The 25 privately funded teams competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize may perform vital prospecting work that will lay the foundation for large-scale exploitation of moon water, leading to cheaper and more efficient space exploration, the idea goes.
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private race to the moon with robotic probes may kick off a lunar "water rush" that helps humanity explore asteroids, Mars and other deep-space destinations, some scientists say.
"This is like the gold rush that led to the settlement of California," Phil Metzger, a physicist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said in a statement.
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