A private company plans of using a robotic spacecraft for the launching of a series of commercial missions to the moon, around 45 years after the last lunar landing of NASA, stated by the officials of NASA On Wednesday.
Moon Express, Cape Canaveral which is based on Moon is designing a fleet of robotic spacecraft which very low in cost. This can be assembled like the Lego for handling highly complex missions as stated by Bob Richards, the founder and Chief Executive Officer in an interview.
The first spacecraft which is named as MX-1E is programmed to be launched before the end of this year on a Rocket Lab Electron booster that launches from New Zealand. It is hoped from Moon Express that the Endeavour will grab a prize of $20 million from Google, however, Richards added that the victory was not required.
Moon Express is found to have raised around $45 million from only the private investors for the construction of its initial spacecraft and buy the services for the launch.
“The Google Lunar X Prize can be regarded as the icing on the cake,” added Richards.
Google is proving a high prize of $20 million which is around Rs. 128 crores, for the initial team that is privately funded to facilitate a launch of a spacecraft on the moon; make it drives, hop of fly at least 500 metres (1640 feet) and transmit video and pictures back to the Earth. The second prize is of $5 million.
The contenders have the deadline till 31st December for launching their spaceships. Google is also offering additional money for other milestones, like travelling 3.1 miles (5 kilometres), landing near a landing site of Apollo or tracing evidence of water.