The grand prize of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE will go unclaimed.
Google had twice extended the deadline by two years. Originally the target date was 2014. Google has chosen not to extend the date a third time.
Five teams, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, TeamIndus, and HAKUTO have each secured a contract to launch their spacecraft.
Over the course of this competition:
* Teams and the companies that own the teams have raised more than $300 million through corporate sponsorships, government contracts and venture capital, including the largest space-related series A investment of $90 million;
* Hundreds of jobs were created and the first commercial space companies were established in India, Malaysia, Israel and Hungary;
* Through educational programs, we have engaged hundreds of thousands of young people across the globe, sparking an interest in exploration and STEM fields;
* We have also seen regulatory reform: one team received the first-ever ‘Mission Approval’ from the U.S. government to send a private spacecraft beyond Earth’s orbit and to the Moon in their quest to complete their first lunar mission;
* We have already awarded more than $6 million in prize money to teams over the course of the competition, in recognition of the milestones they have accomplished
If every XPRIZE competition we launch has a winner, we are not being audacious enough, and we will continue to launch competitions that are literal or figurative moonshots, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Moon Express could send missions late in 2018.