Feeds

Google encourages 10 teams to rocket to the moon

Lunar X Prize joined by Jesus, a penguin and some miners

High performance access to file storage

Google and the X Prize Foundation held a ceremony today for the first ten contestants to enter their $30m race to land a privately funded space craft on the Moon.

Eight new teams have joined the previous two entrants, who all gathered at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California to preview their intentions for the purse.

The firms have until the end of 2012 to land an unmanned machine on the lunar surface and successfully send it roving for at least 500 meters. The winning team will receive a $20m grand prize for their effort. That's potentially a fraction of the cost it will take to land a machine there — although some entrants claim they can make it with a budget less than the grand prize.

Second prize is $5m for a team that successfully lands their craft, but cannot make it travel over 500 meters. An additional $5m will be awarded if the rover can go over 5,000 meters.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company decided to put its funds toward the competition after a regular corporate brain storming session.

Brin's curiosity about the the cost to land a craft on the moon left him shocked about its bargain value (in the eyes of a man who lands his jet in a private NASA runway usually reserved for presidential visits, of course).

"This aspect of discovery is being ignored despite its relatively low cost," said Brin.

Sergey Brin: A man who can afford not to wear a suit

The X Prize Foundation aims to spur technological development in space the same way a cash prize tempted Charles Lindbergh to cross the Atlantic by aircraft in 1927. After that, your bevy of Amelia Earharts are bound to follow.

Yet this is a program nurtured and raised in Silicon Valley, and therefore lacks a reasonable amount of shame. That's why we see "Moon 2.0" slogans plastered around for this competition. That's right, "Moon 2.0." Love it, kiss it, rub it all over your naked body.

No, really

Let's meet the contestants.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Odyssey Moon

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.