The Moon-Rush is on and Naveen Jainn, Barney Pell, and Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards have started a new company called Moon Express, announced this week. Moon Express is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit.
Their plan is to develop a space vehicle that will in turn allow the company to tap into mineral resources on the lunar surface. Selected last fall by NASA, Moon Express was awarded a lunar data services contract worth up to $10M, for the initial delivery order of the “Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD)” program.
In addition, the X PRIZE Foundation announced Moon Express as a competitor for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE, a competition to place a robot on the Moon’s surface that travels 500 meters and transmits high definition video, images and data back to Earth. And to top it off, Moon Express will be sending a series of robotic spacecraft to the Moon for ongoing exploration and commercial development.
The team believes in the boundless economic opportunities on the Moon and are passionate advocates for space exploration.
Here’s some coverage from their launch:
GigaOm: For Some Entrepreneurs, Moon is Money
VentureBeat: The Semantic Web Shoots the Moon
Techcrunch: From Search Engines to Lunar Landers…..
Inspired by new White House policies supporting increased government partnership with the commercial
space sector, Moon Express emerged quickly onto the commercial space scene in October when announced by NASA as one of six U.S. companies selected for its “ILDD” commercial lunar data program.
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