Rovers owned by private citizens should be playing lunar golf by now. Instead, the moon sits quiet as the deadline for the Google Lunar X Prize quietly passed this weekend.

Over 10 years ago, Google and X Prize offered a $20 million prize for the first nongovernmental organization to complete a lunar mission as it defined one. After multiple extensions of the deadline from the original date in 2012, the competition was officially killed in January when it became clear no private company would make it to the moon by the final deadline: March 31, 2018.

The prize required a private team to successfully perform three tasks to claim the cash and glory:

Successfully place a spacecraft on the surface of the moon Travel 500 meters on the moon’s surface Transmit high-definition videos and images back to Earth

Since the contest was launched on September 13, 2007, only three vehicles have successfully hit the moon. They were all government funded, and only one, Chang’e 3, launched by China in 2013, even had the ability to rove on the moon’s surface.

People landed on the moon in 1969, so we have proof that it’s an attainable goal. Why can’t we easily repeat our success from 49 years ago with today’s advanced technology?

To read more, click here.