Mars is not the only destination on the agenda. Moon has become a very attractive option because Google launched its X-Prize competition, with seeking private companies to reach our satellite, which has created an interesting competition where stands participation Audi by Germany; SpaceIL , an Israeli non-profit company, plus, of course, Americans through Moon Express , who is also the first private company in the country to receive authorization from the FAA to travel to the moon.
Now it is Japan that is finally entering the competition through Google ' Hakuto ' exploration rover created by the startup Ispace Inc., who has joined ' Team Indus ', a company based in India which already has With the contract to launch the rover in late December 2017.
Hukuto, the Japanese lunar exploration rover
For those who do not know, the Lunar X-Prize for Google is a competition that seeks to encourage private companies to develop technologies for exploration, tracking, study, and even extraction of components of the Moon. The first company to achieve land on the moon, walk at least 500 meters, and send photos in high definition, it will earn a prize of 20 million dollars.
The second place will take $ 5 million, and there will be another 5 million for teams that meet certain challenges, such as visiting Apollo missions sites, or bringing ice samples. The only requirement they need to participate, is to ensure that at least 90% of the funding of the mission comes from private funds.
After the competition I start with 29 teams, so far there are only 16, which are those that have been able to advance to, in addition to economic solvency, demonstrate a viable project for a lunar mission. Here the Japanese Ispace Inc. was about to leave the competition, despite having shown their rover since August, they had not been able to get a launch contract. That's why they have teamed up with Team Indus.
Of the 16 teams, only four have completed the requirements to show the rover and have a launch contract for 2017. These four teams are: SpaceIL of Israel, Moon Express US, Synergy Moon is an international association, and Team Indus Of India with the Japanese Ispace Inc. The rest of the teams have until the first days of 2017 to show the complete details of their mission, if they do not want to be eliminated.