The race to be the first private company to land on the Moon is on, and now just five teams are left in the running.


Google’s Lunar XPRIZE team have announced that five of the original sixteen private space companies have managed to book their rides to the Moon in 2017 and get through to the final round of the XPRIZE in their race to land a robot rover on the Moon, travel 500 meters streaming Hi-Def video, on their way to pick up prize money of over $30 Million.


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The five finalists are SpaceIL, a non profit team based out of Israel; Moon Express, a want to be Moon mining company from the US; Synergy Moon, an international team who hope to promote cost effective space exploration; Team Indus from India and last but not least Japanese based Hakuto, operated by iSpace Inc.

In order to get through to the final stage all of the finalists had to show evidence that they’d booked their launch contracts by the end of last year. SpaceIL and Team Indus secured spots on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Indian Space Research Organization’s lower cost Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), respectively. Meanwhile Hakuto will share a ride with Team Indus, and Moon Express and Synergy Moon have secured rides with firms that have not yet launched anything into orbit – Rocket Lab USA and Interorbital Systems.


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According to the XPRIZE’s revised guidelines – which have been revised countless times since the competition launched several years ago, a team can stay in the competition only if it initiates its launch by 31 December, 2017. Notably absent from the list of finalists though is Part Time Scientists, an international team based in Germany that last year announced it had secured a launch contract and snagged a partnership with Audi, but apparently their submission was too late.

Also absent is longtime front runner US based Astrobotic, which withdrew from the competition and the much lofted Canadian father and son team Plan B who timed out after they failed to secure a launch contract in time.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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