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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chris, Sep 13th, 2007 @ 11:05pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 5:29am

    Re: It's about time

    True, but they will be the first search engine on the moon, now one can truly ask what type of cheese is it made of?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: It's about time

    Ha, the man in the moon turns into the GOOGLE in the moon?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    dorpus, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 5:55am

    If a Chinese company

    is the first to do it, will Google reward them? Or will they use the Great Firewall of America they secretly installed to block the news?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 5:56am

    Fostering innovation or securing a parking spot for Sergey & Larrys private 767 at a NASA airport 10 mins. from Google headquarters?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Zenshai, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 6:42am


    It'd be funny if the requirement for what the robot has to do on the moon was to build a huge google billboard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Paul`, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 7:44am

    Re: If a Chinese company

    Or maybe China will just filter it out with its control over news and internet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    the task would be to place a "2nd" moon to represent the double O in google?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Andrew, Sep 14th, 2007 @ 2:20pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon, Sep 16th, 2007 @ 5:34am

    Google Funding X Prize For Moon Landing

    Hmmnn...I am scratching my head about this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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