The Polaris lunar rover is designed to prospect for water ice on the moon.
A private race to the moon with robotic probes may kick off a lunar "water rush" that helps humanity explore asteroids, Mars and other deep-space destinations, some scientists say.
The 25 privately funded teams competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize may perform vital prospecting work that will lay the foundation for large-scale exploitation of moon water, leading to cheaper and more efficient space exploration, the idea goes.
"This is like the gold rush that led to the settlement of California," Phil Metzger, a physicist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said in a statement. "This is the water rush."
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