|Tiffany V.C. Montague, manages space initiatives for Google and its interests in the Google Lunar X Prize [Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe].|
Tiffany V.C. Montague manages Google Inc.’s space initiatives and its Lunar X Prize, the company’s competition that will award $30 million in prizes to teams that successfully land and operate a robot on the moon. Before joining Google, Montague, 36, was an Air Force officer and worked as a flight test engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque. She spoke recently with Globe reporter Michael Farrell while in town to talk with Boston University students about space.
Why is Google so interested in space?
Google likes to take big bets. We are a company of technologists and space enthusiasts. It’s not surprising to me that we would be involved in space as much as we’re involved in any other game-changing technology, like self-driving cars.
What’s so exciting about space?
Are you kidding me? When I was a kid growing up in England my view of the future was that we would all have jet packs and hover cars and we would be vacationing on the moon. It’s 2012. I don’t have a jet pack, I don’t have a hover car, I can’t vacation on the moon, and I feel gypped about that.
I’ve never been there, but the moon doesn’t look like a very nice place to visit.
It is a fantastic place for a human outpost. The moon is a very attractive place because it’s outside the earth’s gravity well and there are resources that we can use. It’s part of this whole idea of frontierism that we should be pushing outward from what we know, and then find a way to push out even farther.
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