This private company wants to launch to the moon, and it has the money to do it2 min read

A private company you probably haven’t heard of just announced that it has the money it needs to shoot for the moon, literally.

Moon Express — one of the teams competing to win the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize — says that it has now raised enough money to build, test and launch its uncrewed MX-1E spacecraft to the lunar surface before the end of this year.

“We now have all the resources in place to shoot for the moon,” Moon Express CEO Bob Richards said in a statement.

In total, the company has raised more than $45 million in private funding for its moonshot.

“Our goal is to expand Earth’s social and economic sphere to the moon, our largely unexplored eighth continent, and enable a new era of low cost lunar exploration and development for students, scientists, space agencies and commercial interests,” Richards added.

Moon Express plans to do this by launching a series of missions starting this year that will help them prove out the technology needed to land on the moon and eventually even mine it for resources like water.

The Google Lunar X Prize was designed to help support the relatively nascent private industry by giving out its multimillion dollar prize to the first private organization to land a robotic craft on the moon that can move 500 meters and beam back video and photos from the lunar surface.

At the moment, four competitors including Moon Express have confirmed rides on rockets bound for the moon before the end of 2017.

Moon Express has booked a ride on the private company Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, which has yet to launch on its first test flight. (Electron shouldmake its maiden voyage this year if all goes according to plan.)

“We know that there are trillions of dollars of precious resources on the moon, and we can now seek to unlock those resources with exponential technologies for the benefit of all of humanity, enabling entrepreneurs to do what only superpowers have done before,” Moon Express co-founder Naveen Jain said in the statement.

Moon Express hit a big milestone in 2016 when it became the first company to get approval from the U.S. government to fly a spacecraft to the moon’s surface.

This is a big step because, until now, only nations have aimed for the moon and successfully landed there.

At the moment, Moon Express is planning to launch five flights aboard the Electron rocket.

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Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!
Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

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