After 10 long years, the Google-sponsored competition to land a robot on the moon for millions of dollars will end without a winner.

The XPrize foundation, which hosted the competition in collaboration with Google, announced Tuesday that the grand prize of $30 million will go unclaimed since none of the five teams will be able to reach the moon by the March 31st deadline. While the nonprofit said that it “did expect a winner by now,” it may move forward with a new sponsor to fund a prize if possible or reframe the Lunar XPrize as a non-cash competition.

A decade ago, teams were challenged to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon, move the device around the surface for at least 500 meters, and then send photos and video back to Earth. The deadline was pushed back several times, but XPrize finally decided to halt the competition “due to the difficulties of fundraising, technical and regulatory challenges.”

XPrize argues that it still succeeded in some ways because it “sparked the conversation and changed expectations with regard to who can land on the Moon.” Indeed, a number of private spaceflight companies such …read more

Source:: Fortune.com – Tech

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