Google Lunar X PRIZE - In the Pomerantz Report, William Pomerantz posts his first (of what may be many) blog entry on the Google Lunar X PRIZE. From the post:
"To some, landing a privately funded mission on the lunar surface might seem impossible. In fact, we think that it’s just at the outer limits of what we can achieve ... since announcing the prize on Thursday of last week, we’ve gotten well over 100 emails from teams around the world wanting to sign up!"
There should be opportunities to help with teams ones this prize gets rolling. The Automotive X PRIZE has an Internet forum where teams can meet volunteers, find service providers, and finer useful information. The X PRIZE Foundation may start something similar for the Lunar X PRIZE:
"Another extremely encouraging thing has been the number of people who have emailed us saying that they want to help out. They don’t care who wins, they just care that someone wins; and they’ve offered their brains and their labor to any Google Lunar X PRIZE Team that wants it. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll have ways that you can make these offers directly to Teams here on the Google Lunar X PRIZE site".
In the post, he also mentions Botball and FIRST. I recently ran across an article about BotBall and the Lunar X PRIZE, so I'll mention that. The BotNews Blog just announced that the X PRIZE Foundation is sponsoring the 2008 Research and Design Website Challenge for middle school and high school students, which is "The X PRIZE Lunar Rover Botball Design Challenge".
The mission? "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a website about your conceptual mobile robot that will win the The Google Lunar X PRIZE." You can see all the details about the rules of the challenge and the prizes here.
As for FIRST, I don't know if it's going to be involved with the Google Lunar X PRIZE, but it also has a robot competition for high-school aged students.