Finally, the wait is over – Google has announced the finalists of the Lunar XPRIZE competition. Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The search engine giant revealed five finalists who are qualified for the final phase of the competition by securing launch contracts in 2016.
The final five qualified teams include: –
Team SpaceIL: –
An Israeli non-profit developing a dishwasher-sized spacecraft that can explore the moon by taking big hops instead of driving around like a rover. The XPRIZE website states that “SpaceIL was the first team to receive verification and approval of their launch contract to move forward in the competition.”
Moon Express: –
This is a very strong contender from the US, with two milestone prizes, and it wants to use the moon’s resources for humanity. More interestingly, the company signed a three-launch contract with Rocket Lab USA for 2020.
Synergy Moon: –
This is made of the people who plan to send a lander and a rover to earth’s faithful companion aboard an Interorbital Systems rocket.
This is another milestone prize winner of Google XPRIZE from India. TeamIndus will launch theirs with the help of the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which is planned for December 28, 2017.
Team Hakuto: –
This team is from Japan which signed a rideshare deal with TeamIndus of India for proposing its two Rover systems to the moon.
Google Xprize Lunar assured the space lovers that they will create and land a privately funded spacecraft on the lunar surface.
According to Google, “You don’t have to be a government superpower to send a mission to the moon.” And following this claim, Google has been giving out millions in milestone prizes for years now.