January 31, 2017
When a group of entrepreneurs get together and decide they want to mine the Moon, they aren’t limited by boundaries of their mind. They truly believed that recovering resources from the Moon will help humanity in the longer and will provide a unique and lucrative business opportunity. And they couldn’t have been more right.
Moon Express is the first private company in history to receive government permission to travel beyond the Earth’s orbit and harvest resources on the Moon.
“The story of Moon Express is awesome, but really is symbolic of what is possible with a small group of entrepreneurs and what they are capable of doing, whether it be landing on the Moon or curing cancer,” said Naveen Jain, cofounder and chairman of Moon Express.
Moon Express has hit impressive milestones in their quest to this planet’s closest celestial body. They announced a successful closing of $20 million Series B-1 funding round, fully funding its maiden lunar mission. The capital will be put towards the company’s operations, innovation, growth, and the production and flight of the company’s MX-1E robotic spacecraft, which is planned to launch to the Moon at the end of 2017. To date, the company has raised $45 million in private investment.
Other achievements include being named a finalist in the Goolgle Lunar XPRIZE, preparing Space Launch Complexes 17 and 18 at Cape Canaveral for launch, contracting five rockets from Rocket Lab USA to launch the company’s robotic spacecraft into orbit, and being elected by NASA as an industry partner to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the Moon.
“We chose to go to the Moon not because it’s easy, because it’s a great business. As an entrepreneur, we do things because it’s a great business and it also happens to move humanity forward,” said Jain in an interview.
Jain said it requires a bit of obsession to succeed when you are doing something you truly believe in.
“It has to be about obsession and something you are willing to die for and then you live for it – and that is why many entrepreneurs start for the wrong purpose and focus on making money and not focusing on thing they really enjoy,” Jain said.
As part of this startup journey, you can’t put a limit your ability to accomplish the craziest idea.
“If the sky is the limit, then the sky is the limit in your mind. Don’t put any limit on what you can achieve because if you can glean it, you can imagine it, you can achieve it,” said Jain. “We get excited about creating the future and the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Read more about startups headed for space at Tech.Co!
Photos courtesy of Moon Express & Naveen Jain
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