As reported by TechCrunch on Wednesday, August 3, 2106, Moon Express has officially became the first private company on Earth that are allowed to fly into space, past the orbit of Earth, and landed the spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.
After long talks with US civil aviation authority (FAA), Moon Express was given permission to send a spacecraft to the Moon on 2017.
|Illustration of Moon Express lander. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1d85jo)|
"Now we can venture to the seventh mainland of Earth, the Moon. We will look for new insights and resources to improve the economy of the Earth, for the benefit of all mankind," said Bob Richards, founder and CEO of Moon Express.
Certainty is an important milestone for the involvement of private companies in the aerospace industry. So far, no plane or privately owned vehicle was allowed past the limits of the Earth's orbit.
If successful Moon Express will be the fourth entity in the history which successfully landed on the lunar surface after the United States, the Soviet Union, and China. Moon Express itself is a private company comprised of 26 businessmen and scientists.
|Illustration of Moon Express lander on the lunar surface. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1d85jo)|
Moon Express itself is a company born out of the arena of the Google Lunar X PRIZE, an international competition with prizes of US. $30 million (approximately Rp.394,6 billion), which aims to find private companies who can create vehicles for land and adventure on the lunar surface.
Currently the contest, held since 2007 and will end in 2017 that left 16 participants, including Moon Express. Of the entire team, only two that have been awarded a contract to fly to the Moon: Moon Express with Rocket Lab and SpaceIL (an Israeli company) with SpaceX.
But so far, only Moon Express that have received permission to fly past the limits of the Earth's orbit and landed on the Moon. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | TECH CRUNCH]
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