Publicado: Jue, Enero 25, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Antrix, TeamIndus terminate launch services agreement

Antrix, TeamIndus terminate launch services agreement

After 10 long years, the Google-sponsored competition to land a robot on the moon for millions of dollars will end without a victor. The official confirmation came through an update on XPrize's official website.

Lunar XPrize was financed by Google and initially had more than 25 participating teams.

Organizers of an global lunar probe contest say the competition is likely to end in March without a victor, as none of the participating teams will be able to meet the deadline.

The X Prize Foundation, which launched the Google Lunar X Prize in 2007, revealed in a blog post that the five remaining teams competing for a $30 million grand prize wouldn't be able to attempt a launch by the project's final deadline of March 31, 2018.

The foundation says it expected "a victor by now" but remaining fundraising, technical and regulatory hurdles mean the Lunar Xprize "will go unclaimed". There is also a $3 million prize for transmitting data from the moon after a soft landing on the lunar surface.

"We are inspired by the progress of the Google Lunar X Prize teams and will continue to support their journey, one way or another, and will be there to help shine the spotlight on them when they achieve that momentous goal", Diamandis and Shingles said in today's statement.

Awarded $6 Mn prize money to teams during the competition in recognition of milestones achieved. Although the competition went winner-less, the hard work that the teams put on during the completion raised hopes about a cheaper lunar mission in future. They also recognize that the teams working to win the competition are possibly close to actually launching and suggest that the competition could continue on either with a new sponsor supplying the prize money or as a non-cash competition. The deadline for completing the mission has been extended many times in the past.

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"We respect the decision by the organisers to not extend the competition deadline any further and thank them for having created an unique platform that unleashed innovation, created newer technologies and drew in teams from various backgrounds to solve problems of enabling human exploration beyond the Earth orbit", TeamIndus said in a separate statement. Landing on the Moon and exploring space is no longer limited to a select group of government agencies, according to the organizers.

Team Indus founder and head Rahul Narayanan said that it was apparent to them in December that the mission would not happen in the set time frame.

Moon Express is one of a handful of companies planning to do business on the moon.

"It was a mutually agreed closure not a termination", Narayanan, said of the contract with Antrix, ISRO's commercial arm.?He added that the company did not want to rush to meet the March deadline and make mistakes along the way.

They said it's incredibly hard to land on the Moon.

Richards, in his op-ed, also praised the achievements of the competition and said he would be interested if the foundation kept this prize alive in some way or offered future lunar-themed competitions.

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