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. There is a $5 million second place prize, as well as $5 million in bonus cash if the winner exceeds the minimum requirements.

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.

The competition to send a robot craft to the Moon is being run with the X-Prize Foundation. Participants have until the end of 2012 to complete the challenge.

If no successful entry emerges by 2012, the winning prize will be lowered to $15 million, and the competition extended until 2014.

Google Lunar X-Prize


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