A commercial space firm is over the moon with its Aug. 3 approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to launch and land a spacecraft on the moon.
Cape Canaveral-based Moon Express Inc. got approval from the FAA for its planned moon mission set for 2017. This is the first time a private company has permission to land on the moon.
Bob Richards, CEO of Moon Express, shared with Orlando Business Journal in an earlier report that getting FAA approval was the biggest challenge the company faced. FAA documents show that Moon Express submitted a request to the organization on April 8. Moon Express plans to land its MX-1E spacecraft on the moon where it only will roam on the surface, and that mission is just the start for what’s to come.
The company sees the moon as a resource for business. “Our investors see the value in the moon for its minerals and resources and as a very valuable benefit for Earth and a stepping stone for humanity expansion,” previously Richards told OBJ. “The water reserve in the holes of the moon were proven. You can live off the land just like the early explorers when you go to space. Water on the moon is a game changer as well as an economic opportunity.”
Further down the line, Moon Express also sees the possibility of building a gas station on the moon for traveling rockets.
Moon Express, which started six years ago in Silicon Valley, will use Cape Canaveral Air Force base’s launch complexes 17 and 18 for its lunar lander development and flight test operations.