Two Google Lunar X Prize teams will share a ride to the Moon

A perfect example of people coming together for space exploration
By | Published: December 20, 2016 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
PSLV C23 launched from SDSC SHAR on June 30, 2014

While several teams are working hard to find a ride to the Moon for the Google Lunar X Prize competition, two teams have decided to work together and share a ride.

Team Indus, from India, and HAKUTO, the team from Japan, have agreed to share a ride to the Moon next year despite competing against each other for the same prize.

HAKUTO announced today that it will share a PSLV rocket developed by the Indian Space Research Organization for its four-wheeled lunar rover along with Team Indus and its lunar lander and rover combo.

HAKUTO and Team Indus are two of the 16 teams participating in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, which is an international competition with the goal of sending the first private mission to the Moon. Whichever team is the first to successfully lands a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, moves it up to 1,640 feet (500 meters), and sends back high-definition photos to Earth is the winner.

To make matters a little more difficult, each team cannot use more than 10 percent of government funding and must pay for their missions privately.

Whoever checks off everything on the list first, before December 31, 2017, will win $20 million. The second place team will receive $5 million, with additional prizes for other special accomplishments, like going to the Apollo landing site.

While there is still plenty of time before the deadline for the landing and photos, each team must announce a secured ride before the end of the month to continue on in the competition. At this point, only a few teams have verified their ride, including HAKUTO, Team Indus, the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL, and the American-based company Moon Express.

Source: The Verge