Google extends Lunar X Prize deadline to 2016
When Google launched the Lunar X Prize in 2007, the corporate deliberate to scrap the entire thing if no one nonetheless gained by 2014. Fortunately, the corporate has realized simply how robust (and dear!) it’s to develop a rover, ship it to the moon, drive it 1,640 ft and then transmit “HDTV Mooncasts” again to Earth (whew). So, it is now prolonged the deadline — once more — to December thirty first, 2016, as long as one of many individuals submits a launch plan by December thirty first, 2015. “We all know the mission we’re asking groups to perform is extraordinarily troublesome and unprecedented, not solely from a technological standpoint, but in addition when it comes to the monetary issues,” stated Xprize chairman Robert Okay. Weiss.
Give it some thought this manner: area enterprise has been robust, even for giant, established corporations — what extra for small groups with little funding? Inside this yr alone, one in every of SpaceX’s rocket exploded in the midst of complicated testing, Orbital Sciences’ rocket blew up on its option to the ISS, and Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo disintegrated within the air. SpaceShipTwo, by the best way, was based mostly on SpaceShipOne, which gained Google’s Ansari X Prize in 2004.
Regardless of the delay, Mountain View’s gifting away $6 million in milestone prizes to encourage the members to maintain on enhancing their applied sciences. The primary two for Imaging and Mobility classes value $750,000 in complete have already been gained by the Astrobotic workforce from Carnegie Mellon, although that quantity might be deducted from the $20 million grand prize if they win the competitors.
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