Moon Express Gets US Approval For First Private Lunar Mission

Posted: Aug 4 2016, 3:45am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 4 2016, 9:52pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Moon Express Gets US Approval for First Private Lunar Mission
Artist's concept of Moon Express' MX-1 lunar lander on its way to the moon. Credit: Moon Express
  • Moon Express gets Go-Ahead Signal from the US for its Journey to the Lunar Surface in 2017

The Moon Express is the first private company to get the go-ahead signal from the US for its journey to the lunar surface.

Private ventures beyond the earth’s ambit are a whole new ball game. Moon Express prefers to be the first private company to land on the moon a year from now. Finally, it has gotten the tacit approval of the US government.

This happens to be the first time that the US government has granted such a request in its history. The private company almost came close to being denied access to what it wanted in the first place.

Commercial space missions to other space bodies is something which is virtually non-existent right now. Although the legislators are busy making such laws, such a permission will probably not be ready by the time the year 2017 rolls in.

Therefore to avoid the long arm of the law, this private company went ahead and dealt on a man-to-man basis with the US government. After much negotiation and talks, the decision was finalized.

Meetings with the FAA, the White House and the State Department saw to it that Moon Express would get to have its way in the end.

"This is not only a milestone, but really a threshold for the entire commercial space industry," Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob Richards told

Up until now, commercial agencies have only launched satellites into space. The Moon Express is different though. It will be the first private company to land on the moon.

Also it will be only commercial enterprise that will go the farthest distance from our home planet. As space agencies get more adventurous with the passage of time, the US government will have to see to its list of rules and regulations regarding who could travel to space and back.

SpaceX plans to send spaceships to Mars by 2018 while Bigelow Aerospace plans on launching space living quarters by 2020.

If Moon Express launches a spacecraft to the moon by 2017, it will be right on time for bagging the Google Lunar X Prize. This is a global competition. It will award its prize to the private company that sends the first vehicle to the moon’s surface.

Moon Express joined the ranks of contenders in 2012. It has beaten 16 other contenders so far. The Electron rocket will get employed by Moon Express. The company has long range plans and believes in thinking big. There exist among its goals, the mining of minerals from the surface of the moon.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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