Moon Express, Inc, or MoonEx is the first private company to received special permission, not only the exit Earth’s orbit, but also to land on the moon and extract precious resources.
The announcement made this morning is a historic ruling by the US government as until now, all commercial space travel has been limited with Earth’s Orbit. MoonEx, founded in 2010, was made famous by Googles Lunar X-PRIZE as they race 15 other teams to successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface, travel at least 500 meters and transmit HD video and images back to earth. The winning team will be awarded $20 million US.
The California-based company plans to offer commercial lunar robotic transportation and data services and a long-term goal of mining the Moon for valuable elements. “In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals and moon rocks back to earth,” said Naveen Jain, MoonEx Cofounder and Chairman. The moon is believed to contain rare earth minerals, precious metals and massive stores of Helium-3 (He-3) used to create nuclear fusion power. The commercial value of the moons resources are estimated to be in the trillions of dollars.
To date, only the government space programs of United States, U.S.S.R. and China have successfully landed on the moon.