A private company called Moon Express is set to provide the first private mission to the Moon after the federal government gave its approval.
The company, which seeks to fly commercial missions to the Moon, also hopes to encourage exploration and mining with its commercial missions. Its first lunar landing is scheduled for late 2017.
“This is not only a milestone, but really a threshold for the entire commercial space industry,” Bob Richards, Moon Express co-founder and CEO, told Space.com on Wednesday, commenting on the historic decision.
The company submitted an application to the FAA on April 8, and it went through the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission before finally getting approval. Read more at SPACE.COM.