These are the 16 moon rovers competing for Google's Lunar X Prize

Contributed by
Mar 3, 2016

Though NASA has its heart set on Mars, plenty of international and private space agencies are targeting a return trip to the moon. Google even went and made a $20 million prize out of it.

As notes, the Google Lunar X Prize is an international challenge to land a robot on the lunar surface, have it travel at least 1,650 feet (500 meters) and send data and images back to Earth. First one to do it wins. Per the rules, the first privately funded team to check off the goals by the end of 2017 will receive a $20 million grand prize, while $10 million has been set aside for second place.

Google sees the contest as a way to generate some excitement in a mini-space race, while also helping conduct a bit more on-the-ground research about our closest celestial neighbor.

To that end, several teams have already designed their rovers (hey, the clock is ticking), and you can check them all out below. The designs vary greatly, and it’ll be interesting to see which rover is functional (and fast) enough to get there first.

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