Google seems to be thinking big.
Google is offering $20 million to any company which can land a robotic rover on the moon and beam images of the lunar surface back to earth. To be eligible, the winning craft will have to land on the moon, roam for a minimum of 500m and take a series of panoramic images as well as videos to be streamed on Google’s website.
Participants have until the end of 2012 to complete the challenge.
I had always thought that commercialization of space, if it ever happened, would involve getting minerals or energy. But I was overlooking what’s already well under way with commercial satellites– maybe the really valuable thing we want to bring down from space is information.
Of course, Google’s motives may also have something to do with the more earthly objective of generating publicity for Google Moon, whose new version, I read on The Official Google Blog, just went live.
Still, I hope somebody collects that $20 million.