Google Lunar X-Prize Selects 5 Milestone Winners

Team Indus Volumetric Model Credit : Team Indus

Team Indus Volumetric Model
Credit : Team Indus

China’s Jade Rabbit may have company yet.  After a slow start which saw many of the teams stymied by the multiple challenges of putting together a credible entry in the Google Lunar X-Prize contest.  GLXP altered the rules last year to allow for the insertion of milestone prizes totaling $6 million aimed at helping leading teams get over some of the financial hurdles while maturing their design as the 2015 deadline approaches.   Here are the winners. Press Release: Los Angeles, CA (February 19, 2014) — The Google Lunar XPRIZE announced today the five international teams selected as finalists for Milestone Prizes, with a total purse of $6 million to be awarded this year. After reviewing 33 total submissions, the nine member independent judging panel selected 11 submissions from the following teams: Astrobotic (US), Moon Express (US), Hakuto (Japan), Part-Time-Scientists (Germany), and Team Indus (India). The Milestone Prizes were added to recognize the technological achievements and the associated financial hurdles faced by the teams as they vie for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon. The three categories of Milestone Prizes are as follows, along with which teams are competing: Landing System Milestone Prize: $1,000,000 per team – based on the hardware and software that enables a soft-landing on the moon (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Team Indus) Mobility Subsystem Milestone Prize: $500,000 per team – based on the mobility system that allows the craft to move 500 meters after landing (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Hakuto, Part-Time-Scientists) Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prize: $250,000 per team – based on producing “Mooncasts” consisting of high-quality images and video on the lunar surface (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Part-Time-Scientists, Team Indus) In order to compete for the Milestone Prizes, teams had to submit documentation to the judging panel, defining the key technical risks they face and how they intend to retire them. Selected teams must now accomplish the milestones outlined in their submissions through testing and mission simulations under the scrutiny of the judges, in order to win the prizes. Teams have until September 2014 to complete the prize requirements and the winners will be announced on an ongoing basis throughout 2014. The full press release is here:

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