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Google Lunar X Prize: Changing Rules – and Fewer Entrants?

By Keith Cowing
August 24, 2013
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$10 million Genomics X Prize canceled: ‘Outpaced by innovation’, NBC
“For the first time in its 18-year history, the X Prize Foundation is canceling one of its $10 million competitions for technological innovation: the Archon Genomics X Prize, which was designed to reward quick and accurate whole-genome sequencing. … In her report on the prize program’s cancellation, PHG Foundation’s Phillippa Brice said the decision was bad news for the entrants, “who apparently come away with thanks and good wishes and (presumably) a refund of their $25,000 entrance fee, but without so much as a memory stick to help further their research.”
Master Team Agreement 4.1 out for Team signature, EuroLuna Blog, Google Lunar X Prize
(typos corrected) “The Master Team Agreement version 4.1 is now out for signature. Given the importance of this document, and the time it has taken to reach this point, a signature timing of 10 days in the middle of August seems a bit too short… The Euroluna Team has therefore asked for an extension until the 7th of September 2013.”
Keith’s note: The deadline for all Google Lunar X Prize entrants to sign the mandatory (revised) Teaming Agreement was Friday 23 August. This teaming agreement contained a major revision to the rather strict set of rules levied upon all entrants as to what they can and cannot do. Sources report that a number of existing entrants did not sign the agreement by the deadline.

Note that the EuroLuna team originally posted (and tweeted) a video to go with this but that this video has since been removed. Unless the deadline has been extended, it would seem that the number of entrants for the Google Lunar X Prize is about to decrease.
With the advent of new prizes that can be offered to entrants for reaching goals far short of actually going to the Moon – and a lack of signed launch contracts among the entrants – the Google Lunar X Prize may be looking to follow a path similar to the Archon Genomics X Prize. Stay tuned.
Dramatic Changes to Google Lunar X Prize Cash Prizes Under Consideration, earlier post

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.