NASA Buys Data from Google Moon Hopefuls

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NASA will spend $1,500,000 to buy design data from three private teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the U.S. space agency announced Jan. 5.

The recipients — Astrobotic Technology Inc. of Pittsburgh, Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., and Moon Express Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., — were among the six companies NASA selected in October to participate in the agency’s Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) project, awarding indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts entitling the companies to compete for $30.1 million NASA plans to spend on lunar data over five years.

Following those awards, ILDD contractors were asked to identify their top mission risks and submit plans for delivering data associated with a critical component demonstration test that addressed one or more of the identified risks.

Astrobotic, Dynetics and Moon Express will each receive $500,000 to provide NASA with data capturing the test results.