October 8, 2008
Posted: 11:19 AM ET
Two more teams have signed up for the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
To win the $20 million grand prize, a team must soft-land its spacecraft on the Moon, rove at least 500 meters, and transmit video, images and data back to Earth (according to a specific set of parameters). All funding must be private. The deadline is December 31, 2012 - after that the grand prize drops to $15 million. If no one wins by December 31, 2014, the competition ends. (Unless they extend it...)
The two new entrants bring to 14 the total number of teams in the competition. The others include:
If this all seems too, ahem, "pie-in-the-sky," remember that Burt Rutan (with backing from Microsoft's Paul Allen) won the $10 million dollar Ansari X PRIZE back in 2004 for private suborbital spaceflight. Big feats CAN be accomplished on a relative shoestring. It will be fun to watch and see if one of these groups can win big.
–Kate Tobin, Sr. Producer, CNN Science & Technology
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