One Giant Leap for Entrepreneurs

To jump-start the space race with private dollars, Google's Lunar X Prize hopes to spur ordinary citizens to land on the moon

This November, Carnegie Mellon robotics professor William "Red " Whittaker and his team's radar- and laser-equipped Chevy Tahoe are top contenders for the $2 million first prize in the DARPA Urban Challenge—a series of races with driverless vehicles sponsored by small companies and universities. The Defense Dept. has already held similar challenges twice in the past three years in hopes of drumming up ideas for sophisticated, unmanned vehicles for use in urban combat zones. Soon another government agency will be eyeing Red's robots: NASA.

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