Space

Google’s partner fund refused to pay $ 30 million following a ten-year “lunar contest”

None of its members was able to complete their project on time.


Lunokhod team Hakuto, published in the final Google Lunar X Prize. Google Photos

The X Prize Foundation announced that none of the participants of the Google Lunar X Prize “lunar contest”, organized with the support of the technology company of the same name, will receive prizes and the title of winner. The total withheld amount was about $ 30 million.

Representatives of the fund clarified that the decision was made after consulting with five finalist teams. According to the participants, two months before the end of the competition, none of them was ready for the main task of the project – the launch of a research apparatus on the moon.

X Prize added that they were satisfied with the project, even though there was no winner: the competition allowed creating hundreds of jobs in many countries, and projects launched within its framework attracted more than $ 300 million in investments.

Google Lunar X Prize project started in 2007 and was supposed to be completed in 2014, but was extended four times at the request of the participants. Five teams reached the final: Moon Express (USA), SpaceIL (Israel), TeamIndus (India), Hakuto (Japan) and the international team Synergy Moon. All of them have entered into space launch contracts with rocket companies.

The only team that built its own lunar rover was Hakuto. Its participants decided to act together with rivals from India, using their landing module for landing. However, TeamIndus, as well as SpaceIL, could not fully finance its project.

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