Google: Empowering Innovation

March 1, 2008


lunar-prize I just read this very interesting article on what Google is doing to foster innovation. Actually it wasn’t Google who started all of this, but they are responsible for this headline.

Read article here.

Several years ago something truly amazing happened. The X Prize Foundation started a competition with $10,000,000 in prize money. To win it you just had to get a reusable manned spacecraft to the edge of space twice within two weeks. I’m not sure how long it took, but in 2004 the prize was claimed by SpaceShipOne. Although the prize money was worth 10 million, over 100 million was invested by over 20 teams going for the goal. The idea was to push the private sector into the space industry, which has always been the government’s domain. As a result, space tourism is right around the corner as you can even now book your ticket on a flight into space.

Google recently announced their new X Prize. They’re giving away 30 million to the first group to get an unmanned craft on the moon. It has to do several things while there, but that is the gist of it. So far 10 teams have paid the $10,000 entry.

Amazing, isn’t it? The government supposedly has had a terrible time coming up with a replacement for the Shuttle (which is nearing retirement). The government’s deadline to get back to the moon is 2020. With a little incentive, the private sector is able to innovate at a scale that government isn’t able to and they’ll have a privately owned craft on the moon 8 years before NASA’s deadline.

What stood out the most though has nothing to do with Google, the government or the X Prize. Nancy Conrad, the widow of Charles Conrad (one of the last people on the moon) attended the Google announcement. Charles Conrad would be close to 80, so I’m making an assumption that his widow Nancy is within the range of 70-80. Her comment to the press: “I’m stoked that we’re going back.” Stoked? Really? You go grandma!


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One Response to “Google: Empowering Innovation”

  1. nene Says:

    Grandmas ROCK!


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