The following is an excerpt from Mike Wall | July 13, 2012 | CBSNEWS.com |
(SPACE.com) A former Google bigwig has set his sights on the heavens, leaving the search giant to join a company that aims to provide commercial and scientific missions to the moon.
Jimi Crawford, who had been engineering director for the Google Books project since 2009, has signed on with Moon Express, the company announced on Thursday. Crawford will serve as chief technology officer and software architect for the Silicon Valley firm, which is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million private race to the moon.
Crawford said he’s excited to join Moon Express, which he believes has the potential to help humanity extend its footprint beyond our home planet.
“Everybody that creates a startup in Silicon Valley, they all try to say they’re going to change the world. Here, it’s just so completely obvious,” Crawford told SPACE.com. “The idea that private enterprise can get to the moon, the idea that the U.S. is back on the moon after 45 years — it’s hard to compare that with any other job that you actually get paid to do.” [NASA's 17 Apollo Moon Missions in Pictures]
Chasing the prize
Moon Express is one of 25 teams participating in the Google Lunar X Prize, 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.
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