travel less than a fourth of a mile across the lunar landscape, and take pictures of itself. It also would have to beam back panoramic images, much like those taken by Mars rovers that captured imaginations worldwide.

The contest is open to companies across the globe.

To win the $20 million, the rover would have to reach the lunar surface and perform as specified by the end of 2012. Then the prize would drop to $15 million, and expire completely — no prize — by the end of 2014, if there is no winner by then. There would be a $5 million bonus prize, and a $5 million runner-up prize.

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