Google Lunar Xprize: Moon Express now a Finalist in the CompetitionBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Moon Express, the first spacecraft from the US to land on the moon after 1972, has just recently made it to the top five finalists of the $30 million Google Lunar Xprize competition. The Silicon Valley company will attempt to place a spacecraft on the moon that will be able to travel on its surface and transmit high definition images and videos, according to NPR.
The Google Lunar Xprize competition offers $20 million to the first ever company who will be able to do this successfully. Five private companies are now racing to create a working spacecraft that can land on the moon unmanned and they have until the end of the year to be able to do this.
Naveen Jain, the co-founder and chairman of Moon Express, said in a media interview that landing on the moon is only the beginning. Their team considers the moon as an eighth continent of the earth that is rich with natural resources that have been collected over the years with all the asteroids that have been hitting the moon.
He explained that their ultimate goal is to be able to create a multi planetary society because it is only going to be a matter of time before we get hit by an asteroid. This is why he said that the rocket is a commodity and there are now several companies that are building rockets.
The team was able to manage to implement state of the art technology to help them prepare for the moon mission with $7 million as a budget, but team has received a fresh funding with the amount of $20 million, News Nation reported.
Apart from the $20 million prize for the competition, Google Lunar Xprize will also be giving away $5 million dollars as a bonus to the team who will be able to complete additional tasks on the surface of the moon.