The recent announcement from Google is very interesting. In essence, Google is creating competition to government-funded NASA, with respect to moon exploration. This could also be a new trend towards private enterprises taking greater interest in inventing on scientific projects which were only in the realm of governments.
I have mixed emotions about this - on one side, I feel that there is lot more to be done on Earth before we start focusing on the moon. For instance, health in Africa and poverty in the developing world, need quick effective solutions. I am not suggesting that Google should solve these issues, but, maybe it can create some sort of an economic model that incentivizes innovation that solves third-world problems. On the other hand, I am glad that Google is continuously innovating and destabilizing the accepted world-order on many facets of our daily lives.