Google Lunar X Prize Deadline Likely to Be Extended One Year

1-Year Deadline Extension Proposed for Google Lunar X Prize
Space News
April 12, 2010

Teams competing for $30 million in awards as part of the Google Lunar X Prize are likely to have one additional year to reach the lunar surface and win the $20 million grand prize under a set of proposed rules issued to competitors. The proposed extension is being welcomed by many of the teams involved in the competition who face the daunting task of raising money for their efforts in a difficult financial environment.

Under preliminary Google Lunar X Prize rules, which are still under review and are expected to be finalized by summer, teams would have until Dec. 31, 2013 to reach the lunar surface, travel 500 meters and send back a data package before the first-place award decreases from $20 million to $15 million, said Will Pomerantz, senior director of space prizes for the X Prize Foundation of Playa Vista, Calif. Originally, the prize money was set to decrease to $15 million after Dec. 31, 2012.

The rules are not expected to change for the second team to reach the Moon and complete the mission. That team still would receive $5 million, and the final deadline to receive prize money would remain the same: Dec. 31, 2014, Pomerantz said. The competition includes another $5 million in prizes for teams who complete additional tasks such as traveling more than 5,000 meters and sending back imagery of Apollo mission artifacts.

Google Lunar X Prize officials are proposing an extension for the grand prize award because it has taken them longer than expected to finalize the detailed rules for the competition. When any X Prize is announced, the rules are somewhat vague. That gives the teams who enter the competition a chance to offer suggestions and comments on the proposed plan, Pomerantz said.

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