The GLXP is Dead! Long Live the GLXP!

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

This past week, the XPrize acknowledged the obvious:  after 10 years and multiple deadline extensions, none of the five remaining teams was going to claim the Google Lunar X Prize by landing a privately-built vehicle on the moon that would travel 500 meters across the surface while sending back high-definition video.

The first team to accomplish that goal would have claimed $20 million; the second, $5 million. But, unlike the moon race of the 1960’s, Google’s much hyped moon shot ended not with the deafening roar of a launch but the deadening silence of a dream deferred.

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GLXP Update: Parabolic Archers Called It!

Congratulations are in order for Parabolic Arc readers! Or at least the 59 percent of you who voted correctly in our latest poll.

That’s the percentage of voters who chose “None of the Above” on the question of  who would win the Google X Prize. And wouldn’t you know it, last week the X Prize announced that the prize was ending without any winner.

So, kudos to you guys. Each and everyone one of you are a regular Ed Glosser.

As for the rest of you losers….21 percent voted for Moon Express, 9 percent of Team Indus, and 3 percent for Synergy Moon.

I’ve put in a new poll up on what will happen to Jim Bridenstine’s nomination to lead NASA.

Remember: vote early. Vote often. Vote as if your life depended on it. Because it does.

Seriously. I’ll explain later.

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Is the Google Lunar X Prize Kaput?

Lunar rover (Credit: TeamIndus)

It appears highly likely that the decade-old Google Lunar X Prize will end on March 31 without a winner following reports out of India that Team Indus has pulled out of the race. The Ken reports that

The launch contract that TeamIndus signed with Antrix Corporation—the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)—in December 2016, in pursuit of its $30-million Google Lunar XPRIZE goal, has been cancelled. Multiple sources within Isro confirmed the news….

Conservatively speaking, the price tag for the PSLV chartered launch alone is said to be upwards of $20 million; the cost of building and testing the moon rover is several million more. It’s learnt TeamIndus couldn’t pony up funds to pay Antrix beyond the initial signing amount. “Isro has cancelled the contract for a lack of compliances and payment issues,” says a person who is close to these developments. He says, “Rahul [Narayan, co-founder TeamIndus] has spoken to all on the floor recently and informed all of Isro’s decision of pulling out of the mission”. TeamIndus did not respond to questions sent by email. Without denying the news, a spokesperson for the company said, “As a company, we’d not comment on this”.

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Time Running Out to Win Google Lunar X Prize

Lunar rover (Credit: TeamIndus)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The clock is ticking for the remaining teams in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition.

Barring another extension, they have until March 31 to land a vehicle on moon and travel 500 meters across it to claim the $20 million first prize or $5 million second prize. It’s not clear whether any of them will make the deadline.

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GLXP Update: XPRIZE Verifies Launch Agreement for Team SYNERGY MOON

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay, California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
The moon rising over Half Moon Bay, California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

LOS ANGELES (XPRIZE PR) — Today, XPRIZE officially verified Team SYNERGY MOON’s launch agreement as part of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition for privately funded teams to land an unmanned spacecraft on the surface of the moon by December 31, 2017. The SYNERGY MOON mission will use a NEPTUNE 8 rocket, built and launched by Interorbital Systems, to carry a lunar lander and at least one rover to the surface of the moon, launching from an open-ocean location off the California coast during the second half of 2017.

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Team Synergy Moon Announces Launch Schedule

VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)
VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)

SAN FRANCISCO (Team Synergy Moon PR) — Team Synergy Moon, with team partner Interorbital Systems announced their 2016/2017 launch plans at this year’s Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams Summit Conference, held last month at Google and YouTube HQ in Tokyo, Japan.  Unlike the other 15 GLXP Teams, Synergy Moon is developing their own Launch Vehicle with team partner Interorbital Systems, led by team members Rod and Randa Milliron, and will not be seeking a launch contract with any other commercial launch provider.

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GLXP Update: Team Synergy Moon Moves Forward

VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)
VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)

SAN FRANCISCO (Team Synergy Moon PR) — 2015 started with a BANG! as the Google Lunar X PRIZE awarded $6Million in Milestone Prizes.  Team Synergy Moon has also been busy, with lots of development work happening at Interorbital Systems for our launch infrastructure, launch vehicle and lunar lander.

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GLXP Update: Team Synergy Moon Announces T & L Publications as DIY/STEAM Outreach Sponsor

nuts_and_volts_logoSan Francisco (Team Synergy Moon PR) – Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Synergy Moon announces T & L Publications as our DIY/STEAM Outreach Sponsor.

T & L Publications is an American consumer-magazine publisher serving Hobbyist Electronics, Robotics, and Science & Technology enthusiasts. Their focus and readership is a perfect match for Synergy Moon’s Do-It-Yourself methodologies focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) through the lens of civilian space exploration. T & L Publications produces and operates Nuts & Volts and SERVO magazines.

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