LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced that the deadline for the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE has been officially extended until December 31, 2016. As part of this revised timeline, at least one team must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015, for all teams to move forward in the competition.
“We continue to see significant progress from our Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, most recently demonstrated in the pursuit of the Milestone Prizes, in which teams exhibited substantial technological achievements that will ultimately support their missions,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president, XPRIZE. “We know the mission we are asking teams to accomplish is extremely difficult and unprecedented, not only from a technological standpoint, but also in terms of the financial considerations. It is for this reason that we have decided to extend the competition timeline. We firmly believe that a whole new economy around low-cost access to the Moon will be the result of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.”
To recognize the recent technological achievements made by teams in the areas of Landing, Mobility and Imaging, Google and XPRIZE will be awarding up to $6M in Milestone Prizes on January 26, 2015, at a private event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Two purses have already been announced as Astrobotic (U.S.) has won $500,000 in the Mobility category and $250,000 for their Imaging Subsystem, all determined by a judging panel of science, aeronautics and space industry experts that evaluated numerous field and technology tests over the past year. In addition to Astrobotic, the other teams competing for Milestone Prizes are Hakuto (Japan), Team Indus (India), Moon Express (U.S.) and Part-Time Scientists (Germany).
“Over the past year, the judging panel has been consistently impressed with the progress seen from the five teams selected to contend for the Milestone Prizes,” said David Swanson, chairman, Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel. “It goes without saying that space exploration comes with a myriad of challenges, yet the enthusiasm and teamwork exhibited by these competitors has been second to none, exceeded only by their adept technical expertise. As part of this process, we are pleased to recognize Astrobotic for their achievements in the Mobility and Imaging categories and look forward to awarding additional Milestone Prizes in the coming weeks.”
Competing for the Milestone Prizes is an optional part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE. Teams that chose not to participate in the Milestone Prizes are still eligible to win the Grand or Second Place Prizes. The prize money for the Milestone Prizes will be deducted from any future Grand or Second Place Prize winnings of that team. For more information on the Milestone Prizes, visit http://lunar.xprize.org/about/milestone-prizes.
About the Google Lunar XPRIZE
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, visit http://www.googlelunarxprize.org.