Google has a $30 million prize in place for its Lunar X PRIZE. The money will go to the first team able to place a robotic rover on the surface of the moon that is able to transmit high-definition video, images, and data back to Earth from the landing site and from 500 m away from the landing site. A company called Moon Express has announced that it has signed a teaming agreement with Dynetics.
The agreement with Dynetics will see Moon Express acquired the Rocket City Space Pioneers X PRIZE team. The agreement will bring more capability to the Moon Express team in its quest to win the $30 million Google has put up. Under the agreement Rocket City Space Pioneers team leader, Tim Pickens will become the Moon Express chief propulsion engineer.
Moon Express and Dynetics were both selected by NASA in the fall of 2010 for commercial lunar data contracts worth up to $10 million each. The moon lander the team plans to send to the moon is called Spirit of Alabama. Moon Express is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company. The company is based at the NASA Ames Research Park in Silicon Valley.
The company intends to send a series of robotic spacecraft to the moon for ongoing exploration and commercial development aimed at benefiting the Earth. The company has also signed a partnership agreement with NASA for the development of a lunar lander system.