Moon Express has officially received permission from the FAA to travel to the moon in 2017.
The company, based in Cape Canaveral, Fla., announced its approval from the FAA on Wednesday. Moon Express came about from the Google Lunar X-PRIZE, which awards any private company $30 million that can reach the moon. The X Prizes were started by Peter H. Diamandis, an entrepreneur seeking to encourage and fuel aviation advances. The Google Lunar X Prize was announced in 2007, almost a decade ago.
Now that the company has permission it has to safely land on the moon, which might make it the first non governmental agency to land on the moon. As of now only the United States, China, and U.S.S.R. have landed on the moon. The last time NASA landed on the moon was in 1976. Companies, as of now, are only allowed to go as far as geosynchronous orbit. The moon is about 10 times the distance.
The company will launch the MX-1 lander in 2017, once landing on the moon they will attempt to travel across different parts of the surface via rockets on the MX-1 lander.
Moon Express will be able to harvest resources from the moon and bring them back to the Earth for profit. The moon is a jackpot of resources such as iron, aluminum, silicon, helium-3, and more. This will enable other companies to push to do the same. In the future we might see a host of companies made to mine space for resources and much more.
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