The Google Lunar Xprize competition will end without a winner

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,753   +140
Staff member

The Google Lunar Xprize competition will end on a dull note as it was revealed on Tuesday that no team would meet the proposed March 31, 2018 launch deadline. As such, the grand prize will go unclaimed.

Google in 2007 sponsored a space competition organized by the X Prize Foundation. The first team to land a privately-funded rover on the Moon, travel 500 meters and transmit HD video and images of the milestone back to Earth would win the grand prize of $20 million. The second team to do so was promised a reward of $5 million.

On Tuesday, the X Prize Foundation said that after consulting with the five finalists over the past several months, they have concluded that no team would be ready to launch a spacecraft by the March 31, 2018.

It’s a disappointing end to a competition that debuted to much fanfare more than a decade ago. The foundation over the years had extended the deadline on multiple occasions and it was expected that a winner would have emerged by now.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed the news with CNBC, saying they do not have plans to extend the deadline again but that they were thrilled with the progress that has been made by the competitors over the last 10 years.

The X Prize Foundation said it is exploring ways to proceed from here. Possibilities include finding a new title sponsor to follow “in the footsteps of Google’s generosity” or continuing on as a non-cash competition.

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alabama man

Posts: 563   +355
20$million... If it was that cheap billionaires would have put it full of ads already. And don't you need any permits to launch stuff in to space and won't those cost more than the 20$ price? What about insurance, don't you need one for you amateur rocket or is it just outright illegal to make one without being in nasa? At least here in europe I bet you couldn't launch **** but this was probably written in basic US format as in world is US and everybody mean everybody in US.

" “in the footsteps of Google’s generosity”"
They weren't generous, if they found a winner they would use his tech to launch ads into space. They only care about money as companies should, acting like any company cared about anything else is stupid.

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,478   +7,315
It's doubtful that $20M would even cover the cost of the hardware and as for advertising, Google has already gotten a boat load from this proposal .... Make it a solid $1 billion and I'll bet we would see a bit more interest!


Posts: 6,978   +5,494
As I see it, this is likely partly due to gagme underestimating the technical complexity of such a task. Give any participants, if there were any, another two or three years and they might make it off the ground.

Also, gagme seems to think that they can just wave their magic wand and things appear out of vapor. As I see it, they should take a clue from their self-driving car project as the complexity of this lander is likely, IMO, to be as if not more complex.

NASA's Apollo program had something like 500,000 employees working on it. To expect a small company to do something like this on the whim of a prize at this point in humanity's technological development is almost like expecting humans to walk on water IMO.


Posts: 685   +441
Further evidence that NASA is a Swiss cheese of propaganda and lies. They can't even get Pi right, much less explain orbital dynamics or why their launches always went so sour for so long.

Everyone thinks you can just fly straight up to the moon and land on it. You cannot do either with that kind of attitude.