From the department of the-invisible-yet-unpredictable-hand:
Search giant Google is offering a $30m prize pot to private firms that land a robot rover on the Moon.The good thing about this is that it encourages cut-price space exploration. If governments continue to have bloated space agencies like NASA having to use up a few trillion dollars just to buy a screwdriver, this sort of thing should be encouraged.
The competition to send a robot craft to the Moon is being run with the X-Prize Foundation.
To claim the cash, any craft reaching the lunar surface must perform a series of tasks such as shoot video and roam for specific distances.
Firms interested in trying for the prize have until the end of 2012 to mount their Moonshot.
In a statement announcing the competition, Google and the X-Prize Foundation said it had been created in a bid to stimulate research into low-cost robotic exploration of space.
The top prize of $20m will be given to the private firm that soft lands a rover on the Moon which then completes a series of objectives.