Moon Express MX-1 commercial lander to take payloads to the moon

Dec 6, 2013

Moon Express is one of the companies hoping to win the Google Lunar X Prize competition worth as much as $30 million. Not too long ago the company was celebrating a successful free flight test with the NASA Mighty Eagle lander. Moon Express has this week unveiled its own lunar lander called the MX-1.

Moon Express says that the MX-1 lander will use hydrogen peroxide as rocket fuel and is designed to take scientific and commercial payloads from Earth orbit to the moon. The lander is described as a green robotic spacecraft that gets power from sunlight along with the hydrogen peroxide rocket fuel. Moon Express says that with the discovery of water on the surface of the moon, the rocket has a potential source of fuel on the lunar surface.

The hydrogen peroxide that the spacecraft will use is described as a "high test version" of what you can buy down at the local drug store. The main rocket engine for the MX-1 is a dual mode bi-propellant system that also uses kerosene as an afterburner to give the spacecraft the velocity required to break out of Earth orbit.

The lunar lander will be able to decelerate to zero velocity again as it touches the lunar surface. The MX-1 is about the size of a large coffee table and is a self-contained single stage spacecraft. The spacecraft is also able to serve as an upper stage or existing launch systems allowing the MX-1 to be used for missions as varied as cubesat deployment, satellite servicing, and as a space tug to clean up space debris. The MX-1 will make its maiden flight in 2015.

SOURCE: Moon Express

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