Anybody want to get in on this “moon contest” with me? We could win big money.

But there’s a catch — along with a little irony:

The quest is part of the Google Lunar X Prize, which will put $20 million into the hands of the first privately funded team that can land a rover on the moon, have it travel on the surface for 500 meters or more, send back data, photos and video, and do it all by December 31, 2012.

The prize drops to $15 million after that date and goes away altogether after 2014.

One of the main requirements is to have as little government involvement in the project as possible.

Does the requirement of “as little government involvement as possible” strike you as odd coming from Google, which is a major friend of the political party that wants government in every nook and cranny of our lives? Now Google thinks that tearing free from the grasp of the very monster they’re helping create is the most efficient way to advance civilization? Ah to be rich enough to be able to have it either way and not really notice the difference.

In any case, the real trick here is to keep our project cheap so we don’t burn up all the $20 million in building and planning costs for the mission. If we’re incredibly lucky, we’ll have $5 million left over, and then when the government comes for their cut, we’ll just say, “Nope. Google required us to have as little government involvement as possible.”

See you in prison!

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