The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. have announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon with up to $30M in prize money at stake. The winner must land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon and meet several requirements including sending video, images and data back to the Earth while traveling at least 500 meters on the lunar surface.The $30M is broken up into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize, and $5 million in bonus prizes for additional mission objectives.
COMMENT: This is wonderful stuff. I don't know if you can do this mission for $20M, but there are companies in the small "Newspace" field that will certainly try, just as the did for the original Ansari X Prize. My early favorite, if they choose to compete, would be a team of SpaceX Technologies (launcher) and a small-vehicle specialist like SpaceDev.