It was another major setback for space research organisations across the globe as Google Lunar XPrize has called off the much-awaited $30m contest to travel the moon.
Team Indus, a Bengaluru based start-up company with Antrix was all geared up to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon but now the competition is slated to close on March 31 without a winner.
Google Lunar XPrize was in talks with Team Indus and announced the competition back in 2007.
Google had also promised to reward the first ever private company with $30m for completing such a remarkable milestone on its journey to space.
A mouth-watering amount of $5 million with a bonus of 1.75 million was also announced for the second team for an orbit around the moon.
A stupendous amount of $3 million was also there for transmitting data from the moon after a soft landing on the lunar surface.
However, due to lack of progress and other technical glitches, Google has withdrawn the whopping prize amount from the contest.
Moreover, four other companies including Moon Express also took part in the launch but were not ready for the same within March 31.
Previously, SpaceIL, an Israeli company signed a contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX setting a launch deadline at 31 December 2017, but subsequently extended the mission to 31 March 2018.
Therefore, team Indus is currently in search for a new sponsor so they can continue the competition with a cash incentive.
The Bengaluru-based start-up company is backed by Ratan Tata, ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan and Infosys Ltd.’s Nandan Nilekani.
Despite the loss, Team Indus is focused to build a world class aerospace company and will accomplish its goal to land on Moon anytime soon.
On the other hand, China is planning to land on the moon’s far side in 2018.