US Government Approves Private Moon Shot
The United States government has given a private American company permission to send a commercial flight to the moon.
Moon Express, Inc. plans to send a robotic lander to the moon. The vehicle has been reported to be the size of the R2-D2 robot from the Star Wars movie series.
"It's a huge milestone for us," said Bob Richards, who heads Moon Express.
Until now, private space exploration companies have limited their activities to Earth's orbit.
Moon Express hopes to begin flights to the moon in 2017, the year in which Google, the technology company, presents its Lunar X Prize. The prize will go to the first privately-funded business to land a vehicle on the moon.
Moon Express joined the race to the moon in 2012. There are now 16 other companies in the competition.
Other private companies and individuals would like to explore space. SpaceX, an American aerospace company, has announced plans to launch its "Red Dragon" spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018. Another company, Planetary Resources, is making plans to mine asteroids for minerals.
Moon Express has said it wants to mine for minerals on the moon.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.private company ph.私人公司
The repairs to the school will be financed by a private company.
2.Until now ph.至今；迄今为止
It has taken until now to pin down its exact location
3.earth's orbit ph.地球轨迹
We can draw the earth's orbit round the sun.
4.plan to ph.计划
They plan to relaunch it as a stand-alone company.
1.SpaceX, an American aerospace company, has announced plans to launch its "Red Dragon" spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018.
as early as 尽早
Glass-making flourished as early as 1350 BC.
I mailed the letter as early as Friday.
2.Another company, Planetary Resources, is making plans to mine asteroids for minerals.
making plans to 制定...计划
They are now making plans to form their own separate party
You should be making plans to spend some time with the ones you love.
月球快车公司（Moon Express）计划向月球发射机器人着陆器 。报道称，这种机器的体型和《星球大战》系列影片里的R2-D2一样大 。
月球快车公司希望能在2017年开始着陆月球，届时谷歌科技公司将为其提供“月球X大奖”奖金 。该项奖金将用来援助首个登陆月球的私人航天企业 。
2012年，月球快车公司参加了“谷歌月球X大奖”比赛 。目前还有16家公司加入了这项竞赛 。
其他的私人企业与个人组织也表示想要探索太空 。美国太空探索科技公司（SpaceX）发表声明称：计划最早在2018年发射“Red Dragon”飞船到火星 。另一家名为Planetary Resources公司正在制定开采小行星矿产的计划 。