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Google Offers Moon Challenge
Author: Rafe Telsch
published: 2007-09-13 18:05:54
Google, the little search engine that could, is hopefully offering enough incentive to start moving things forward again. The company has put up an announced $30 million in prize money for the next level of space exploration: a lunar landing.
The first privately financed expedition to successfully land a robotic rover on the moon will win $20 million of that pot, according to MSN/MSNBC. To win, the expedition has to land a rover which then has to travel at least 500 meters and send back video and data from the surface of the moon. No, your math isnít bad. The other $10 million put up by Google is reserved for second place (presumably the second team able to accomplish the same) and other set objectives such as traveling a longer distance or discovering ice on the moonís surface.
This follows Googleís announcement earlier this week that it would be working in tandem with NASA, building a headquarters on NASA property, utilizing their runways and Moffett Field for the Google-owned private jet, and reportedly placing equipment on board future space missions to bring more space images and other information to Google product users, such as Google Earth, which added a space element within the past month.
Google definitely appears interested in exploring their boundaries beyond our planetís gravity. Itís interesting to watch this unfold. As people keep expecting the announcement of a Google operating system or a branded phone to compete with Appleís iPhone, Google looks to be revealing expansion interests in different areas completely. Still, the unexpected and unexplored areas have paid off for Google so far. Whoís to say that this investment wonít prove equally beneficial for Google. Who knows Ė looking at space now might position the company to be more useful than Microsoft or Apple when the time comes that the human race truly moves to the stars.