Monday, November 28, 2011

Moon Express Lunar Ambitions

Moon Express, a privately funded company, is developing a robotic spacecraft to land on the moon.
CREDIT: Moon Express

When he's not acting as the CEO of Intelius, an information-services company, Naveen Jain dreams of one day being able to mine the moon.

In August 2010, Jain co-founded Moon Express, a privately funded company that aims to build and launch a robotic spacecraft to the moon.

The lander is being designed to carry up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of cargo to the lunar surface.

Moon Express is one of nearly 30 teams making a run at the $30 million Google Lunar X-Prize, which is a commercial race to land a homemade robot on the moon.

The company was already awarded a contract worth up to $10 million as part of NASA's Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data program. But Jain has his sights set on even loftier ambitions.

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