The Google Lunar X Prize has already had its desired effect, spurring a vigorous competition among 26 teams who have spent almost as much as the $30 million the search-engine giant put up in prize money for reaching the Moon’s surface and sending back pictures. Some of the teams are selling piggyback rides on their spacecraft to help fund the development, potentially putting small lunar-science missions within the reach of nations and even universities that otherwise wouldn’t be able to ...


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