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  [Discuss] Moon Express MX lunar spacecraft

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] Moon Express MX lunar spacecraft
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38368
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2015 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please use this topic to discuss Moon Express and its MX family of commercial lunar spacecraft, a fleet of robotic explorers capable of delivering scientific and commercial payloads to the moon.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38368
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2015 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moon Express will lease Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 36, the site of former Atlas pads that launched NASA spacecraft to the moon and Mars, to support its test flight program, Florida Today reports.
Moon Express will set up launch and landing pads for short, low hops of test vehicles that it hopes to advance rapidly from one version to the next.

"We expect a vehicle to be flying every couple of months," said [Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob] Richards.

The complex will house four stands for tests of new engines and thrusters being developed for the spacecraft, which will be equipped with 25 total. A moonscape may be built similar to the one near Kennedy Space Center's shuttle runway, where the company began performing its early tests.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38368
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-12-2016 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted above, Moon Express last year announced a deal to use Launch Complex 36, but it then agreed to relocate after Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin committed to launching orbital rockets from LC-36. Now, Moon Express has entered into a long-term agreement with the 45th Space Wing to use complexes 17 and 18, reports Florida Today.
Moon Express has reached what it says is a long-term agreement with the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing to use complexes 17 and 18 to assemble and test its washing machine-sized lander, which is a contender to win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

"The moon is rising again over the Space Coast," said CEO and co-founder Bob Richards, who on Tuesday will address the National Space Club Florida Committee in Cape Canaveral.

The landers will perform short, low-altitude hops during tests at the former Cape launch complexes, but flights to the moon could launch from as far away as New Zealand initially, depending on which rocket the company uses.

p51
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Posts: 1511
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 08-03-2016 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It'll be funny to see what will happen when someone lands on the moon commercially and is able to return with soil or rock samples.

Correct me if I'm wrong, it's only illegal to buy, sell or own moon rocks from the Apollo missions, right? What about a private lander that comes back with some? Imagine the market for something like that!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38368
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-03-2016 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only reason the Apollo moon rocks can't be sold is because they are the property of the United States (or in the case of the goodwill-gifted rocks, the public property of their recipient states and nations). Hence, it would be theft of government property unless the U.S. or other nations specifically take action to transfer moon rocks to private property.

The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, signed into law in 2015, provides for the following:

A United States citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource under this chapter shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained in accordance with applicable law, including the international obligations of the United States.
The law defines "space resource" to include minerals, which would, I believe, cover moon rocks.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38368
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-13-2017 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moon Express announced Jan. 13 that it has closed a $20 million financing round, giving the company sufficient funds for an attempt to win the Google Lunar X Prize later this year, reports SpaceNews.
The new investment, which the company calls a Series B-1 round, comes from a mix of new and existing investors. The company's investors include venture capital firms Founders Fund and Social Capital, as well as software company Autodesk. Several individual investors also participated in the latest round.

Moon Express Chief Executive Bob Richards said one of the company's co-founders, billionaire Naveen Jain, played a key role in the round. "He not only participated at a significant financial level, but also gave other investors the confidence through his commitment that they should invest as well," Richards said in an interview. He did not disclose how much of the $20 million round he contributed.

The new round brings the total Moon Express has raised to $45 million. Richards said the company is looking to raise an additional $10 million as a "contingency" and to support future missions. "This is not a stunt," he said. "We're not putting all our eggs in one basket."

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4049
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-30-2017 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moon Express chairman Naveen Jain has told CNBC that its first launch is "definitely" happening in 2018.
In January, the company said that it was targeting a date in late 2017 to send its lander to the moon. But that has been pushed back until 2018.

"It's definitely going to be next year, we are in the final stretches of it. And as you can imagine it's rocket science," Jain told CNBC in a TV interview from the Slush technology conference in Helsinki, Finland.

"We are really looking good and we are still hoping to launch the lander next year. And when we launch and land on the moon, not only (do) we become the first company to do so, we actually symbolically become the fourth superpower. And imagine the entrepreneurs doing things that only the three superpowers have done before."

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