Moon Express, NanoRacks partner on lunar missions

Under the agreement, NanoRacks will provide global payload and mission sales, marketing, management and technical support to Moon Express commercial, academic and government customers and expedition partners.

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Moon Express (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and NanoRacks (Webster, Texas) announced an alliance supporting science and commercials payloads flying on Moon Express missions to the Moon and beyond.

Moon Express, a Google Lunar XPRIZE contender, has introduced a family of robotic exploration vehicles designed to reduce the cost of access to the Moon and other deep space destinations, with flights to the Moon beginning in 2018. Under the agreement, NanoRacks will provide global payload and mission sales, marketing, management and technical support to Moon Express commercial, academic and government customers and expedition partners.

“The primary goal of our alliance with NanoRacks is to ensure a great customer experience,” said Moon Express Founder & CEO, Bob Richards. “Our companies share a culture of customer focus, and together we will be able to provide end to end support from payload concept to mission operations.”

Moon Express is partnered with NASA under the Lunar CATALYST Program, developing new lander technologies supporting a U.S. return to the lunar surface, and in 2016 became the first company in history to receive U.S. government authorization for a commercial mission beyond Earth orbit and to the Moon.

NanoRacks operates on the International Space (ISS) Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s U.S. National Labs. In 2017, the company announced permission from NASA to own and operate the first-ever commercial Airlock on the ISS to increase commercial opportunities in low-Earth orbit. Additionally, NanoRacks, along with Space Systems Loral and ULA are working under the NASA NextSTEP program to look at re-use of upper stages of launch vehicles for commercial space stations. NanoRacks has launched over 580 payloads to the space station to date, including almost 200 satellites deployed from ISS.

Both Moon Express and NanoRacks are privately-funded commercial space ventures seeking to lower the cost of access to space to create new opportunities for science, research, exploration and commercial missions in and beyond Earth orbit.

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