While the cosmic industry giants from different countries are only planning to put the flights of space vehicles onto the natural satellite of the Earth, the private company Moon Express is thinking of extracting commercial profits from the flights to the moon. It is planned to do this through the extraction of lunar rock and transporting it back to Earth. The company’s management plans to implement its ambitious plans by 2020.
Moon Express company became known to the public after it took part in the contest Google Lunar Xprize, the winner of which will receive 20 million dollars from the search giant. To date, this company is predicting victory in the contest. One of the mandatory conditions for the contest is to create your own lunar rover and send it to Earth’s satellite before the end of 2017. That is why Moon Express plans in the very near future to implement its project, consisting of several space missions. This company was the first to receive official permission from the US government to land on the surface of the Moon.
The first mission is called “Lunar Scout”. In the course of it, the company will send to the Moon several cargoes, including the International Lunar Observatory, as well as several scientific instruments that are part of the Moonlight research program. This will allow you to calculate the cost and efficiency of cargo delivery from Earth to the Moon. The second phase of the project will be a mission to explore the southern pole of the Moon. It is planned to establish a research post, the main purpose of which will be the search for water and valuable minerals.
The third expedition will be the most ambitious. From the name of “Harvest Moon” it immediately becomes clear that it is from this moment on that the company plans to start producing lunar resources for their subsequent sale. During the mission, it is planned to deliver the first samples of the lunar rock back to Earth. As for the technical side of the project, the first to go to the moon is the MX-1, remotely resembling the R2-D2 droid from the “Star Wars”. After it will be sent a larger model of the device MX-5, which the developers describe as a “workhorse”. And during the third mission of 2020, the MX-9 will go to the moon. It is the last device capable of collecting lunar rock and bringing it back to Earth.