Moon Express has obtained authorization from the government to run missions beyond earth’s orbit. In 2017, Moon Express aims to land a robotic spacecraft on the lunar surface. If the mission tastes success, it would open the way for other companies to carry moon exploration missions.
Moon Express is the first private company that has received the permission. The moon is considered to be quite rich in resources. Rare earth minerals and precious elements found on the moon are worth trillions of dollars.
In fact, earth’s natural satellite could also act as a great stopover during interplanetary travel. Naveen Jain, Chairman of Moon Express has affirmed that the approval is the first step for commercial space pioneers. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation has granted the permission to Moon Express for its 2017 lunar mission.
Moon Express will receive $20 million from Google if it successfully lands the spacecraft on the moon. The company has to achieve the feat by 2017. The spacecraft to be sent by Moon Express is known as MX-1, which is of the size of a washing machine.
The company will unveil the rover in September. Moon Express said that it would send back mining resources to earth. “We are presently open to set sail as travelers to Earth’s eighth continent, the Moon, investigating new information and awareness to develop Earth’s economic compass for the advantage of all humankind,” affirmed co-founder Dr. Bob Richards.
Being the first mission by a private sector company, it will undoubtedly be looked with apprehension by many. If a colony has to be built on the moon, it would not be easy to manage operations, and a lot of research will be required.