Florida Space Coast based Moon Express, which today is focus of an Industry Day at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has signed memorandum’s of understanding (MOU) with seven Canadian organizations and plans on opening an office in the Toronto area.
Moon Express reconnects with its roots
The news comes just two week after Moon Express had signed an MOU with the Canadian Space Agency whereby “the CSA and Moon Express will explore the possibilities of using Moon Express lunar orbiter and lander systems for potential CSA payloads and will promote possibilities for collaboration between Moon Express and the Canadian space industry and academia.”
Moon Express was co-founded by Canadian Bob Richards who has strong ties to Canada’s space sector having started his career in Canada. Richards moved to the U.S. to pursue his dream of building a company that would be an enabler for a sustained economy based on lunar resources.
Moon Express has been working for some time on developing relationships and laying the necessary groundwork, to expand into Canada. More agreements could come as result of today’s Industry Day.
The companies that Moon Express has signed memorandum’s of understanding are;
- Canadensys Aerospace Corporation, Caledon, Ontario
- Deltion Innovations, Sudbury, Ontario (Previously announced last week by Deltion.)
- Gedex Systems Inc., Mississauga, Ontario
- Mission Control Space Services, Inc., Ottawa, Ontario
- NGC Aerospace, Sherbrooke, Quebec
- Teledyne Optech, Vaughan, Ontario
- University of Guelph, Ontario
Moon mission as early as 2019
Moon Express has been coy about when they plan their first launch to the moon. When they were in the hunt for the Google Lunar X Prize they let people speculate without ever providing any definitive launch dates other than those imposed by the X Prize competition. Alain Berinstain, Vice President of Global Development told SpaceQ that they are now targeting late 2019 or early 2020 for their mission.
Moon Express announced two weeks ago it had closed a US$2.5M bridge round and opened a US$20M Series B round of financing and had secured US$10M from an unnamed lead investor.
“We are excited to partner with the Canadian space sector at the dawn of an exciting new era of lunar exploration,” Canadian-born Bob Richards stated. “We look forward to working with the CSA and our industry and academic partners to develop new opportunities for Canadian science and technology in the exploration of the Moon and its vast resources.”
A Canadian headquarters
As part of today’s announcement Moon Express said it had created Moon Express Canada Inc. with a website to be launched at moonexpress.ca.
Berinstain told SpaceQ that the Canadian office would be in the Toronto area. As well, in the press release Moon Express says “the business will serve Canadian high-tech growth, export opportunities and applications of Canada’s niche space technologies in the exploration of the Moon in partnership with the United States, Europe and other nations.”
Today’s announcement sets the stage for several Canadian organizations to possibly make contributions to future Moon Express missions to the moon.