If the trend continues, RobotShop predicts that the future winner of the Google Lunar X-Prize will be Astrobotic Technology.
The Pittsburgh company is competing with 20 other private companies.
The aim of the Google competition is to be able to develop a robot which can go alone on the moon, cross a distance of at least 500 meters, and will report the data on Earth (videos, images, samples, etc.).
The competition which ends on December 31, 2012, will reward the winner with 20 million dollars.
If at this date no start-up has been successful, the price falls to 15 million and the deadline to complete the mission is December 31, 2014.
Astrobotic Tech is taking part in the Google competition but that’s not all.
The company has an interesting business model: it wants to charge for the transportation of the material on the moon at a price of 700 000 dollars per pound (454 g).
And, it’s currently offering 109 kg (240 pounds) for sale.
The start-up is amongst those with the most chance of shining for the conquest of the moon.