Ripped from the headlines of today…
The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million prize purse. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.
Well this is just cool, a $30 million dollar (US) prize may not sound like all that much when your talking about going to the moon but the money isn’t what is at stake here. Charles Lindbergh didn’t set out to win the Orteig prize (Started in 1919 by a wealthy hotel owner, it offered $25,000 for the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York NY to Paris France vice-versa) just for the cash. I’m sure the money was part of the incentive, but the achievement of winning was it’s own reward. When Lindbergh finished his 30 plus hour flight his accomplishment ushered in a new age for aviation. I can see
No one has eve said that space travel is easy. It may possibly be the single hardest task to accomplish in the world. It’s full of risks, high costs, the potential for catastrophic disaster is high. But the long term rewards are fantastic. The knowledge gained by undertaking such a task could benefit mankind for years to come. If your one of those people that think that thing like the exploration of space and a contest to get robots to the moon is just a waste of time and money I’d like you to give a long hard look at what your reading this on. If it’s a computer, and I bet I’m right, then you yourself have already reaped the rewards of technology that was pioneered for space exploration. No matter how you slice it, setting a mark and offering people a chance to excel breeds innovation and advancements that the entire world benefits from.
[via CNN Money]