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Friday, September 14, 2007

Google joins Ansari X - sponsors $30 million contest

Google Inc is bankrolling a $30 million prize to the first private company that can safely land a robotic rover on the moon and beam back a gigabyte of images and video to Earth, the Internet search leader said.

If the competition produces a winner, it would prove a major boon to the emerging private spaceflight industry and mark for the first time a non-government entity making a lunar space probe.

Google partnered with the X Prize Foundation for the moon challenge, which is open to companies around the world.

The Santa Monica, California-based nonprofit prize institute is best known for hosting the Ansari X Prize contest that led to the first manned private spaceflight in 2004.

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