Google Lunar XPrize deadline extended to 2016
Teams competing for the Google Lunar XPrize have been given some significant leeway to develop their projects, with the final deadline now pushed back to 2016. According to the competition’s judges, there’s been significant progress towards completing the lofty goal, with US$6 million in funding to be awarded in January 2015.
The Lunar XPrize, for those not in the know, is a timed challenge for private teams to successfully land a robot on the Moon. While that in itself might sound like a big enough ask, the competition also requires entrants' creations to travel 500 m (1,640 ft) on, below or above the surface and transmit HD video from our celestial companion.
For any team that can achieve those steps, there’s a $20 million grand prize waiting for them. Projects only qualify if less than 10 percent of their funding comes from the government, and everything has to be achieved before the deadline. While the initial cutoff for completing the challenge was set at December 31, 2015, its creators have since reassessed the magnitude of the task.
"We know the mission we are asking teams to accomplish is extremely difficult and unprecedented, not only from a technological standpoint, but also in terms of the financial considerations," said XPrize vice chairman and president, Robert K. Weiss. The new deadline for completion is now Decemeber 31, 2016, giving teams an extra year to make it to the Moon and satisfy the terms of the competition.
Google Lunar XPrize