It sort of makes sense, since Google recently paid NASA $1.3 million just to be able to land their jet at NASA's Moffett Field. Google is funding a $30 million dollar prize for a privately developed moon rover.
The Google Lunar X Prize, announced today by the search-engine giant and the X Prize Foundation at the Wired NextFest in Los Angeles, ranks among the richest contests ever offered for technological innovation. It follows up on the $10 million Ansari X Prize for manned spaceflight, which was won nearly three years ago by the SpaceShipOne rocket plane.
The new prize calls upon teams to create autonomous rovers that could land on the moon, travel at least three-tenths of a mile (500 meters) and send video, images and data back to Earth.
There is a sliding scale for the prize, based on when (if ever) a team succeeds, and there are runner-up prizes as well.