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Who will bag the $20 million price money on Google’s Lunar XPRIZE competition?

Who will bag the $20 million price money on Google’s Lunar XPRIZE competition?

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In Summary

A decade-old quest for the robotic lunar voyage by Google is closing its end. The five finalist on the list has time till 31st December 2017 to send their spacecraft to the Moon. The winner will bag a cool $20 million dollar as the prize money. 

Editor Posted by Ansheed
31/01/2017

Moon is the only celestial body in this solar system where humans were able to set foot. Since 1959 after Soviet’s Luna 2 Mission, the quest for moon voyages experienced an immense fire which finally fueled the drive to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in the Apollo 11 mission. With increasing fascination, the moon journey has now been the highlight for many billion dollar corporations. Google, has announced the Lunar XPRIZE competition back in 2007 with the hunt for innovators to send a robotic spacecraft to the moon.  Out of 16 teams who made it until this point, Google announced 5 finalists last week to brace the seat belts for the Moon voyage.

Fuel the drive

The sole purpose of such a competition is simply ain’t entertainment, but to motivate the audience to step into the field of space science to grab more opportunities and contribute new ideas on the space expedition which will help the mankind graze new meadows in the universe. Google had announced a prize money of $20 million for the winner which will fuel the drive in other aviation startups to try coups which once thought to be the private pride of Governmental bodies. With more youngsters and startup’s being attracted to space science the probability of science expansion has increased exponential, so does the competition too.

The Five Finalist’s

Of 16 genius teams, 5 of them managed to embrace the final stage of Lunar XPRIZE competition. They are:

  1. SpaceIL from Tel Aviv Israel with a hopper craft.
  2. Moon Express from Cape Canaveral, Florida, US also with a hopper lander.
  3. Synergy Moon which is an international conglomeration with their own rocket launching system.
  4. Team Indus from Bangalore India led by Rahul Narayan which will be launched using India’s pride PSLV-XL, an ISRO veteran carrier.
  5. Hakuto from Japan with a dual rover system who will tug along with Team Indus.

The final challenge

To make the quest really challenging all the spacecraft are assigned with a challenge to land their spacecraft remotely on the moon surface, which has to travel atleast 500 m or 1640ft across the lunar surface before they can transmit  HD images and video back to the base station. One of the major headaches were the developmental phase and launching contract for many participants. However, all finalist managed to assign a launch contract with companies or space agencies before 31st December 2016. So it’s just the matter months to see how our young generation would amaze the science connoisseurs.

Source:

Science alert