Last September, my colleague Steven Melendez wrote about the Google sponsored $30 million competition to fly a robot to the moon. The Lunar XPrize zeroed in on five startups to be finalists. It seems none panned out–XPrize announced today that “no team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 21st, 2018 deadline.” As a result of missing the deadline, the $30 million prize will not be awarded.
According to XPrize, the group wasn’t able to come up with a winner because of fundraising difficulties, as well as “technical and regulatory challenges.” It adds that the competition may continue in some form down the line if it can find a new sponsor or if the competition is retooled to not involve an insane amount of money.
Meanwhile, U.S.-New Zealand startup Rocket Lab reached new heights with its successful launch last weekend, while investment in commercial space is at record levels, as Neal Ungerleider notes in his space startup how-to.