Google Funding X Prize For Moon Landing

from the fly-me-to-the-moon dept

We’ve been impressed with the concept of the “X Prize” and other similar innovation-by-competition programs for many, many years. With the success of SpaceShipOne in claiming the very first X Prize (launching a man into space in a privately built rocket), the concept of prize-driven innovation has only taken off, with plenty of interest coming from private industry, looking to foster innovation in specific areas. Apparently, Google has decided to join the party — though not in its core field of interest. It’s no secret that Google’s co-founders are quite interested in space and space exploration, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Google is putting up the money for a new X Prize for sending a robot to the moon. The robot is required to do certain things once it reaches the moon in order to claim the prize. Google is doing this through the same group that ran the original X Prize, rather than doing it entirely separately, but it’s no surprise that having Google’s name attached to the prize will help generate even more interest in the program. Still, it’ll be interesting if we start seeing a lot more private interest in creating and funding these types of prizes. It’s likely that many of them, like Netflix’s, will be quite specific to what the company is working on — but the possibilities for companies with some extra money to burn to fund some pretty far out research could lead to some really fascinating contests.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Google Funding X Prize For Moon Landing”

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Chris says:

It's about time

To see a major corporation that has a rather loose and expendable profit margin to do whatever it pleases with actually support something innovative and advancing in the realm of technology is always a plus. However, to do so as an obvious PR stunt is not always the best objective. I don’t question their motives to help try and privatize the realm of space exploration, but I think Google’s staple of business will always be based around it’s incentive to expand it’s buisness here on Earth. I can only hope that Microsoft follows suit and within a few years I’ll have my very own moonbus to whisk me away to a desolate paradise of relaxtion and complete desolation to enchance my chi via meditaion and isolation.

Andrew (user link) says:

Re: It's about time

Well, the “moonbus” my be a ways off…the space elevator, propelled by lasers, tethered to the earth by super strong “rope”, and held in place by centrifugal force; maybe more viable for future travels out of the earth gravitational pull, then on from a space station at the end of the line to desolation locations like your coveted moon isolation, but as for now try the middle of the ocean for a little alone time.

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