There remained only five teams which are fighting for supremacy in their competition to launch a spacecraft to the moon this year. These teams are all privately funded, and they have secured launch contracts bound to help them prepare spaceships to set off for the moon. On January 24, these teams were announced by the contest organizers. All the five groups are competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.
- Five teams are the finalists of the competition for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.
- The first team which will land a spacecraft on the moon, capturing photos and videos sending them to Earth will win the big prize.
- The second team which will accomplish the same tasks will get $5 million GLXP.
Among the five teams, there were listed the Florida-based Moon Express, the international outfit Synergy Moon, Hakuto of Japan, India’s Team Indus and Israel’s SpaceIL. Eleven other teams were also part of the competition, but they were disqualified since they did not manage to lock up a verified launch deal by December 31, 2016.
Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, the senior director of GLXP, stated that they were very happy to welcome the five groups of scientists which accomplished the task. The GLXP is bound to offer $20 million to the first team which will succeed in landing the spaceship on the moon, drives it 500 meters, and it also has a vehicle beam bound to send high-end photos and videos to Earth. A successful launching must happen until December 31, 2017, so that the team could win the prize.
The second group of scientist which will be able to accomplish the same task by the deadline will win $5 million. An additional amount of money of $5 million will also be available to reward any particular achievement, bringing the total sum at $30 million. Moon Express has signed a contract to use Rocket Lab USA’s Electron booster while SpaceIL is also bound to use a SpaceX Falcon 9 craft to fly it to the moon.
Synergy Moon is prone to use a rocket from Interorbital Systems named Neptune 8 craft, and Team Indus will fly aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle of the Indian Space Research Organisation. This craft will also carry the rover of Hakuto team as part of an agreement. The organizers from GLXP had also noted that the 16 teams which were left in the competition until the ultimate disposal will be able to split the Diversity Prize consisting of $1 million.
This award was bound to reward groups of scientists for encouraging diversity in fields like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
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