Google's Lunar X PRIZE contest gets first ten teams


Ten teams have been announced as contenders to a chunk of Google’s coveted $30 million Lunar X PRIZE. The stipulations of the competition include, most importantly, that a team’s robotic craft must be privately funded and able to land on the moon and travel at least 500 meters while sending video, images, and data back to Earth. Bonus points for any team that makes it to the dark side of the moon to grab some footage of the alien bases there. Woot!

The first ten teams include members from Romania, the US, the UK, and Italy. The prize money will be divvied up into a $20 million grand prize, a $5 million second place prize, and another $5 million in bonus prizes. The $20 million grand prize is good until December 31st, 2012. After that, it drops to $15 million until December 31st, 2014. If nobody’s claimed the prize by then, the contest is over and everyone mopes for a while.

The X PRIZE Foundation Announces Official Contenders in Private Moon Race [X PRIZE Foundation]