Tags: google lunar xprize | moon race | no winners

No Winner in Google's $30M 'Moon Race'

Image: No Winner in Google's $30M 'Moon Race'
The Japanese Lunar Exploration Team's rover, named SORATO, at the Narita International Airport in Japan on Nov. 19, 2017. SORATO, with four other teams, took part in the Google Lunar XPRIZ race. (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:56 PM

A 10-year-long, Google-sponsored competition offering $30 million to the first privately funded team to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and transmit high-definition video and pictures back to Earth has ended — and there's no winner.

"After close consultation with our five finalist Google Lunar XPRIZE teams over the past several months, we have concluded that no team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 31, 2018 deadline," the organizers said Wednesday.

"This literal 'moonshot' is hard, and while we did expect a winner by now, due to the difficulties of fundraising, technical and regulatory challenges, the grand prize of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE will go unclaimed."

But XPRIZE founder Peter Diamandis and CEO Marcus Shingles say the competition helped "support and catalyze" the commercial space industry.

"As a result of this competition, we have sparked the conversation and changed expectations with regard to who can land on the Moon," they said.

"Many now believe it's no longer the sole purview of a few government agencies, but now may be achieved by small teams of entrepreneurs, engineers, and innovators from around the world.

"We are thankful to the teams for their decade of hard work, and acknowledge that a number of our teams are now, finally building flight ready hardware, contracting with launch providers and are close to being able to make their attempt to land on the Moon."

The five teams attempting to get a workable robot to the moon included: SpaceIL,[8] Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Team Hakuto.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in travel to the moon. The last man to walk on the lunar surface was Apollo 17's Eugene Cernan on Dec. 13, 1972.

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A 10-year-long, Google-sponsored competition offering $30 million to the first privately funded team to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and transmit high-definition video and pictures back to Earth has ended - and there's no winner.
google lunar xprize, moon race, no winners
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2018-56-24
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:56 PM
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