August 30, 2016 – Today, XPRIZE officially verified Team SYNERGY MOON’s launch agreement as part of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition for privately funded teams to land an uncrewed spacecraft on the surface of the moon by December 31, 2017. The SYNERGY MOON mission will use a NEPTUNE 8 rocket, built and launched by Interorbital Systems, to carry a lunar lander and at least one rover to the surface of the moon, launching from an open-ocean location off the California coast during the second half of 2017.
Team SYNERGY MOON is one of three Google Lunar XPRIZE teams now set to compete in 2017, joining SpaceIL and Moon Express. The remaining 13 teams have until December 31, 2016, for their launch agreements to be verified by XPRIZE in order to proceed in the competition.
“SYNERGY MOON’s launch agreement is a hallmark achievement that we are very proud to verify,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “In the spirit of XPRIZE’s belief that the power of competition can spur outside-the-box innovation, SYNERGY MOON has blazed their own path and demonstrated that there is more than one way to get to the Moon.”
Team SYNERGY MOON is an international team with working groups in more than 15 countries. The team includes Randa and Roderick Milliron (Interorbital’s co-founders) from the Ansari XPRIZE, the very first XPRIZE competition awarded in 2004 for suborbital spaceflight.
“We decided early on that our focus would be two-fold: creating an alternative launch vehicle and launch process – the most expensive parts of current space missions – and getting more people interested, involved, and invested in the new space age,” said Kevin Myrick, co-founder of Team SYNERGY MOON. “Partnering with launch provider Interorbital Systems allowed the team to aggressively pursue both goals.”
SYNERGY MOON is utilizing a customized rapid-response and low-cost N8 modular rocket system designed, built, and tested by Interorbital Systems at their Mojave Air and Space Port rocket factory and test facility.
To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place an uncrewed spacecraft on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth before the mission deadline of December 31, 2017.
SYNERGY MOON was co-founded in 2009 by Kevin Myrick (USA) and Nebojša Stanojević (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and represents a collaboration of individuals from over 15 countries. The company growth plan involves both private sector funding and the unique inclusion of high-profile sponsorship opportunities.
Interorbital Systems is a rocket, satellite, and spacecraft manufacturing company, founded in 1996 by Roderick and Randa Milliron. It is located at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, where the company maintains its headquarters/prototyping/manufacturing center and two private rocket engine test sites.