Monday, September 17, 2007

Google Gives $30M for Space Exploration

Google gives to X Prize Foundation. Google, should be in contention for the most socially conscious company of the year award. They have done great things in their creation of, and the donation of their own funds to in order to pursue social entrepreneurship; however, Google has also recently pledged $30M to the X-Prize Foundation. The grant is for a new effort to encourage private organizations to develop a robotic spacecraft that can successfully land on the moon.

The Google Lunar X Prize is open to nongovernmental teams of scientists and inventors around the world. A grand prize of $20-million will be awarded to the first team to land a vehicle on the moon by 2012. The craft must successfully roam the lunar surface for a distance of 500 meters and transmit back a specified “mooncast,” which would include high-definition video and other data.

An additional prize of $5-million will go to a second team that completes this task by 2014. As much as $5-million in bonus prize money will be awarded to teams whose vehicles complete additional tasks, such as roaming beyond 500 meters or discovering water or ice.

Google is providing all of the prize money, while the foundation will oversee the contest. The X Prize Foundation develops cash-award programs designed to spur scientific and technological innovation.

Go Google! Keep up the good work. The chronicle of Philanthropy has published an article on the gift, which is available here.

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