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Milestone prizes announced for Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition

Milestone prizes announced for Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition

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Google has announced the full list of milestone prize winners in the Lunar XPRIZE contest. Five teams have won prizes totaling $5.25 million across three categories: landing, mobility, and imaging.

The biggest winner was a team from Carnegie Mellon called Astrobotic, which brought in $1.75 million for its lunar polar rover. The team's awards in imaging and mobility were actually announced back in December, but it was discovered today that the team was also chosen for one of the $1 million prizes in the landing category.

18 teams are competing for the $20 million grand prize

A second US-based team, Moon Express, was awarded prize money in the landing and imaging categories for its proposed mission focused on mining. German team Part-Time Scientists won prize money in the mobility and imaging categories, while India's Team Indus and Japan's Hakuto were awarded one prize each.

To win the $20 million grand prize, a team must safely land its robot on the Moon, move it 500 meters, and stream HD "mooncasts" — all with 10 percent or less government funding. If any of today's winners manage to win the grand prize, their milestones will be deducted from the award. The other 13 Lunar XPRIZE competitors, on the other hand, are still eligible to win the full amount. Last month, the deadline for the contest was extended by a year. It now stands at December 31st, 2016, but teams must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by the end of this year.