Google funds $30 million moon prize

By on September 13, 2007, 1:39 PM
In a bid to stimulate research into low-cost robotic exploration of space, Google is offering a $30 million prize fund to reward the first private company that can safely land a robotic rover on the moon. The challenge is the latest initiative from the X Prize Foundation, which in 2004 hosted the $10 million Ansari X Prize contest that led to the first manned private spaceflight.

“We are confident that teams from around the world will help develop new robotic and virtual presence technology, which will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration,” said Dr Peter Diamandis, chairman of the X-Prize Foundation in a statement.
The top prize of $20 million will be on offer until 2012 and will be given to the private firm that soft lands a rover on the Moon and completes a series of tasks which include gathering a specific set of images, video and data. There is also a $5 million second-place prize and a $5 million bonus to teams that go beyond the minimum requirements.

This is not the first time Google ventures into space albeit via the Internet by launching Google Mars, which allows users to explore the surface of the Red Planet, and the most recent Google Sky, giving users of Google Earth the chance to glide through images of more than one million stars and 200 million galaxies.

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angelina said:
I won't argue with the aspects of the EULA that gives Microsoft "ownership" of Windows, but therein lies the rub. If Microsoft insists on "ownership" of this software, it should follow that they also have responsibility to keep the software running properly, since all the end user is purchasing is the functionality being sold. By this theorem, anytime this functionality is not available, Microsoft would be responsible for restoring it. As we all know, this is pretty much the opposite of the actual case; Windows crashes incessantly, and Microsoft has ZERO interest in fielding tech support calls to fix it. Try it sometime if you don't believ me. Anyhow, if we drill down to the heart of this problem, we can trace it back to Microsoft's (and the industry's in general) ability to write EULAs pretty much however they damn well please, and to make them unimaginably long winded and arcane. I feel like an [url=
tml]auto floor mats[/url] but guess where the industry GOT this legal right? That's correct: Washington DC! So your tax dollars went to a bunch of elected officials that wrote legislation allowing effectively unlimited rights to create EULAs that reserve every conceivably legal right for themselves, and the users be damned. Think about THAT every time you look at your paycheck, and all the money that gets deducted to send to Washington.
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