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.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.