Moon race continues without Google’s Lunar XPrize

By: Bloomberg |
Published: March 13, 2018 10:13 pm

Last year, overall investment in space startups by venture capitalists climbed to a record .8 billion, according research firm CB Insights. (Image Source: Bloomberg)

Google called off its race to the moon weeks ago, when it became clear no private explorer would complete the trip by the March 31 deadline. That won’t stop at least three teams from Israel, Japan and the US, who say their missions are still a go, with or without the contest’s $20 million prize. “We are full steam ahead,” said Yigal Harel, program director at SpaceIL, the Israeli team that plans a soft-landing on the moon later this year.

When the Lunar XPrize was introduced in 2007, interest in moon exploration was at a low. No government had landed there since the 1970s and no businesses had seriously contemplated it. But the…

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