Written by Associated Press
(AP) — Millions of dollars offered in the Google Lunar X Prize competition will go unclaimed despite a decade of work.
X Prize Foundation officials said Tuesday that none of the five finalist teams will be able to make a launch attempt to reach the moon by the March 31 deadline.
The competition announced by the foundation and Google on Sept. 13, 2007, sought to spur private development of lunar missions.
The winner would have had to land a craft on the moon, move it at least 547 yards (500 meters) across the lunar surface and transmit specific images and data back to Earth.
The grand prize was $20 million, with millions more for achieving specific mission milestones. More than $5 million was already awarded for progress in mission preparations.