#Moon #FAA – Moon Express Gets Approval For First Non-Gov’t Lunar Mission In 2017 : It looks like going to the moon will no longer be a privilege reserved for the government, as Moon Express has become the first private company in the world to receive permission to travel beyond Earth’s orbit — a development that came after months of negotiations with government officials.
Now, Moon Express, having formally received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will launch launch its MX-1 lunar lander beyond Earth’s orbit and to the Moon in 2017.
“Moon Express received the green light for pursuing its 2017 lunar mission following in-depth consultations with the FAA, the White House, the State Department, NASA and other federal agencies,” the company said [pdf] in its website Wednesday.
Earning The Right For Out-Of-Orbit Flight
Moon Express was was born out of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, an international contest with $30 million up for grabs for a private company who can soft-land on the moon and travel across its surface.
One would assume that earning the right to go to the Moon would have involve a long, regimented process. However, as past examples have shown, making history often requires using unconventional methods, and this instance was no different.