Jeff Foust, for SpaceNews:
Moon Express Chief Executive Bob Richards said that the funding will support redevelopment of Launch Complex (LC) 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a former Delta 2 launch site that the company is leasing from the Air Force to serve as a spacecraft development and test center.
“The $10 million will allow us to complete key renovations at LC-17 and pull the trigger on ordering long-lead flight hardware and building the spacecraft for our maiden flight, which will be synced to coincide with customer schedules for their payload readiness,” Richards said in an Oct. 1 email.
Richards added that July 2020 is a “reasonable goal” for that first mission.
Looks like all the rumblings about Moon Express folding entirely weren’t the whole story. But I do want to point out that they haven’t even started building the first flight vehicle.
Has there been a bigger sham than the Google Lunar X Prize in recent memory? We’ve recently heard announcements from past entrants, and they’re all years away from being ready to go the Moon. All the PR and bluster in the last year or two was either pure marketing, strategic deceit, or both.