The Google Lunar XPrize Is Still Awarding $30 Million To Anyone Who Can Land a Rover on the Moon

Friday, 18 August 2017 - 2:40PM
Space
Technology
Moon
Friday, 18 August 2017 - 2:40PM
The Google Lunar XPrize Is Still Awarding $30 Million To Anyone Who Can Land a Rover on the Moon
Image credit: Google Inc, XPRIZE
If you don't know XPrize, bookmark them—they're the ones who ran the worldwide contest to create a functioning analogue to Star Trek's Tricorder. Now, Google and XPrize are teaming up to award two prize amounts to competing teams capable of achieving two specific feats before March 31, 2018. First, the competitors' "spacecraft must complete one orbit around the moon or enter a direct descent approach to the lunar surface," according to press materials from XPrize. The teams who complete this first half of the contest will win $1.75 million (split amongst them) as part of the Lunar Arrival Milestone Prize. But this is only the start.

The second half of the challenge is the Soft Landing Milestone Prize, where a "spacecraft must transmit data proving it soft-landed on the lunar surface." Whichever teams are able to accomplish this will share a prize of $3 million. Building a craft capable of not only the journey and a landing, but a soft landing (as opposed to a crash landing) will take ingenuity.



These goals are part of the even larger $30 million Grand Prize, which will go to a team capable of sending a robot to the Moon, having it explore for 500 meters, then send high-definition photographs and videos back to Earth. There will even be a small, second-place prize for the second team to complete this. One caveat, however: all of these teams will have to be at least 90% privately funded. These financial and competition-oriented incentives are a massive boost to tangible progress in research and development, as well as the continued passion for space exploration.

The deadline for the prize is March 31st, 2018.
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