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Google has announced the Google Lunar X-Prize for international individuals and companies to compete in a race to be the first to land and operate a craft on the surface of the moon. Bonuses are provided for competitors who achieve various objectives. It is expected that this competition will challenge and motivate engineers to innovate and advance low cost methods for traveling to the moon and beyond.
There are official question and answer for clarification on what is required.
Google last September announced that more than $20 million dollars were available in the Google X Prize for the first team that is able to land a privately funded craft on the moon and be able to move it at least 500 meters with a video (a Mooncast) sent back to humans on Earth.
|$30million||Total||Grand Prize + 2nd Prize + Bonuses|
|$20million||Grand Prize||team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth|
|$15million||Grand Prize after Dec 31 2012||Same as Grand Prize, later date|
Additionally, Google has pulled all the stops in creating this Hollywood-esque promotional video to get people excited about their X-prize:
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