Google Will Sponsor a Contest to Reach the Moon

Google’s interest in space is going far beyond Google Moon and Sky in Google Earth. The Internet giant is going to offer up a total of thirty million dollars in prize money as part of a contest to reach the surface of the moon. The Google Lunar X PRIZE, put on by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation, challenges private groups to be the first to launch a robotic rover to the moon, land it safely on the surface, operate it over five hundred meters, and transmit video back to earth.

First prize for accomplishing the feat is twenty million dollars; second place receives ten million, and the rest of the money is for bonuses for performing additional tasks. The challenge will be open until the end of 2014.

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