FAA approves Florida company’s moon mission
New York Times by Mike Seemuth
One Florida company’s interest in real estate is out of this world. Moon Express announced August 3 the Federal Aviation Administration approved its proposal to land on the moon.
Cape Canaveral-based Moon Express, which plans to put a robotic lander on the lunar surface, could win a Google-sponsored contest awarding $20 million to the first privately run organization to go to the moon. No NASA-run flight has gone to the moon in more than 40 years.
Moon Express, a startup company, has plenty of work to do before it can shoot for the moon, including assembly of the robotic lander with a rocket never before operated.
Telecommunications satellites are 22,236 miles above the earth, the limit of current commercial ventures into space. Moon Express would travel 10 times farther to reach the moon, a feat accomplished by only the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
FAA approval of the Moon Express project is part of a larger governmental effort to nurture commercial space ventures in the 21st century.
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