Getting out and about
By Alex Hall on September 14, 2011
There are scientists, engineers, business leaders and entrepreneurs around the World who are currently unaware that they could get a ride to the Moon on something other than a government funded spacecraft.
Scientists are conditioned to having to wait years for their research proposals to get funding and become a mission. Then they are used to spending the next few years worrying that it might get canceled! Discussion at conferences is often around the small and simple things that could be done that would yield very useful data, if only they could just get onto the Moon's surface.
There are whole industries on Earth that will one day also be on the Moon, particularly those involving natural resources, power generation and communications. Right now, it sounds like science fiction to the business leaders in these areas that we might one day have large robot colonies controlled from Earth that are engaged in commercial activities. But it is much closer than these business leaders think. And the innovations developed in response to the Google Lunar X PRIZE are the first step.
The Google Lunar X PRIZE has spent the last few years recruiting teams, and now one of our primary areas of focus is to insure that this amazing Prize and its long term benefits isn't one of the best kept secrets out there! Many of our teams are still fundraising and while equity financing is always a possibility, getting actual customers who want payload space on your lander, or who want a piece of your technology so that they can be at the forefront of opening up this next frontier, is a primary goal. NASA has already seen the potential and has been working with a number of the teams to award contracts for specific technology innovations.
With this in mind, you'll find Google Lunar X PRIZE staff at a number of conferences across the world over the coming months. We're going to be talking to the Lunar science community about the opportunities that exist and encouraging them to consider working with our teams to develop payload proposals for funding. We're also going to be exploring what the potential is for small student based payloads as there are specific agencies that fund such initiatives. Hopefully these will lead to opportunities that our teams can pitch for. We're also going to be going to non space related conferences to start the process of spreading awareness about the future of lunar exploration because you simply never know where the next big idea, entrepreneurs and funders will come from! As always, we will be seeking out opportunities that allow us to capture and inspire the imagination of the next generation.
It won't be just the Google Lunar X PRIZE staff that are doing this. Already many of our teams attend conferences and put on educational events. You can keep track of all the events that staff and teams are involved with by looking at the events section of the new website!