There’s a lot of talk today about their having “extended” the deadline to March 31 of next year. I have a clarification in email from Katherine Schelbert:
To clarify, this is not an extension. In this case, this is more of a re-focus. The most recent Dec 31, 2017 date was established as the date by which teams needed to initiate a launch, and was used as a means to down select to the current 5 finalists. Now, what is more important to teams, who all have different mission profiles (and paths to the moon, length of time in orbit) is the deadline by which they need to complete the mission, which is now the only date that matters. This competition is designed to not just inspire teams to launch, but to complete the mission, which is also why we are further incentivizing teams with the in-space Milestone Prizes, which are important achievements that will occur post-launch, on the way to fulfilling the competition requirements.