Google this: Israeli scientists eye $20M moon race prize

Posted by K R on

Israeli scientists are confident that their SpaceIL spacecraft will clinch the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE to land an unmanned probe on the moon by the end of next year. SpaceIL is one of the leading contenders among the 16 teams vying for the Lunar XPRIZE. The competition offers a $20 million prize to the first privately-funded team to land a rover on the moon by the end of 2017. After landing on the moon, the craft must move 1,640 feet across the lunar surface and send high-definition pictures (including a selfie) and video back to Earth. The second team to successfully complete the mission will be awarded $5 million. Teams, however, must prove that 90 percent of their mission costs were funded by private sources. Last year SpaceIL signed a launch contract with satellite specialist Spaceflight to carry its moon probe on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The Israeli team's launch is scheduled for the second half of 2017. Rival team Moon Express announced a contract with Rocket Lab last year to launch three robotic spacecraft to land on the Moon starting in 2017. Read More: Fox News

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