The Race is On
Five teams, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, TeamIndus, and HAKUTO have each secured a contract to launch their spacecraft. They are now authorized to move forward in the challenge, kicking off the next exciting phase of the competition.
On October 7, 2015, at a press conference held in Jerusalem, XPRIZE made public that SpaceIL was the first team to receive verification and approval of their launch contract to move forward in the competition.
At this press conference, standing together with the President of Israel, SpaceIL announced that they had secured a “ticket to the moon” on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which is manifested for launch in the second half of 2017. SpaceIL is now one huge step closer to realizing their vision of creating an “Apollo moment” in Israel, and inspiring a new generation to pursue Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM).
On December 8, 2015, XPRIZE made public that Moon Express was the second team to receive verification and approval of their launch contract to move forward in the competition.
Moon Express is contracted with rocket Lab USA, and their lunar mission is scheduled to take place in 2017 using the MX-1E lunar lander on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. Moon Express’ near term goal is to provide low-cost missions to the moon for science and commerce, and their long term goal is to unlock lunar resources for the benefit of humanity.
Team Synergy Moon Becomes Third Google Lunar XPRIZE Team to Receive Approval for 2017 Lunar Mission
Synergy Moon’s team member, Interorbital Systems, will serve as the launch provider, using a NEPTUNE 8 rocket to carry a lunar lander and rover to the surface of the Moon from an open-ocean location off the California coast during the second half of 2017.
TeamIndus is the Fourth Google Lunar XPRIZE Team to Receive Approval for 2017 Lunar Mission.
TeamIndus signed a commercial launch contract with the Indian Space Research Organization, and will be using a polar satellite launch vehicle. The launch is planned for December 28, 2017.
Team HAKUTO is the Fifth Google Lunar XPRIZE Team to Receive Approval for 2017 Lunar Mission
Team HAKUTO announced that it has signed a rideshare partnership with the India-based competitor, Team Indus, to carry its 4-wheeled rover to the Moon, and now becomes the fifth verified Google Lunar XPRIZE team launching in 2017.