PITTSBURGH (AP) – A western Pennsylvania company has exited Google’s $20 million moon landing competition.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the space delivery company Astrobotic didn’t secure a launch contract for 2017, a requirement for Google’s Lunar XPrize.
Astrobotic says its technology and customers won’t be ready in time. The company is eyeing a 2019 moon landing.
Commercial operations are vying to become the first to land on the moon, travel 500 meters and send high-definition video and images back to Earth.
Astrobotic was the only team to win all three milestone prizes for landing, mobility and imaging.
Five teams have launch contracts secured for 2017, but Astrobotic’s CEO John Thornton says he doesn’t believe any of those teams will fly next year.
Google didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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