Moon Express brings in $12.5M to boost lunar plans

Moon Express spacecraft
An artist’s conception shows Moon Express’ MX-1E spacecraft making its approach to the moon. (Moon Express Illustration)

Moon Express, which aims to start missions to the moon within the next couple of years, says it has raised $2.5 million in bridge financing and has begun a $20 million Series B financing round, anchored by a $10 million lead investor.

Proceeds will go toward building out facilities in Cape Canaveral, Fla., and developing the spacecraft for its commercial lunar flight program, the company said today in a news release.

Since its founding in 2010, Moon Express has been working on a space transport system that’s been called a “FedEx for space.” The company, which has Seattle-area entrepreneur Naveen Jain as its co-founder and executive chairman, was a competitor for the Google Lunar X Prize. Although the prize went unwon, Moon Express is continuing to work on a series of spacecraft for trips to the moon and other off-Earth destinations with backing from NASA’s Lunar CATALYST program.

Moon Express’ co-founder and CEO, Bob Richards, announced the new financing at The World Innovation Network Global Summit in Chicago.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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