The Google Lunar X-Prize has announced new Milestone Prizes, which will provide technological stepping stones (and near-term financial help) for teams that are competing for the $30 million grand prize.
Five teams have been selected to compete as finalists for the Milestone Prizes, which have a total purse of $6 million to be awarded this year.
Winning the $30-million Google Lunar X-Prize requires landing a probe on the surface of the Moon, moving at least 500 meters on the surface, and sending back specified data. Teams have been struggling to come up with funding for the competition, though. As a result, the X-Prize Foundation has been tweaking the rules to help competitors along.
The new Milestone Prizes and selected teams are:
- The $1,000,0000 Landing System Milestone Prize for demonstration of hardware and software that would enable a soft-landing on the moon. Astrobotic, Moon Express, and Team Indus will compete.
- The $500,000 Mobility Subsystem Milestone Prize for development of a mobility system that allows a craft to move 500 meters after landing. Astrobotic, Moon Express, Hakuto, and Part-Time Scientists will compete.
- The $250,000 Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prize for a system to transmit high-quality images and video from the lunar surface. Astrobotic, Moon Express, Part-Time Scientists, and Team Indus will compete.
Multiple teams can win each Milestone Prize.