San Francisco CA (SPX) Nov 02, 2010
Moon Express has announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE - a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks.
Team MoonEx, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is among 24 teams from a dozen countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.
Moon Express is also among six U.S. companies award a contract by NASA, the US civil space agency, as part of its $30M Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) program.
The ILDD contract is for the purchase of technical data resulting from industry efforts to develop vehicle capabilities and demonstrate end-to-end robotic lunar landing missions. The data from these contracts will inform NASA in the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles and exploration systems.
"The Google Lunar X PRIZE and NASA's Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data program are very exciting competitions that represent the knee in the curve of opportunity for the commercial lunar industry," said Moon Express Team Leader, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards.
"We are very excited to have Moon Express as one of our Google Lunar X PRIZE teams," remarked William Pomerantz, Senior Director for Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation.
"With NASA already signed on as a customer, Moon Express enters the competition on great footing, and promises to be an extremely strong competitor."
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is a competition to challenge engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
To win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon's surface that explores at least 500 meters (1/3 of a mile) and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth.
The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million Prize.
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