The Google Lunar X Prize competition has narrowed down the competition to five teams, eliminating 11 others.
Five teams have been chosen in a competition to send the first private spacecraft to the lunar surface. The Google Lunar X Prize competition has eliminated 11 other teams as they move forward with the intention of launching a spacecraft to the moon by Dec. 31, 2017, and explore its surface.
It’s quite an ambitious project, and the five teams trying to win the contest are SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Hakuto, the X Prize Foundation announced this week. The groups are from all around the globe, and each were able to secure a verified launch contract before the end of 2016, according to various reports.
SpaceIL was the first to get a verified contract, landing a deal to put its lunar lander, the Sparrow, as a secondary payload on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets in the second half of 2017. Moon Express was the next group to do it, and the team hopes to mine the moon for its resources. It will launch on a smaller experimental rocket from a startup called Rocket Lab.
Here is a statement from the X Prize Foundation on the teams moving forward: “Five teams, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Hakuto have each secured a contract to launch their spacecraft. They are now authorized to move forward in the challenge, kicking off the next exciting phase of the competition.”