Moon mining company to bring 'precious resources' back to Earth after funding secured

Moon Express competing for Google’s Lunar Xprize worth $30 million (£25 million)

Sunday 15 January 2017 17:56 GMT

A company hoping to extract the Moon’s natural resources has just completed a $20 million financing round.

Moon Express, which is based in Silicon Valley, has received a total of $45 million (£37 million) in funding for its efforts a lunar lander.

The company is competing for Google’s Lunar Xprize, which will give whichever firm can land a rover on the moon $30 million (£25 million).

The winner must travel 500 metres on the Moon’s surface and transmit high-definition pictures back to Earth.

Moon Express’s goal is to bring back “precious resources, metals, and moon rocks” to Earth and chief executive Bob Richards, described the space rock as the “unexplored eighth continent”.

“Our goal is to expand Earth’s social and economic sphere to the Moon, our largely unexplored eighth continent, and enable a new era of low cost lunar exploration and development for students, scientists, space agencies and commercial interests,” Mr Richards said in a statement, Florida Today reported.

Moon Express was founded in 2010 by Naveen Jain, Barney Pell and Robert Richards and became the first company to receive US government clearance for a mission to the space rock last year.

It is looking to raise another $10 million as a “contingency” to support any future missions.

The company also has ambitions of establishing low-cost lunar travel to enable science missions and potentially tourist trips.

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