X Prize, Google to Put User Images on Moon Rovers
A screen shot of the Lunar Legacy home page, where users can submit a photo and message to go to the moon for $10.
CREDIT: X Prize Foundation
Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke placed a photo of his family on the surface of the moon in 1972--and for a $10 donation you may be able to do the same.
The "Lunar Legacy" program comes from the X Prize Foundation, which has teamed up with Google to offer a $30 million purse for anyone able to land a privately funded rover on the moon by December 31, 2012.
A major component of the challenge is for the rovers to beam back about 1 GB worth of data. Aboard finalist vehicles that make it to the launch pad, Google will reserve a portion of space to store users' photos and personal messages, or "legacies."
"Details are still being worked out, but we fully intend to broadcast, or 'mooncast', a number of our supporters' legacies back to Earth," said X Prize founder Peter Diamandis in a statement. "Which means that one of our Lunar Legacy creators will quite literally be the Neil Armstrong of private space exploration."
By using the Web site www.googlelunarxprize.org, users can upload a photo up to 1 MB in size along with a message. Each legacy, however, will have to be reviewed and deemed as ?flight ready? by program officials.
Once a legacy is approved, it will be added to an official online gallery hosted by Google and the X Prize Foundation.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based X Prize Foundation has offered a series of cash awards for technological achievements in the fields of spaceflight, genomics and the automotive industry. In 2004, the foundation awarded the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first privately built and crewed suborbital spacecraft. X Prize also organizes the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Centennial Challenge competition for NASA.
Click here for more information on the X Prize Foundation's Lunar Legacy program.
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