PTScientists, based in Berlin, announced the deal today, and Spaceflight confirmed the partnership. If the contract is verified by the $30 million contest’s organizers at XPRIZE, the group will join three other contestants in the home stretch for the top prize for commercial lunar exploration.
There are 16 teams in the GLXP hunt, but they have to have verified launch contracts by the end of this year in order to stay in the competition.
The top prize of $20 million will go to the first team to send a spacecraft to the moon and have it travel more than 500 meters (1,640 feet) while sending back images and video. Other prizes are being offered as extra incentives. If no team gets to the moon by the end of 2017, all those prizes go poof.