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Google Space Science

Moon Mining Race Under Way 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-lot-of-cheese dept.
New submitter rujholla writes "The race to the moon is back! This time, though, it's through private enterprise. Google has offered a $20m grand prize to the first privately-funded company to land a robot on the moon and explore the surface (video) by moving at least 500 meters and sending high definition video back to Earth by 2015."
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Moon Mining Race Under Way

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  • by Hentes (2461350) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:51AM (#43114079)

    The Surveyor program cost about $500m. A mere $20m prize won't make this profitable. Also, 2015 is far too close for a program like this, I don't think Google wants to pay that money.

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:13AM (#43115873)

    Not quite. Thermal cycling of the top inch or two of regolith means that the footprints are likely to be lost in a century or three. Even 45 years is probably enough to soften the sharp outlines. The flag will be UV-bleached-white or radiation-black. The descent stage and other equipment will be peppered with micro-meteorite holes.

    Frankly, this is another reason to preserve the sites. As experiments which provide 6 points of reference to calibrate the fine erosion rate for lunar features.

All the simple programs have been written.