©Google Lunar X PRIZE
File photo: Google Lunar X PRIZE.
The contract with Rocket Lab, a New Zealand startup based in Los Angeles but with a launch site in New Zealand, still needs to be verified by the Google Lunar XPRIZE authorities.
Chanda Gonzales, Senior Director, Google Lunar XPRIZE said the "XPRIZE is pleased to hear about Moon Express's progress in the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and we look forward to receiving and verifying the terms of the launch contract in order to fully support an extension to the competition."
Should the Google Lunar XPRIZE verify the contract, then the competition deadline will be extended beyond the current deadline of December 31st of this year to the end of 2017. However, any other team who wish to remain in the competition would have to announce and have their contract verified by December 31st, 2016.