First company to demonstrate commercial moon lander


Recent lander test flights from Moon Express have won the company US$1 million from Google Lunar XPRIZE, the only ‘lander system’ milestone prize awarded for a full lander system demonstration.

The tests were conducted at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using a test range at the north end of the Shuttle Landing Facility. The award announcement was made at a private ceremony held at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California, which was attended by officials from Google and the XPRIZE Foundation.

“Moon Express has made singular progress in the Landing Milestone Prize category,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president, XPRIZE. “It was the only team to flight test a prototype of its lander. This is an essential step in the development of extra-planetary spacecraft. The innovative approach also uses a very compact spacecraft structure, giving greater secondary launch opportunities.”

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