TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: Forget cyberspace, Google is now reaching for outer space. Google and the X Prize Foundation have announced a $30 million prize for someone to land a robotic rover on the moon. Jeff Tyler has more.
Neil Armstrong: That’s one small step for man . . .
Jeff Tyler: And one giant leap for entrepreneurs.
The challenge: To put a robot on the moon, get it to roam at least 500 meters across the lunar surface and then send video back to Earth. It won’t be easy, and it definitely won’t be cheap.
Bretton Alexander is with the X Prize Foundation:
Bretton Alexander: We expect that teams will spend anywhere from $10-$15 million all the way up to $50 million. The teams can then make money back by selling the intellectual property, selling the system, selling services later. And so they start a business.
Bretton says there are other economic incentives, such as mineral resources on the moon.
Ultimately, the prize founders hope private-sector innovation will lead to cheaper methods for space exploration.
I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.