Moon Express, a private space company, today revealed its plans to build an outpost on the South Pole of the Moon by 2020. The outpost is going to be staffed by robots which will be used to mine the Moon. It’s going to create a new class of robot for this purpose which the company is called MX Robotic Explorers. They will land and deliver payloads on the Moon’s surface. It eventually plans to have permanent robots on the Moon that can mine the Moon for minerals, precious resources that will fetch big money back on Earth.
The company’s first robotic lander is titled the MX-1E. It will be able to carry up to 66 pounds of payload to the Moon’s surface and it will also be able to “hop” across the surface once it lands. Moon Express is looking to launch this rocket out of New Zealand in the not too distant future.
In the next few years, it’s going to build additional spacecraft that will be capable of carrying more payload and undertaking more tasks. The idea is to have these robotic landers launch from the surface once they’ve mined and collected the minerals so that they can be brought back to Earth.
The company hasn’t shared any details about the technology that it will use to mine the Moon for minerals.
It goes without saying that the task will be easier said than done. Given that it’s looking to launch the mission by 2020, we should find out how it will go about doing that in a couple of years.