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X Prize $30 Million Robot Race To the Moon Is On

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the must-tweet-on-arrival dept.

Google 189

coondoggie writes "The master competition masters at X Prize Foundation are at it again. Today the group announced the 29 international teams that will compete for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the competition to put a robot on the moon by 2015. To win the money, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon's surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn $5 million."

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Only $30 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239176)

Surely it will cost way more than that to accomplish a lunar landing even by robots.

Re:Only $30 million? (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239204)

There surely is a "priceless" joke somewhere; I'm just too lazy to find it.

Re:Only $30 million? (2, Funny)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239328)

This is no time to joke. And stop calling me Shirley.

Re:Only $30 million? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239218)

It's for the prestige, the glory and winning the pissing contest.

Hey guys! We won the X Prize! In your face!

Geeze!

Re:Only $30 million? (1)

anzha (138288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239264)

And for the tech we get to develop and have developed. O:) The IP that is being generated out of the Prize is worth more than the Prize itself.

Re:Only $30 million? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239396)

The IP that is being generated out of the Prize is worth more than the Prize itself.

Shouldn't that be LP - Lunar Property?

Re:Only $30 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240312)

You mean the tech the the human race has had since 40 years and essentially hasn't changed since then? You know, the Russians sent a robot to the Moon in 1970 [wikipedia.org] AND IT BROUGHT BACK A SOIL SAMPLE. So, what spinoffs came from that? What spin offs, besides money being transferred between already rich people, can come from this X Prize? And don't give me the tired "we don't know" what can come from it, we can't know what benefits will come from life extension research, but there's never an article about life extension on this site!

Seriously? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239198)

I could do that with parts on the shelf.

But I don't know if $30 million will cover fuel and insurance.

Unfortunately, (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239276)

not only are many of the parts no longer on the shelf, but nobody even remembers how to make some of them anymore.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239312)

Um...rocket...computer...RC car*...iphone...

* - with RC slightly modified to buffer more commands and data.

If you don't have to keep a human alive and you aren't trying to pare excess baggage down to the last kilogram it gets pretty simple.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239332)

Get to it then!

Re:Unfortunately, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239962)

I don't think an iPhone is going to work very well on the Moon. It barely works in New York City.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240160)

It'll be OK - no one will be holding it on the moon so it'll get great reception. And given they're so tough the extremes of space will not be a problem.

Re:Unfortunately, (5, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239392)

No, it is not that hard to put something on the Moon. We have the parts, and we know how to make them. We can soft-land rovers on Mars, and the Moon is a lot easier to get to and easier to land something on than Mars is. The problem is not the technology, that is essentially a solved problem. The problem is doing it cheaply.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239794)

Not to split hairs but that's still a technological problem, just not one of capacity.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240008)

Hard is a relative term, there are lots of things that have been done but are still difficult. The first satellite launch was 50 years ago but private companies still have difficulty doing this without using old expensive technology.

The difficulty of testing sub-systems in a realistic environment means that the designs need to be very conservative (expensive).

I think it is an interesting challenge and it might just be possible, but I don't think it will be easy. My bet is that no one will make it, but I would be very happy to be proven wrong.

Re:Unfortunately, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240682)

I think its actually easier to land softly on Mars. The atmosphere enables you to slow your descent with a heat shield and parachute.

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240988)

Actually, landing on Mars is much more difficult. Yes, the atmosphere is barely thick enough to allow air-braking, but it's way too thin for a conventional parachute landing. That's why most Mars landers use rockets in the final descent. Also, the atmosphere is too thin for airplane-style flight, but just thick enough play havoc with navigation. There was something about this on /. some years ago, but I'm too lazy to dredge it up. However, google offers up this piece in the same vein: engineeringchallenges.org/cms/7126/7622.aspx

Re:Unfortunately, (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241264)

Also, the atmosphere is too thin for airplane-style flight

Not true. The problem is one of bulk of mass, not of flight. Several aircraft have already been specifically designed to fly in the this martian air which are capable also addressing the bulk/mass transportation issues.

In the next decade or two, its very likely you'll see pictures taken from a plane (UAV) flying on Mars. The real question is, if and when the vehicle will be able to hitch a ride.

Re:Unfortunately, (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241162)

It is in no way easier to land on the moon than on Mars. There is an atmosphere on Mars, albeit not a life-supporting one, which allows for the use of parachutes and non-vacuum equipment.

The moon does not have the same benefit, and therefore all forces generated throughout all of landing and maneuvering must be created with thrusters of some sort. It also exposes the equipment sent there to some serious temperatures, constant vacuum, and some really really nasty dust. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the difference in gravity would make it harder as well.

Re:Unfortunately, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240488)

Nobody remembers how to make buggy whips either. What's your point?

Re:Seriously? (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240158)

I could do that with parts on the shelf.

But I don't know if $30 million will cover fuel and insurance.

It depends on if the studio in California is still there or not. It shouldn't cost that much to drive to it, unless you have a real beater of a car, and film your own movie. Maybe you could get some of the original actors to help. Is OJ Simpson available?

Push it further. (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239202)

Ya ya, I know. But it sure would lead a thunderous applause if man landed on the moon (again) to hand deliver the robot onto the lunar surface. I mean, that would just be epic!

Re:Push it further. (2)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239302)

Hehe... yeah, that'd be cool. It'd be even cooler if the robot stayed there for 20 years. It'd be uber cool if the guy stayed 20 years.

Re:Push it further. (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239480)

It would be simply awesome if you could have a vehicle be able to remain on the Moon and operational for more than a year. A Soviet crawler/lander [wikipedia.org] stayed up there for about five months, which is the current "record" in terms of survival on the Moon at the moment for even a robotic vehicle. Yes, the environment on the Moon is that harsh.

20 years would be a huge accomplishment, which would be able to at least demonstrate that sustained operations on the Moon would be possible. I don't really care what or who goes back, noting that anything going back to the Moon is a huge step forward at the moment.

Re:Push it further. (2)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239602)

We need a Big Brother Moon Edition. Those fuckers are dead weight here on Earth anyway...

Re:Push it further. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239882)

3 years is enough for me. Wake me up when it's quitting time.

Is that enough money? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239206)

Seriously. Getting into orbit is one thing. Going to the moon is another. Is that even possible on a budget of $20 mil?

Re:Is that enough money? (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239410)

In terms of energy cost, getting to Earth orbit is the hard part. Transition to Lunar orbit is relatively cheap. The next hard part is getting down to the surface without making a new crater.

Re:Is that enough money? (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240818)

xkcd [xkcd.com] would disagree. It seems that getting to the LEO (Shuttle/ISS altitude) seems to get you about 1/6th of the way there, in terms of energy expenditure. Going back is much easier, of course -- about 20x so.

Re:Is that enough money? (1)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241530)

To be honest, "Earth orbit" can just as easily mean geostationary orbit as it can mean Low Earth Orbit... and once you are in a geostationary orbit you don't need much of an extra kick to get to the moon

Re:Is that enough money? (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239542)

The real news of the day isn't the contest itself, which has been discussed elsewhere including on Slashdot previously. The big deal is that a contract for a flight to the Moon [aviationweek.com] has been inked and a launch slot set aside to put the vehicle up there.

I don't know how much this particular group is going to be making in terms of a profit, but they got their rocket and have some serious money behind them in terms of helping to finance this trip. This particular team is also the one to beat, or at least a top contender as well. I'm sure that over the next few months that several other teams are going to be announcing flight schedules too.

The low-cost launcher to watch for that might turn a "profit" is ARCA [arcaspace.com] who has already launched a vehicle and has a rather unique approach for orbital spaceflight. Stuff is happening and money is being spent, so this is a good question to ask.

Re:Is that enough money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240004)

Nah, we just have to make sure the robot is fast enough to jump onto the moon when it is at the horizon. Cheap and easy. We can save millions of dollars in the process. I could use a few new cars.

Prize is not intended to fund the effort (4, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239268)

Cue comments about $20 Mil not paying the bill.

The prize is not intended to entirely pay for the effort, it is intended to lower the cost and provide a base level of return as well as publicize the effort. The X-Prize to "space" did not pay nearly enough to pay Rutan's costs, and people don't work at getting a Nobel for the cash prize.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239376)

Cue comments about $20 Mil not paying the bill.

The prize is not intended to entirely pay for the effort, it is intended to lower the cost and provide a base level of return as well as publicize the effort. The X-Prize to "space" did not pay nearly enough to pay Rutan's costs, and people don't work at getting a Nobel for the cash prize.

Al Gore did it for the money. He certainly didn't do it for anyone but himself.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (3, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239440)

Nobel prizes are not given for accomplishments. They are a call to action, and a reward for effort and initiative. [citation needed], you say?

The Norwegian Nobel Committee [trycatchme.com] has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Oslo, October 9, 2009

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239620)

Wow, the Nobel committee set the bar low.
Most people would assume the prizes *are* for real accomplishments, not for "feel good" visions and gestures.
Nobel committee = fail.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240408)

fuck you cock sucker.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240268)

The Nobel Peace Prize is not the Nobel Prize being discussed here.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (2, Insightful)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240660)

Look, everyone understands the Nobel Peace Prize is a joke. Many people/organizations who get it really deserve it. But laureates have also included Al Gore, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, Yasser Arafat, the UN, UNHCR, and a few other questionables (your list of questionables may obviously differ from mine). Obama's case is more glaring than most of those because for the most part the laureates had done things (even if what they did was to kill lots of people and then stop)....

But you're tarring with a broad brush if you think that all the Nobel prizes work the way Peace does. The difference is in who's doing the awarding. The Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and Literature Nobels are awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences (which hands out physics and chemistry), the Karolinska Institute (a medical university), and the Swedish Academy (which consists of people who actually deal with language for a living).

In all four of those cases, the prize-awarding body selects a small committee to propose laureates, then take a vote in a much bigger group (the full membership for the two academies and a 50-person group appointed for the purpose at the Karolinska Institute.

For peace, on the other hand, the selection is done entirely by the 5 members of the committee, who are not in the business of "peace" themselves but are effectively political appointees (appointed by the Norwegian Parliament).

So the peace prize process is really sort of set up to fail to start with, compared to the other four.... It's a pleasant surprise that it doesn't fail more often than it actually does.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241122)

Look, everyone understands the Nobel Peace Prize is a joke

Really? Are you sure about that? There are a hell of a lot of people out there who worship the NPP and consider it a crowning achievement of civilization. Many of them are journalists and NGO members.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241142)

Well, ok. Everyone I'd want to actually have a conversation with understands it's a joke. And some of them are even NGO members... ;)

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240760)

Norwegian Nobel price....

What to expect?! ;D

No but seriously. The Norwegians only handle the peace price. Everything else is handled over here in Sweden. Maybe their ideas differ? =P

It's only this way because they where supposed to be more alliance free or whatever back when we owned them. Now it's the other way around, or well, at least they own our workers and their asses :D

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240816)

Err... how exactly is your comment anything but grinding a completely irrelevant axe? The Nobel Peace Prize is given as a political award, yes. The scientific awards are acknowledge by everyone, including the committee, to be an entirely different beast. I guarantee you that no one has won a Nobel Prize in physics simply for "effort and initiative".

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (2)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241120)

As most people were able to understand, I was speaking of the scientific Nobel prizes and not the political ones. Einstein did not win the Nobel prize as a call to action in his work on the photoelectric effect, but for his achievement.

Re:Prize is not intended to fund the effort (1)

krynsky (763704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240948)

Thanks for pointing this out Tm2b. Also, the big payoff for many teams that are recognized as competitors is the exposure they get which often leads them be to sell their services or technologies to companies or governments. Several of the teams competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE have gotten contracts with NASA . Also if you didn't know, Burt Rutan who won the first Ansari X PRIZE sold his technology and services to Richard Branson which has now become Virgin Galactic. (disclosure I work for X PRIZE)

Dear Moon and Low Earth Orbit, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239308)

Get ready for lots of new junk!!

GlenGary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239316)

Third Prize?
a set of steak knives!!!

Once again science get crap funding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239336)

while big corporations piss-off 100million$ for a 30 seconds super bowl commercial. Yeah, those are your first priorities America.

Re:Once again science get crap funding (1)

allusionist (983106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239914)

considering what they're getting from 30 seconds of exposure on the most watched event on television, that $100million is a fantastic investment for the company.

just like the multi-million dollar salaries for the athletes playing in said event are fantastic investments for the amount of ticket sales, merch, food at events, etc they bring in.

the worth of a purchase is based on what it brings to the person writing the check, not to what someone else (or even humanity) could get if the checkbook was in their hands instead.

Re:Once again science get crap funding (2)

AsmCoder8088 (745645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240102)

Not to mention, it's not $100 million, it's actually $3 million [kpsplocal2.com] ...

Seems like anytime you get into the millions, people seem to stop caring about how accurate their numbers are in an argument

Re:Once again science get crap funding (1)

ElderKorean (49299) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241362)

considering what they're getting from 30 seconds of exposure on the most watched event on television, that $100million is a fantastic investment for the company.

I'm in Australia and didn't watch the Super Bowl as it means nothing to most people outside the USA (not even sure it was shown here), though I would watch a moon landing.

The Mythbusters should try to win this! (3, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239346)

The Mythbusters should try to win this!

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (3, Informative)

Verloc (119412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239362)

Masters of cinematic effects != rocket scientists.

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239498)

But bad rocket science = masterful cinematic effects.

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (3, Funny)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239600)

"Well Bob, it looks like our calculations were completely wrong, and our lander's going to impact at incredible speed, resulting in a giant explosion!

We are rocket scientists: MYTH BUSTED!
...
Good thing we've got that camera crew in lunar orbit ready to capture it in ultra slow motion..."

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240994)

I would like to see them blow up the moon at the end of the episode, as they have become accustomed to doing.

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241390)

Who's Bob? It's Jamie and Adam on the show...

This is both the subject and the body! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240546)

This is both the subject and the body!

Re:The Mythbusters should try to win this! (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240998)

If Mythbusters took this on, they'd say it's impossible to get to the moon. But rockets look cool when they blow up.

Several robots on the moon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239424)

Quite interesting to think that by 2015 there might be several robots on the moon. Many of these competing teams have contracts with various organizations (some even NASA). Just because someone else gets there first doesn't mean the others will just give up after all the time, effort and expense invested.

Re:Several robots on the moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240996)

There already are several robots on the Moon. The Russian Lunokhod and Luna 16, for example.

Space Robot Fight? (4, Funny)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239452)

I would personally put some kind of weapon on my robot in the case the other robots got there first. Send a signal back to earth of my robot kicking your robot's ass. That would be badass

With old tech not new :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35239462)

I would rather see the money spent on something like EMdrives propellantless solution instead of this rocket technology. Which reminds me.Google comments and web-pages, likely funded by interest groups (ie the rocket industry) on technologies like EMDrive, and than Baidy Chinese comments. It seems that the chinese have a different view to the mostly retarded crap spouted by western rocket industrialists when the future is Emdrive.

Re:With old tech not new :( (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239508)

I would rather see the money spent on something like EMdrives propellantless solution instead of this rocket technology. Which reminds me.Google comments and web-pages, likely funded by interest groups (ie the rocket industry) on technologies like EMDrive, and than Baidy Chinese comments. It seems that the chinese have a different view to the mostly retarded crap spouted by western rocket industrialists when the future is Emdrive.

Screw EMdrive. My money is for the reality warping device that will be needed to make EMdrive work.

Re:With old tech not new :( (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239528)

You'd rather give money to frauds than to people doing actual work?

Re:With old tech not new :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240380)

That's the problem with Space Nutters. Lacking the basic physics ladled out daily in high schools, they over-dramatize their personal pet delusions about non-existent sci-fi technologies that we simply do not have.

Lunar Lander (5, Insightful)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239500)

Please, please, please, would the winner send back a hi def photo of some of the Nasa junk left there. This would end all tinfoil hat theories on whether Nasa actually went there.

It was all a fake (3, Funny)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239740)

So, to claim the $20 million, all I have to do is drive my robot out to an abandoned warehouse in Arizona, let it drive around and take a picture of one of the LEMs (they left them in the warehouse, didn't they?) and then publish the picture?

SCORE!

Re:It was all a fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240230)

You best be trollin'.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

theycallmeB (606963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239836)

The only way you would end any significant percentage of the nutters 'theories' that we never landed on the Moon would be to go up there and deface the lunar surface to look like a giant Pepsi logo.

Even that wouldn't convince everybody, and especially not the Coke faithful, because the Moon is just a liberal myth to begin with.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241544)

Frankly, even if you did that, it wouldn't prove that someone was up there. I think that doubt will only go away once everybody has a realistic chance of going there themselves.

And frankly, I find your painting all skeptics with the broad nutter-brush to be very, VERY unscientific. There is doubt. And as long as there is doubt the true scientific approach would be to objectively look at the doubt, create a test to verify AND falsify the theory behind the doubt and go check.

I am willing to bet that 99% of the people calling the doubters nutters haven't done that. So, frankly, go fuck yourselves. You don't know any more about science than a conspiracy 'nut'. You're exactly at the opposite of that spectrum: You believe for the heck of it.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239942)

Cue the tinfoil on future explorations...

Re:Lunar Lander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240042)

would the winner send back a hi def photo of some of the Nasa junk left there. This would end all tinfoil hat theories on whether Nasa actually went there.

No, it wouldn't.

You could put one of these guys into a rocket, fly him personally to the moon and SHOW him one of the landing locations with all that was left behind, and his very first words are going to be "Bullshit, you planted it all there just before I arrived!"

Re:Lunar Lander (2)

nzap (1985014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240234)

What's to stop people from claiming the robot landing was faked?

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240290)

$20 million to send a robot with a camera to a recording studio in Pasadena?

I'm game.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240732)

This would end all tinfoil hat theories on whether Nasa actually went there.

No it wouldn't. Most of the pro-hoax arguments can be refuted without any special knowledge. Hell, some just require you to turn on a couple of lights. Nothing will defeat the conspiracy theorists except ridicule and time.

Re:Lunar Lander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35241248)

And Buzz Aldrin punching hecklers in the face! Man, I could watch that clip all day.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241348)

They'd just claim that the team who made it to the Moon was in cahoots with the government.

Re:Lunar Lander (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241402)

I've personally been in the vault at Johnson Space Center that holds the rocks that were brought back by the Apollo missions. There were also some in there that the Russians brought back (unmanned missions, obviously) which were given to NASA. If seeing things like those, which are also on display to the public at the space centers and are available for scientists to request for research isn't enough, there's also the fact that you can pick up the light reflections from the stuff left on the moon with a decent telescope or the right equipment.

Nuts will be nuts. There's no changing them.

"master competition masters" (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239570)

really?

Re:"master competition masters" (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239948)

really?

Yeah, and their last name was Bates.

Re:"master competition masters" (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240466)

And they are excellent debaters.

Re:"master competition masters" (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240534)

I was referring to The Toy, with Richard Pryor engagement.

Re:"master competition masters" (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240680)

The correct response would have been "but only in groups."

high Def Video?? (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239632)

so what if something happens and a team only sends a 480p signal, then no Joy???

I'll put up $100 (2)

adenied (120700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239698)

It's official. I'll put up $100, but only if your robit looks like Bender and is powered by cheap bourbon. Sabotaging your competitors earns a 10% bonus.

Re:I'll put up $100 (1)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239930)

If my "robit" looks like Bender, I've either been drinking way too much cheap bourbon or I need to see a doctor. Stat.

Re:I'll put up $100 (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241416)

Kickstarter your idea?

Not News (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35239902)

WTF? The google Lunar X-prize was first announced back in September of 2007. I can name a few companies right off the top of my head that have been working on getting there since then. Interorbital Systems is the first one that comes to mind (though I think they got axed from the roster due to wanting to use hypergolics or something like that). Astrobotics has been working on this for awhile as have Odyssey Moon, White Label Space...The list has been up on Wikipedia for well over a year now. How the hell did this make it to the front page of Slashdot?

*Scans Official X-Prize Website [googlelunarxprize.org] *

Oh! I see! The foundation simply down selected for the final *official* roster. The prize isn't anything new at all. The actual news is that the final competing team roster has been settled. As usual, the summary and TFA completely gloss over the actual new development to ramble on about something that isn't particularly new to anyone that has been paying attention to the commercial space market (or slashdot) for the last few years. And, of course, they don't list the final roster. Here's the actual news portion of this story. [googlelunarxprize.org]

I'll go build my own lunar lander.... (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240012)

Ohhhh! No room for Bender huh? FINE! I'll go build my own lunar lander, with blackjack, aaaand hookers. In fact, forget the blackjack. Ah, screw the whole thing...

The Google X Prize site (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240044)

The fine story links to a blog. If all you want are the details about the competing teams, you can go direct to:

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/lunar/teams

As mentioned in the story, 29 teams are competing out of an initial field of 33. The names of the team range from the obvious, Moon Express; to the bold, Next Giant Leap and Independence-X; to the patriotic, Teams Italia, Indus (India) and Puli (Hungary); down to the irreverent, Part-Time Scientists and the cryptically named Mystery Team: Mystical Moon.

One of the four teams that withdrew is one called Micro Space. Maybe they failed to secure funding from a certain very rich philanthropist [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The Google X Prize site (0)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240302)

I always thought that the F stood for fucking. I.e. RTFM = read the fucking manual and TFA = the fucking article, etc. Extrapolating from this, your statement should be "The fucking story links to a blog [...]". What's this "fine" nonsense?

Re:The Google X Prize site (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240394)

If you were any denser you'd be giving off Hawking radiation.

Should be an extra prize for doing it = $20M (1)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240182)

Say under budget, folks!

20 + 5 = 30 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35240472)

Am I the only one who can see that $20m + $5m does not equal $30m ?

X-Prize's one off events. (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35240610)

It's a shame that the X-Prize donors only fund single prizes. It would vastly increase the rate of technological development if they were regular contests.

Compare DARPA's robot car challenge (now Urban Challenge) to X-Prize's original $10m sub-orbital prize. The first year, no team even qualified for the DARPA prize. Hell no team completed more than a fraction of the course. The following year, most teams completed a more difficult course, and half of them qualified (finished in under 10hrs). A few years later, the things are running traffic in urban obstacle courses.

Meanwhile, you have the suborbital X-Prize. After 9 years with no attempts, Burt Rutan's team met the minimum requirements for the X-Prize. And no one has ever done it since, including Rutan. Imagine how much suborbital rockets would have improved by now if it had been an annual highest-flight-wins event.

And imagine if the Lunar Prize was... well, let's say, a quadrennial event. A prize awarded every four years for the longest rover trek on the moon. A Paris Dakar Rally on the moon.

DARPA had the right idea, the X-Prize donors don't.

Moon Landing A Fake (0)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35241026)

I have worked for a long time in the software industry. Stuff does not just work, generally, as easily as you plan. Everything requires tweaking and a lot of babying. This is in 2011.
Back in 1962, when none of these things were invented, when they didn't even really know how to do it, doesn't it seem like an awfully amazing thing that NASA invented, designed, built and flew to the Moon and back safely with the cruddy technology available in the 1960s?
Seems all the more incredible that they were able to fly six separate Apollo flights to and from the Moon, with all of the microscopic tweaking that had to occur, and not lose a single life. Then, when the dead President Kennedy had set up going to the damned Moon as his pledge, NASA was trapped when they really could not pull it off.
So, now, after a lifetime believing that we landed men on the moon and returned those same men safely back to earth, I now think the Apollo Moon landings were faked.

Re:Moon Landing A Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35241256)

So why didn't the Soviets expose the "fake"? Whoops, you're stupid.

Re:Moon Landing A Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35241468)

Yeah, because it's not like they left anything behind as part of an experiment that could be observed from Earth that would prove they'd been there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_laser_ranging_experiment

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