Tags: Florida | Moon

Florida Company Secures Money for Moon Trip

Florida Company Secures Money for Moon Trip

 (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 14 January 2017 10:48 AM

A Florida-based company that hopes to mine Helium-3 from the moon has secured the full funding needed to make its first trip there, and is vying for Google's Lunar X Prize for becoming the first privately funded team to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.

"Our goal is to expand Earth's social and economic sphere to the moon, our largely unexplored eighth continent, and enable a new era of low-cost lunar exploration and development for students, scientists, space agencies and commercial interests," said Moon Express CEO Bob Richards, reports Tech Times. 

The company has already secured permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to land on the moon, marking the first private company to obtain permission to travel beyond the earth's orbit.

The X Prize offers a total of $30 million in prices for the race to the moon, with $20 million going to the first privately funded team to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface, move it at least 1,640 feet, and shoot back high-resolution images.

According to team members, Moon Express has scored "Series B" funding of $20 million, bringing the amounts of funds from private investors to more than more than $$5 million.

X Prize requires that 90 percent of the funds a company uses come from private sources, and Moon Express reports its additional funding came from numerous venture capital funds, private resources and the software company Autodesk.

However, even with the funding, the flight has not yet been guaranteed. The aeronautics startup Rocket Lab has not yet flown its Electron rocket, and no official launch date has yet been set. Moon Express' MX-1E lander must head to the moon before the X Prize deadline, set for Dec. 31 this year.

Moon Express is planning to send more missions to the moon than just the one to qualify for Google's prize. The company wants to collect lunar samples as well as the Helium-3, which could be used in nuclear fusion reactors in the future.

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A Florida-based company that hopes to mine Helium-3 from the moon has secured the full funding needed to make its first trip there, and is vying for Google's Lunar X Prize for becoming the first privately funded team to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
Florida, Moon
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2017-48-14
Saturday, 14 January 2017 10:48 AM
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