Friday, November 30, 2007

First Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Registered

One prize finishes registration, and another starts it. I originally saw the link on RLV News; the article by Leonard David is on LiveScience (and is also reachable from The article has a little bit of information about the team, Odyssey Moon, and it shows where and when you can expect to find out more about them.

Since there are hundreds of teams already that at least expressed interest in trying to win the prize, I don't think I'll be following all of them closely, even if only 10% register and make a serious effort ... hopefully a blogger or 2 just on this prize will appear if the activity builds up like it looks like it will.

Another thing I'd like to see, with so much interest in the prize, is more sponsors of prize money - for example, for the bonus prizes (the existing ones or new ones of interest to the sponsor). This could be from NASA, other space agencies interested in learning about the Moon, non-profits (National Geographic, Planetary Society, etc ...), and even corporations looking for some positive publicity. I could even see a Hollywood or Discovery Channel type of bonus prize sponsorship working ... even if it's not as big as the current bonus prizes. I could also see, as bizarre as it sounds and probably is, Microsoft stepping up. That could, if done the right way, cause a lot of good press coverage for both companies in a win-win sort of way, with such a twist on the usual Microsoft vs. Google story.

A built-up suite of bonus prizes could make the challenge more realistic for teams that think they'd get in 2nd or 3rd place to still make serious investments in the prize.

I'm also hoping the X PRIZE Foundation is able to bring in some more "Prefered Partners" (how do you spell Prefered? I don't know but I sure don't know why the GLXP spells it 2 different ways ...). Anyway, the GLXP site says:

"Forthcoming Partners

The X PRIZE Foundation is in talks with other future partners. Please watch this page for updates!

Interested in Becoming a Preferred Partner?

Is your company interested in becoming a Preferred Partner of the Google Lunar X PRIZE? To do so, you must be willing to offer a substantial discount and a standard pricing arrangement for all Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams. For more details, please use our contact form identifying your company, the service you can provide, and the discount you are willing to offer."

Again, with about 350 teams (that's how many people?) interested in actually trying to win it, and many times that watching it, it seems like a lot of potential good publicity for the partners. Let's make it like the Olympics with Official Sponsors of soda to keep the teams awake as they work all night, etc ...