Google had to call off its race to the moon as it noticed that no team would be able to complete the mission within the March 31 deadline. The teams from Japan, Israel, and the USA will nonetheless go for the mission moon.
In 2001 when Google’s Lunar Xprize was introduced, enthusiastic explorers had been hard to come by. It did do so eventually, revealing would-be explorers, although none yet ran for the $20 million prize. Rather, the inspiration that the company wanted to bring in has been seeing its success recently.
At the same time, escaping earth’s gravity has become ten times cheaper than it was 10 years before. One like SpaceX sent a rocket last month that was powerful enough to even lift a fully loaded jumbo-jet.
Among the three teams to go to the moon, the most likely to reach there first is of Israel. The non-profit SpaceIL is funded by Israel Space Agency and Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate. Their plan includes getting a ride in one of the Falcon 9 rockets of SpaceX this year. A man hasn’t landed on the moon for over 55 years now, and the Israeli explorers want to show that the feat is achievable.
The other two teams have planned around business opportunities that include building lunar infrastructure, ferrying supplies to the moon, extracting minerals from its soil, and more. The American Astrobotic Technology and Japanese Ispace aim to make money by hauling scientific pieces of equipment and commercial goods to the moon.
Governments, on the other hand, have been concerned about the moon for years now. US President Trump requested about $900 million of funding for NASA missions to the moon, and this also includes building a space station within the orbit by mid-2020s. China has planned to explore the dark side of the moon that’s yet to be explored, and radio signals can’t be received from.
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