Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Google Lunar X PRIZE All Over the News

The X PRIZE Foundation news ticker has a number of links to major and minor news media articles on the Google Lunar X PRIZE. This is just a sample of the attention the prize announcement got. I think their point in linking to so many articles on the same event is to give potential teams and sponsors a sample of the publicity that could be theirs if they make a serious attempt to win the prize in the public view, actually make a launch, or even win the prize. One might imagine that these more exciting events (compared to the announcement of the prize, which is probably more of interest to Space Prize bloggers than the general public) would generate an even greater amount of publicity.

Google bankrolls prize in moon race - The Boston Globe

Google to sponsor space race to the moon LA Times

The LA Times article has some good information I haven't seen in other "prize rollout" articles. Check it out. Some details from the LA Times article:

"Before Google held its initial public offering in August 2004, its founders cautioned that they were not running "a conventional company." Spending corporate earnings on moon missions puts that pledge to the test.

But that philosophy has carried Google investors on a rocket-ship ride of their own -- those who bought IPO shares have since seen their holdings rise 517%.

Plus, $30 million is a rounding error for a company that generated $11 billion in revenue last year and is still growing fast.

Google's shares gained $2.13 to $524.78 after the announcement.

"This will probably frustrate investors at first glance, but when they see what this does for the Google brand, I think they will get their money's worth," said Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. "If you are going to do something creative with your marketing dollars, you might as well shoot for the moon -- literally."

Here's another interesting piece of information from the LA Times article:

"Google products including Google Earth, which was recently updated with moonscape images, and YouTube will support the teams building the moon rovers, said Dylan Casey, Google's manager for the project."

Google to Sponsor $30 Million X PRIZE -

Next X PRIZE: $20 Million for Moon landing - Discovery Channel. This one also has some interesting information. I like this quote (although his name is spelled wrong):

""I think there will be a lot of potential customers if this works out," said Pete Warden, the director of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and a long-time proponent of lunar development.

"There's a lot of scientific interest to put hardware on the moon if you can get there affordably. NASA can eventually become a customer," he added".

That would be great if it happens that way. I hope NASA steps up to the plate on this one. I thnk Worden wants it to.

I wonder if organizations like National Geographic will get involved, either during the challenge or using the resulting capabilities after the prize is won?

From the same article, here's some good, and possibly very important, news on those bonus prizes (which I realize are not set in stone right now):

"The X Prize Foundation is working on raising additional funds for other incentives, such as for the first team to get its rover to the launch pad."

Here's an interesting comment from Elon Musk, who is offering discount rides on the Falcon 1, which has made great progress, but still needs to prove itself as a launch vehicle.

"Hopefully it (the rover) won't blow up on our rocket," Musk said. "I'd have a lot of people chasing me. I'd have to hide."

Such is the way of life in the rocket launch business, especially the "new rocket" rocket launch business.

Google Offers $20 Million Prize for Private Moon Mission - Fox News

Google: Put a Rover on the moon, win $30 million - brief overview from CNN (the X PRIZE Foundation ticker link makes it seem like CNN gave a lot more details, but I don't see them when I bring up the link