After Moon Express has signed a deal with Rocket Lab, the race to land the first private moon lander has started. The expected launch may be happening sometime in 2017. The deal has been signed for total five launches.
Bob Richards, co-founder and CEO of Moon Express has announced about the 5-launch deal with Rocket lab at the Space Technology & Investment Summit in San Francisco.
At the conference, Richards said that their aim is not only to land a prone on the moon, but they also aim to collect some samples from moon and bring them back to Earth for further research.
Richards further added that they are hoping for a full service capability. If things go as planned, they will be inspired to go collect the samples from moon by their third mission itself.
The deal between Moon Express and Rocket lab has been for five launches out of which, three are 100 percent final. The company said that the two launches are kept as optional in case Moon Express doesn’t get success in landing.
There are yet further decisions to be made by Moon Express. The launch has been finalized, but they have yet to decide from which country the launches will be made. The company is having two options, either they can launch form New Zealand or from a site in the United States.
If everything sticks to the plan then the company Moon Express will become the first private company to do so with MX-1 lunar lander spacecraft, and they will also firmly establish itself as a potential winner of the Google Lunar X Prize.
The winner of the competition will be the company that not only manages to land the craft on the moon’s surface but move it 1,640 feet or 500 m and send high definition videos and images. And they will get $30 million from Google.