XPrize ends its $30 million race to moon without a victor

XPrize ends its $30 million race to moon without a victor

Despite the previous deadline extension and the fact that these teams may be ready to launch next year, Google has announced that there will be no extension to the March 31st deadline.

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 victor. The prize of 20 million dollars would go to a team if its rover travels on the Moon's surface first by March 31st and sends videos and photos back to Earth.

The money also covered the cost of "operating the prize", said Chanda Gonzales Mowrer, the prize lead.

Spaceflight Insider contacted the XPRIZE Foundation and they replied with the following statement from Peter H. Diamandis, Founder & Executive Chairman, XPRIZE & Marcus Shingles, Chief Executive Officer, XPRIZE.

There were 5 contenders for the Google Lunar XPRIZE prize:SPACEIL from Israel, Moon Express from USA, Synergy Moon, an worldwide team, Hakuto from Japan and Team Indus from India.

It is official. India's fist private commercial moon mission has been called off. Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on Wednesday announced that its launch service agreement with Bengaluru-based tech startup TeamIndus has been mutually terminated.

The foundation says it expected "a victor by now" but remaining fundraising, technical and regulatory hurdles mean the Lunar Xprize "will go unclaimed".

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The organizers at the X Prize Foundation conceded that none of the five remaining entrants have a chance of getting off the ground by the deadline at the end of March.

The first team to do this would win the $20 million grand prize.

The competition started with more than 25 teams. XPrize also said that although the competition is over, it will continue to support the Google Lunar XPrize teams in their journey and it will be there to shine the spotlight on them when they achieve their momentous goal of landing on the moon.

Despite not being able to announce a victor, the competition was still a success in the organizers' eyes, and sparked a conversation regarding who can land on the Moon, they wrote. In January 2017, SpaceIL was listed as one of the five finalists of the X Prize competition. They said they are disappointed to have no victor this time, but that they are proud of the impact that the Google Lunar Xprize has achieved so far.

XPRIZE is exploring other avenues to keep the competition alive. Needless to say, the company is still planning to launch a spacecraft next year.

While Google's work with the Lunar XPrize is finished, it's still possible that the competition could be resurrected in some other form.

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