Good guy Google is offering a large incentive for the first company that lands a craft on the moon and moves at least 500m whilst simultaneously streaming HD footage back to earth. The deadline? 2015.
The second team to succeed stands to win $5m for completing the same mission, with bonus prizes for travelling more than 5km, finding water and discovering any traces of man’s past on the moon, such as the Apollo site – good luck finding that… Seriously though, this is a lot of innovation in less than two years. NASA could complete such a mission easily, but that’s not the point. For a private company to complete such a feat is something entirely new.
Mining precious minerals will be a main priority to try to recuperate the costs of sending a craft to the moon. Interestingly, the moon treaty states that no one can own the moon but anyone is free to exploit its resources. Google Maps Moon Edition will be here soon. [bbc]