AUG 24, 2016 8:56 AM PDT

Florida-Based Moon Express Gets Government Go-Ahead to Land on the Moon

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

For the first time since the 1970’s, we’re going to try and put something on the Moon again. Monetary and physical constraints have kept NASA from going back to the Moon since the Apollo missions, but a new start-up based out of Cape Canaveral, Florida called Moon Express, wants to do it all over again with a special lander.
 
With a green light from the United States government now official as of the beginning of August, Moon Express hopes to achieve their goal of putting a lander on the Moon by next year, which completely uppercuts NASA’s ETA of putting another mission on the Moon by 2020.
 

An artist's impression of a Moon Express lander heading to the Moon.

 Image Credit: Moon Express

Of course, there’s a reason for NASA’s extended wait time; the agency wants to do far more than just walk around on the surface and plant a flag like we did four decades ago. Instead, we actually want to put habitation equipment on the Moon so that humans can live there for extended periods of time, similarly to the International Space Station.
 
Moon Express won’t achieve this goal; on the contrary, it will be a simpler mission intended to put a robotic lander on the surface that could be controlled from Earth. The lander would be a contestant in the Google Lunar XPRIZE race, and if it successfully meets next year’s deadline, it would surely win it.
 
This is the very first time that a private company has ever been cleared by the United States government to put anything on the Moon, so it sets a precedent that would hopefully encourage other commercial companies to join the bandwagon and propel future lunar exploration.
 
In addition to putting a lander on the Moon with the eyes on the multi-million-dollar XPRIZE, Moon Express also hopes to turn this project into a resource recovery mission, one that will bring materials from the Moon back to the Earth.
 
"Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children," Moon Express co-founder Naveen Jain said in a statement. "In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals and moon rocks back to Earth. In 15 years, the moon will be an important part of Earth’s economy, and potentially our second home."
 
It should be very interesting to see what Moon Express is capable of doing with this new permission to send a lander to the Moon. With more and more commercial presence in space, we could really shake things up with resource limitations here on Earth.
 
Source: NYTimes, Space.com

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
AUG 04, 2020
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
Outside of the Earth's magnetic field exist many kinds of dangerous radiation. These include ultraviolet, X-rays, an ...
AUG 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
AUG 10, 2020
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
The Earth's magnetic field is crucial for life on Earth. Generated by the molten iron core 3000 km beneath our plane ...
AUG 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Understanding the Fate of Stars Consumed by Black Holes
AUG 31, 2020
Understanding the Fate of Stars Consumed by Black Holes
If a star gets too close to a supermassive black hole, the forces exerted on the star tear it to shreds, generating a hu ...
SEP 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
A Missing Piece of the Dark Matter Puzzle
SEP 13, 2020
A Missing Piece of the Dark Matter Puzzle
Most matter, and about a quarter of the mass-energy in the universe is thought to be made of dark matter, but we still d ...
NOV 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Martian Water Vapor Gets Swept Into Space
NOV 19, 2020
Martian Water Vapor Gets Swept Into Space
Mars was once a planet with oceans of water. So what happened to all of it? Researchers used a tool called MAVEN (Mars A ...
NOV 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why Do Some Stars Take Longer to Cool than Others?
NOV 26, 2020
Why Do Some Stars Take Longer to Cool than Others?
At the end of their life cycle, stars like our sun become 'white dwarfs'. Cooling over billions of years from th ...
Loading Comments...