Moon Express set some ambitious targets for the near future. The Florida-based private company intends to extract some lunar samples and bring them back to Earth in three years. The private space organization is working on some innovative equipment to help them pull some lunar excavation missions. The company is also participating in a contest to win the Google Lunar X Prize for which it has to launch a mission to the moon by the end of 2017.
The Hardware Part of Upcoming Lunar Excavation Missions Is Almost Ready
Moon Express caught large attention during a Capitol Hill event where the design of a new drone was unveiled. The lander was dubbed as MX-1E and was followed by plans for better landers. The ship can accommodate around 60 pounds of equipment. Moon Express Chief Executive Bob Richards described this future spaceship design as the key to an innovative space exploration model that is flexible and scalable.
The CEO stated that the hardware part of the ship is all ready. The engine is called PECO and works on rocket-grade kerosene and hydrogen peroxide propellants. There are already two such models built, and the next step is to have them tested. Other elements are either in the testing phase or are currently constructed. For instance, its laser altimeter is at Goddard Space Flight Center that is part of NASA to undergo some tests.
Moon Express Wants to Extract Lunar Precious Metals
The company intends to accomplish three missions by the year of 2020. These are Lunar Scout, Lunar Outpost, and Harvest Moon. All these operations have already raised the necessary funds. After these quests, the company hopes to be ready for some lunar excavation missions.
Moon Express has the necessary equipment and technology by its side to do some real digging on Earth’s only natural satellite. The company aims for precious metals and water which can be turned into rocket fuel. There are high chances that the organization will capitalize on these resources.
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