Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Private space company plans to mine rocks on the Moon

Private space company plans to mine rocks on the Moon

A private company plans of using a robotic spacecraft for the launching of a series of commercial missions to the moon, around 45 years after the last lunar landing of NASA, stated by the officials of NASA On Wednesday. The plan is to have robots staying around the clock on the moon to mine it for resources like minerals and then sell them, The Verge explains.

"Our Moon Express exploration architecture is created to support an American return to the surface of the moon, while collapsing the cost of lunar exploration for everyone", said Bob Richards, founder and CEO of Moon Express, in a statement. They will all be powered by a new "eco-friendly" engine Moon Express is building called the PECO. "Expanding Earth's economic and social sphere to the Moon is our first step in securing our future". If all goes to plan, this first commercial mission to return moon rocks to Earth will launch in 2020. "Unlike the Earth, these resources are largely on or near the lunar surface, relatively accessible".

Moon Express also revealed more detail on the crafts that have been developed to achieve these lofty goals.

After the MX-1E Lunar Scout mission-the one that is slated to launch in 2017-Moon Express plans to waste no time launching more ambitious missions. The MX-1E is now in testing and might launch for the first time later this year. Engadget reported that the company is still working on the Electron rocket. That effort, Richards said, should prove out the company's technologies and its business model, which is centered around creating low-priced access to the moon's surface for a variety of customers.

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However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. He was sentenced to death earlier this year for espionage and involvement in terror activities in the country.

All of these spacecraft will be available in orbiter, lander, and deep-space variations, and the MX-5 and MX-9 vehicles will also come in a sample-return configuration. "We look at rockets as a commodity".

"The Google Lunar X Prize can be regarded as the icing on the cake", added Richards.

If the vehicle lands on the moon and travels about 1,600 feet, sending back photos and videos from the surface before any other competitor, it will win a $20 million grand prize. The second prize is of $5 million. Rocket Lab is reviewing the data from the launch, and hopefully the launch company will be able to work out any kinks in their next two test flights, tentatively scheduled to liftoff from Rocket Lab's private launchpad in New Zealand in the coming months.

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