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Google's $20 million lunar race officially comes to an end with no victor

  • Google will not extend the $20 million Lunar Xprize beyond its March deadline.
  • Xprize Foundation, the independent organization overseeing the contest, on Tuesday announced the prize's ending.
A depiction of the Moon Express MX-9 return vehicle launching from the Moon toward Earth.
Moon Express
A depiction of the Moon Express MX-9 return vehicle launching from the Moon toward Earth.

The Xprize Foundation announced Tuesday its Google-sponsored race to win $20 million by landing on the moon will end with no victors.

The foundation says it expected "a winner by now" but remaining fundraising, technical and regulatory hurdles mean the Lunar Xprize "will go unclaimed."

"We are extraordinarily grateful to Google for enabling this 10-year journey with us and for having the foresight and courage to support and catalyze the commercial space industry, which was the ultimate goal of this competition," Xprize founder Peter Diamandis and CEO Marcus Shingles said in a statement.

The announcement confirms CNBC reporting Monday that the race would end without a winner, as the teams remaining would be unable to launch in time for the March 31 deadline. In addition, Google — which extended the deadline from 2014 to 2015 and then eventually to 2018 — is not willing to push the date out further.

Diamandis and Shingles say the foundation is "exploring a number of ways" to move forward, including finding a replacement sponsor or simply continuing to support the teams' efforts through public promotion.

Read CNBC's full story here.