If you can send a spacecraft to the moon and loop around our natural satellite one time, or—even better—gently set a rover down on the lunar surface, there could be money in it for you. $4.75 million, to be precise.
That is, if you happen to be one of the select few finalist teams competing for the Google Lunar XPrize. The awarding organizations—Xprize and Google—have decided to split two prize amounts between whatever teams manage to achieve two distinct feats:
$1.75 million is up for grabs as part of the Lunar Arrival Milestone Prize. To get a slice of that pie, a "spacecraft must complete one orbit around the moon or enter a direct descent approach to the lunar surface," according to press materials supplied by XPrize.