Moon Express details plans to mine the moon with robots by 2020

From Engadget - July 12, 2017

The company's first moon mission, dubbed Lunar Scout, will use Rocket Lab's Electron rocket to send its MX-1E robotic explorer to land on and deliver several payloads -- including the International Lunar Observatory -- to the moon. If completed by the end of this year and before the four other finalists for the Lunar Xprize, this mission could win Moon Express the competition's $20 million prize. Lunar Outpost, the second planned mission, will establish Moon Express' commercial presence on the moon's South Pole using its MX-2 system. Once set up, the robots will prospect for water and minerals. Finally, the third mission, Harvest Moon, will bring samples from the moon back to Earth and Moon Express hopes to complete this leg by 2020.

The MX-1E lander has not yet been completed and Rocket Lab is still working on the Electron rocket, which has only flown once so far with two more test launches planned for this year. However, Moon Express does have coveted FAA clearance to land on the moon and it was the first private company to be granted such approval.


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