Apollo missions have been giving scientists the opportunity to progressively discover how rich and diverse Moon geology is. Investigations and surveys have confirmed all the resources for which we fight for on Earth are available in infinite quantities in space.
A privately-held company called Moon Express is showing us how to mine on the moon. The company recently unveiled the design for a small green robotic spacecraft called the“MX-1” at the closing session of Autodesk University in Las Vegas.
This lunar lender is about the size of a coffee table. The robot’s purpose is to move on the moon’s surface and will be powered only by solar panels, using hydrogen peroxide as rocket fuel.
The company’s target for the MX-1 is not only to get the $30 million Google prize money but also to mine the surface of the moon. The company hopes to build the robot and send it to the moon by late 2015 to extract valuable minerals.
Moon Express considers MX-1 much more capable than just Lunar mining missions, though. They say it will also be used for clearing of space debris, NASA’s asteroid defense CubeSat deployment and even a refueling and re-positioning “space tug” for satellites.
If Moon Express can do all this, it could usher in a whole new era of space exploration, tourism and resource-harvesting.