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UNITED STATES 31 Dec 2015 Private race to the Moon meets first deadline

(DATE NOW 2015) the US $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge engineers and entrepreneur

December 1, 2013 - NULL

UNITED STATES 31 Dec 2015 Private race to the Moon meets first deadline

(DATE NOW 2015) the US $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. There are 25 international teams competing. The first privately-funded team to achieve the goal -- placing a robot on the Moon's surface that explores at least 1/3 of a mile (500 meters) and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth will receive the prize. The US $30 million prize from Google disappears

UNITED STATES 31 Dec 2015 Private race to the Moon meets first deadline

(DATE NOW 2015) the US $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. There are 25 international teams competing. The first privately-funded team to achieve the goal -- placing a robot on the Moon's surface that explores at least 1/3 of a mile (500 meters) and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth will receive the prize. The US $30 million prize from Google disappears on 31 Dec 2015 if no team is successful. The odds are long.

The big boom in personal and commercial spaceflight has not yet materialized. The teams must find a ride to the Moon, and the global economic climate is squeezing development of both space transportation and robotic exploration. Recognizing the difficulties, the organizers extended the final date from 2014 to 2015.

The second team will win US $5 million. Teams are also eligible to win a US $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as US $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving 10 times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission.

Although the challenge was announced in 2007 and the teams have been working on their respective rovers, no team is a clear-cut favorite in this competition. The organizers say the goal is to have multiple teams make it all the way to the Moon, rather than a front runner leading all the way, arguing that the pack will increase excitement and lead to "the most healthy and robust marketplace for future consumers of commercial lunar exploration."

The GLXP is an offshoot of the Ansari X PRIZE, a $10 million prize to the first privately financed team that could build and fly a three-passenger vehicle 100 kilometers into space twice within two weeks. In 2004, the prize was awarded to Mojave Aerospace Ventures for their two successful flights on SpaceShipOne.

The United States-based X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit organization best known for "fostering innovation through incentivized competition." (UPDATED DEC 2012)

RELATED READING:

Google Lunar X PRIZE
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/

Date written/update: 2013-12-01