Major setback for Bengaluru’s Team Indus’ Moon mission, Google withdraws $30 million prize money

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New Delhi | Published: January 26, 2018 8:33:55 PM

Google Lunar XPrize has cancelled much-awaited $30million contest to travel the moon.

Team Indus Moon mission, moon, mooon mission, team indus, googleThe global search engine company had promised to reward the first ever private film with million for such a major achievement. (Reuters)

In a huge shock for space research organisations worldwide, Google Lunar XPrize has cancelled much-awaited $30million contest to travel the moon. A Bangalore-based start-up company with Antrix, Team Indus was all set to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon. However, the competition is now all set to end on March 31, without a winner being declared. Google Lunar XPrize had announced the competition in 2007.

The global search engine company had promised to reward the first ever private film with $30million for such a major achievement. It had also announced $5 million with a bonus of 1.75 million for the runners-up team for an orbit around the moon. Another award of $ 3 million was also announced for transmitting data from the moon after landing on the lunar surface.

The Google, however, decided to withdraw the prize money from the contest due to lack of progress and other technical problems. Four other firms, which also included Moon Express also took part in the launch but these countries were not ready for the same within March 31. Earlier, an Israeli company SpaceIL had signed an agreement with Elon Musk’s SpaceX setting up a launch deadline at December 31 last year. It was however extended to March 31, 2018.

Due to this, Team Indus in search for a new sponsor at the moment, which can help them can continue the competition with a cash incentive. The company is backed by big names like Ratan Tata, ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan and Infosys’ Nandan Nilekani.

Despite facing this setback, the company is determined to build a world-class aerospace firm and is working hard to achieve its goal to land on Moon.

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