WASHINGTON – One year after a $ 20 million prize money expires, a team from the former Google Lunar X Prize competition could still receive a smaller consolation prize when it lands on the moon next month.
The X-Prize Foundation was announced March 28 that it will offer a competitor a "Moonshot Award" of $ 1 million, "which demonstrates that a technical feat is" Moonshot "outside the context or the timeframe of an X – Prize Contest. The organization said if its Beresheet spacecraft can successfully land on the lunar surface next month. Launched in February in an elliptical transfer train as a secondary payload on a Falcon 9, the spaceship is on course on April 4 to break in the moon. The landing was scheduled for April 1
SpaceIL was one of the many teams – at a time that was more than two dozen – that competed for the Google Lunar X prize. The contest offered the first privately-developed spaceship that landed on the moon traveling at least 500 meters across the surface and returning images and videos, priced at $ 20 million.
The X-Prize Foundation announced the 2007 competition with an original It is planned to lower the grand prize to $ 15 million if no team wins by the end of 2012 and then expires by the end of 2014. The foundation subsequently extended the deadline several times, but in January 2018 announced the end of the competition in March 2018, after Google, the price sponsor, refused to expand it.
"Although the Google Lunar X prize has not been exhausted, we are pleased to have inspired a large number of teams from around the world to pursue their ambitious moon missions. We are proud to announce the achievements of SpaceIL with this Moonshot Anousheh Ansari, CEO of the X Prize Foundation, said in a statement.
The Foundation did not disclose the source of funding, or if other former competitors are eligible, if SpaceIL fails figured this out with an "opening award" and would "consider future Moonshot Awards in other areas, both literal and figurative lunar shots."
Although no team won the grand prize, the Foundation awarded a total of $ 5.25 million in "milestone prices." In 2015, five teams involved in imaging, landing or mobility systems needed for their countries, Fo achieved. These included Astrobotic and Moon Express in the United States, part-time scientists in Germany, Team Hakuto in Japan and Team Indus in India.
These organizations continue their plans for Lunar Landers even after the end of the original X-Prize contest. Astrobotic and Moon Express are among the nine companies that received NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) awards last November. This entitles them to transport NASA payloads on commercial land to the moon. The Japanese company iSpace, the mother of team Hakuto, is partner of the other CLPS award winner Draper and pursues its own moonlanders. TeamIndus is part of a team led by OrbitBeyond, which also received a CLPS award.
Although Part-Time Scientists does not work with any CLPS company, it continues to work with a number of sponsors on its own lunar explorer. Israel Aerospace Industries, who built the lander for SpaceIL, is exploring further possibilities for using this system, including a partnership with the German company OHB to investigate its use for European Space Agency missions.
"The mission of SpaceIL is to democratize space exploration. We are confident that this first domino storm will fall and trigger a chain reaction of ever more affordable and repeatable commercial missions to the Moon and beyond, "said Peter Diamandis, founder and CEO of the X Prize Foundation.
Diamandis founded the Foundation, more than two decades ago, to support a single prize, a $ 10 million prize for commercial suborbital spaceflight, later referred to as the Ansari X Prize, SpaceShipOne, a product developed by Scaled Composites and by Paul Allen funded sub-orbital spaceflight, winning the prize in October 2004.
The X-Prize Foundation has now branched out to offer prizes in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to deep-sea exploration Space.