Moon Express, a company developing commercial lunar landers, said July 12 its first mission is still on schedule to launch by the end of this year in a bid to win the Google Lunar X Prize.
Moon Express announced Jan. 13 that it has closed a $20 million financing round, giving the company sufficient funds for an attempt to win the Google Lunar X Prize later this year.
The French space agency, CNES, will supply two spacecraft cameras to a team from India competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, and has tightened its partnership with India to study reusable launch technology.
Teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, facing an end-of-the-year deadline to obtain a verified launch contract, may not know until some time in January if they will be able to continue in their race to the moon.
Team Hakuto, a Japanese group competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, announced Dec. 20 it has a verified contract to fly its rover on another team’s lander in 2017 after its initial partner dropped out of the competition.
TeamIndus, an Indian team competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, announced Dec. 1 it has a launch contract for its lunar lander mission with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The organization running the Google Lunar X Prize said Sept. 27 it has no plans to extend an impending deadline for launch contracts that most teams are currently in danger of missing.
The X Prize Foundation announced Dec. 8 that it has verified a launch contract announced in October by Moon Express, making the company the second with an approved deal to participate in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition to land spacecraft on the moon.
Astrobotic Technology, a Pittsburgh-based company competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, announced Oct. 27 it will fly another team’s rover to the moon on its mission, now planned for late 2017.
An Israeli team participating in the Google Lunar X Prize competition has a contract to launch its spacecraft on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2017, the first launch contract officially confirmed by the prize’s organizers.