Moon Express Launch Contract to be Verified by Google Lunar XPRIZE, SpaceRef Business
"Yesterday Moon Express became the first Google Lunar X PRIZE participant to sign a launch contract with a launch service provider, albeit one who has yet to launch a rocket."
"The contract with Rocket Lab, a New Zealand startup based in Los Angeles but with a launch site in New Zealand, still needs to be verified by the Google Lunar X PRIZE authorities."
Marc's note: For the competition to be extended beyond this year the Google Lunar X PRIZE needs to verify the launch contract signed between Moon Express and Rocket Lab. If Moon Express had signed a contract with SpaceX, I think this would be a formality. However Rocket Lab has yet to launch their Electron rocket. Does that play into the decision process? Or is it just a matter of verifying the legality of the contract? I'm waiting for a response from the Google Lunar X Prize on this question.
Marc's update: Here's what Chanda Gonzales, Senior Director, Google Lunar XPRIZE said on the contract issue "Our decision is based on a holistic assessment of whether the launch contract is genuine, whether there are any legal issues that might pop up, whether there are any obvious non-compliances with the rules, and whether a substantial commitment was made by both the team and the launch provider (e.g. non-refundable deposit of some certain minimum value)."