POPULAR MECHANICS - The Google Lunar X PRIZE Gets Real

NASA isn't heading back to the moon anytime soon, with astronauts or robots, but that doesn't mean there are no lunar races to follow.

Today the organizers of the Google Lunar X Prize announced the final roster of teams competing in a $30 million race to the lunar surface. And much to their surprise, 29 teams have signed on to the mission, more than they ever expected. "When we started this thing [in 2007], we were hopeful that we'd have a dozen teams," says Will Pomerantz, senior director for space prizes at the X Prize Foundation. "Now we're pushing 30 teams... Some came out of the woodwork at the end."

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