A private group of startup robots is planning to go to the moon and mine it for water and minerals to sell to humans back on Earth, according to a report on TheVerge.com.
The commercial company backing the alien space robots, Moon Express, says it’s long dreamed of seeing robots dig holes in the moon’s surface and bring up priceless treasures they can sell for a lot of money.
Moon Express is currently based at Cape Canaveral, in Florida, and occupies Launch Complexes 17 and 18 – so it’s literally within walking distance of the moon, sort of.
The company says it’s looking to re-purpose these historic sites into a vibrant new commercial spaceport.
Moon Express is planning to develop approximately 70 acres of facilities and range, supporting its robotic spacecraft development and test, and incubating “fresh new dreams of extraordinary adventures into the space frontier”.
Whatever, happens on Earth, the main purpose of Moon Express seems to be to send robotic explorers to the moon, defining it as planet Earth’s “eighth continent”.
Part of the purpose of the lunar landers being developed by Moon Express is to win the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million competition to encourage the development of robots that land on the moon, travels 500 meters on its surface and transmits back high-definition images and video.
As quoted on SpaceNews.com, Moon Express chief executive Bob Richards says: “I really hope that we can be in a position to win it. But from our business perspective, it’s not a dependency, and it never was. So we will be launching this mission as soon as we can.”