US Government Approves Plan For Moon Express To Become First Private Company To Venture Beyond Earth’s Orbit
For the First Time in the History of Space Travel, a Private Enterprise will Leave this World to Explore Another
The US government has made a historic ruling to allow the first private enterprise, Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx), permission to travel beyond Earth’s orbit and land on the Moon in 2017. This breakthrough US policy decision provides authorization to Moon Express for a maiden flight of its robotic spacecraft onto the Moon’s surface, beginning a new era of ongoing commercial lunar exploration and discovery, unlocking the immense potential of the Moon’s valuable resources.
Today, Moon Express receives the green light for pursuing its 2017 lunar mission following in depth consultations with the FAA, the White House, the State Department, NASA and other federal agencies.
“The Moon Express 2017 mission approval is a landmark decision by the US government and a pathfinder for private sector commercial missions beyond the Earth’s orbit,” remarks co-founder & CEO, Bob Richards. “We are now free to set sail as explorers to Earth’s eighth continent, the Moon, seeking new knowledge and resources to expand Earth’s economic sphere for the benefit of all humanity.”
Up until now all commercial companies have been limited to operations in Earth’s orbit, and only governments have sent missions to other worlds. With this landmark ruling, Moon Express has become the first private company approved to literally go out of this world as a pioneer of commercial space missions beyond Earth’s orbit. The federal interagency approval of the Moon Express 2017 lunar mission establishes an important precedent for the private sector to engage in peaceful space exploration, bringing with it monumental implications for the advancement of technology, science, research, and development, as well as commercial ventures that expand Earth’s economic sphere.
The framework of the interagency approval surrounds Moon Express’ proposed ‘Mission Approval’ arrangement that utilizes existing payload review and launch license processes under authorities of the Secretary of Transportation, and adds to them a series of voluntary disclosures intended to provide the Federal Government with sufficient information to help fulfill its supervisory obligations under the Outer Space Treaty. The company submitted its historic application for a 2017 commercial lunar mission to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 8, 2016.
“The sky is not the limit for Moon Express — it is the launchpad. This breakthrough ruling is another giant leap for humanity. Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children,” remarks co-founder and chairman, Naveen Jain. “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. Imagine that.”
Moon Express was co-founded in 2010 by space visionary, Dr. Bob Richards, billionaire entrepreneur, Naveen Jain, and serial entrepreneur and artificial intelligence and space technology guru, Dr. Barney Pell, with the common vision to be at the forefront of commercial space exploration and innovation. The development of their innovative and scalable robotic spacecraft is designed to radically reduce the cost of space exploration— lifting the veil on the mysteries surrounding the Moon and how its resources can be unlocked and used to benefit Earth and humanity.
Moon Express is a leading contender to win in the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.
Moon Express, Inc. is a privately funded commercial space company blazing a trail to the Moon to unlock its mysteries and resources with low cost robotic spacecraft products & services using exponential technologies. Driven by long-term goals of exploring and developing lunar resources for the benefit of humanity, the company has short-term business on-ramps of providing lunar transportation and services for government and commercial customers.
NASA partnered with Moon Express in 2014 under its Lunar CATALYST program to help build the capability to return the United States to the surface of the Moon. In October 2015, Moon Express announced a launch contract with Rocket Lab USA for 3 launches to the Moon beginning in 2017.
In 2016, Moon Express announced an agreement with the US Air Force to utilize Cape Canaveral Launch Complexes 17 and 18 for the development of its spacecraft.
The Moon Express founders, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Naveen Jain, and Dr. Barney Pell, believe in the long-term economic potential of the Moon to produce resources essential to humanity’s future on Earth and in space. For more information about Moon Express, visit www.moonexpress.com.
Source: Moon Express, Inc.
To read about the first humans known to walk on the moon, visit this NASA Apollo 11 history article.
The Apollo 17 mission was the last mission in which astronauts walked on the moon. Read the NASA mission article here.