Hyderabad, Sep 25 (UNI) The X PRIZE Foundation today announced a whopping 30 million US Dollars 'Google Lunar X PRIZE' to encourage private companies to join the robotic race to the Moon.
In the breaking news session at the 58th International Astronautical Congress here, Foundation Executive Director Bretton S F Alexander said private companies from anywhere in the world could compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon, capable of undertaking several mission objectives. It should be able to roam the Lunar surface for at least 500 metres and send video images and data back to Earth.
The PRIZE was intended to inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from across the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration, he added.
The Foundation, which had instituted the ten million Dollar 'Ansari X PRIZE' for private sub-orbital space flight, had received expressions of interest from seven teams around the world.
He explained that the 30 million Dollars prize purse was segmented into a 20 million Dollars Grand Prize, a five million Dollars second prize and five million Dollars bonus prizes.