Moon Express is a company that is working with NASA on private space flights to the moon. Moon Express has a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement signed with NASA and part of that agreement means that NASA provides Moon Express with its robotic Mighty Eagle lander for testing purposes. Moon Express has announced the completion of a successful closed loop free flight test with that robotic lander.
The closed loop free flight test occurred on November 25 and is the first in a series of progressive tests of the Moon Express flight software. The test were conducted in cooperation with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. The goal of the test program is to help Moon Express to create commercial lunar landers for low cost robotic missions to the moon to begin in 2015.
NASA is providing the Mighty Eagle lander along with an engineering team to support the test flights to validate Moon Express’ guidance, navigation, and control flight software. Moon Express does have to pay NASA for the use of the lander and the engineering team.
Moon Express is hoping to win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. That $30 million prize will be award to the first company able to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and transmit HD video, images, and data from the landing site and then 500 meters form the landing site with a rover.
SOURCE: Moon Express