While NASA and some private companies – such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin – are already dreaming of the colonization of Mars, other companies are turning their eyes to stars closer to Earth.
Do not worry, this is not myopia about space exploration, but a journey that can broaden our knowledge about the moon and bring a good profit from the process.
According to Engadget, Moon Express has a daring plan for our natural satellite: start mining the lunar surface from 2020. The best? Using robots!
The idea is that the company’s first mission – which was originally set up for a Google sponsored competition – will be made by the end of this year and will pave the way for the construction of an outpost at the South Pole of the Moon.
Once everything is in order, and the space company sets up there, robotic explorers must begin digging the region for water and minerals. When there is a good amount of material accumulated, a final mission will aim to bring that content to Earth. The project is expected to last about two to three years in its first space adventure.
The bad news? Rocket Lab, Moon Express’s partner in the venture, has not yet finished production of the Electron rocket, which is the main transport of the missions.
In addition, the company itself is still finalizing the MX-1E module, which is responsible for bringing groceries and returning with the minerals throughout the project. Any effort to complete these steps should yield dividends.
To begin with, selling lunar ore can be an extremely lucrative business, as three small satellite rocks sold by the Russians in 1993 cost more than $440,000 to the buyer – about $ 1.4 million.
Besides, the discovery of water at the lunar poles can make the site an actual space fuel station, since the element can be used to power rockets and to make trips to Mars much calmer and more common in the future.