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Lunar X Prize Could Continue Without Google, or Even the Prizes

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-04-05 17:38:35
Techonomics

Although the Google Lunar X Prize [wikipedia.org] ended without any teams landing rovers on the Moon, some teams still intended to complete the mission. Now the X Prize Foundation has announced that the competition will continue without prize money [theverge.com], although a new sponsor could change that:

Just a few days after the Google Lunar X Prize [theverge.com] ended without a winner, the X Prize Foundation announced today [xprize.org] that it's relaunching its competition to send a private spacecraft to the Moon. The competition will be "non-cash," meaning it won't have prize money for whichever team first completes its mission to the lunar surface — at least for now. The foundation is looking for a new sponsor that can replace Google and provide funding.

"We are extraordinarily grateful to Google for funding the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE between September 2007 and March 31st, 2018. While that competition is now over, there are at least five teams with launch contracts that hope to land on the Lunar surface in the next two years," Peter H. Diamandis, X Prize founder and executive chairman, said in a statement [xprize.org]. "Because of this tremendous progress, and near-term potential, XPRIZE is now looking for our next visionary Title Sponsor who wants to put their logo on these teams and on the lunar surface."

One of the teams, Moon Express, had contracted with Rocket Lab to launch a payload to the Moon using an Electron rocket, but Rocket Lab only reached Earth orbit for the first time in January 2018 [soylentnews.org].

Previously: Moon Express and Rocket Lab Team Up for 2017 Lunar Mission [soylentnews.org]
Google Lunar XPrize Deadline Revised; New Prizes Available [soylentnews.org]


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