With innovators from around the globe digging in, moon travel may be only 20 years away

January 27, 2015 1:52 AM

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With innovators from around the globe digging in, moon travel may be only 20 years away

Five teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE have just been awarded a combined $5.25 million for meeting significant milestones in developing a robot that can safely land on the surface of the moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send mooncasts back to the Earth. A tiny startup from India, Team Indus, with no experience in robotics or space flight just won $1 million of this prize. It stood head to head with companies that had been funded by billionaires, had received the assistance of NASA, and had the support of leading universities.

The good news is that governments no longer have a monopoly on space exploration. In two or three decades, we will have entrepreneurs taking us on private spaceflights to the moon. That is what has become possible.

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