Today at a press conference at Google's Mountain View, California headquarters, the X Prize Foundation announced the 10 official competitors for its $30 million Google Lunar X Prize. It will not be an easy thing to win. To qualify, a team must land a privately funded spacecraft on the moon, rove at least 500 meters, and beam a particular set of video, pictures and data back to earth. Oh, and ideally it will do this within the next four years, because after December 31st 2012, the purse drops to $15 million.
Bonuses are available for teams that can pull of feats ranging from finding ice on the moon to finding artifacts of earlier moon missions. Despite the obvious difficulty of pulling this off, the foundation received over "567 expressions of interest from 53 nations," according to X Prize chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis. The ten official competitors hail from as far afield as Romania. If you followed the Ansari X Prize you'll see some familiar names in the final list.
"Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth" -- Siddhartha
so, my goal is that, when, in 2012, a giant screen will diplay the Lunar images, a second giant screen, near it, will display the TRUTH about the """"Google"""" Lunar X Prize:
Google has added a $2M extra if the winning team will launch the lunar rover from Cape Canaveral in an attempt to keep this INTERNATIONAL prize a little more "american"
unfortunately, the extra-prize will have NO effect since (as I've explained on my blog) the winner (if any) will come (and will launch its rover) from Asia...