NASA is preparing to release a solicitation for the commercial transportation of payloads to the lunar surface, the latest step in the agency’s efforts to help promote the development of commercial lunar landers.
After months of stating that it would offer no further extensions of the Google Lunar X Prize competition, the X Prize Foundation announced Aug. 16 it was effectively giving the five remaining teams a little extra time.
Moon Express, a company developing commercial lunar landers, said July 12 its first mission is still on schedule to launch by the end of this year in a bid to win the Google Lunar X Prize.
Moon Express announced Jan. 13 that it has closed a $20 million financing round, giving the company sufficient funds for an attempt to win the Google Lunar X Prize later this year.
NASA announced Nov. 1 that it is seeking information regarding instruments that could be flown to the moon on future commercial spacecraft.
Moon Express said Aug. 3 that it has won a first-of-its-kind regulatory approval from the U.S. government for a commercial lunar lander the company is developing.
Moon Express, a Florida company developing commercial lunar landers, announced July 12 an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to take over a former Delta 2 launch site at Cape Canaveral.
Concerned that regulatory uncertainty could block its plans to launch a lunar lander mission next year, Moon Express has proposed an alternative approach for carrying out a required payload review that could keep its plans on schedule while a more permanent legislative solution is developed.
The X Prize Foundation announced Dec. 8 that it has verified a launch contract announced in October by Moon Express, making the company the second with an approved deal to participate in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition to land spacecraft on the moon.
Moon Express announced Oct. 1 that it is buying three launches for its lunar lander spacecraft from Rocket Lab, a deal that should unlock a two-year extension of the Google Lunar X Prize competition.