Moon Express’ Progress in NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program

Moon Express is one of three companies NASA has signed agreements with for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) program.

“The purpose of the Lunar CATALYST initiative is for NASA to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar landers capable of successfully delivering small (30 to 100 kg) and medium (250 to 500 kg) class payloads to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial launch capabilities,” the agreement states.

“This no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreement (SAA) with the Partner enables provision and coordination of NASA in-kind contributions at no cost to the Partner, of NASA civil servant technical expertise, access to NASA test facilities, the loaning of equipment, and software,” the agreement adds.

The program, which began three years ago, was recently extended another two years for all three partners. Below is an update on Moon Express’ progress and a list of upcoming milestones.

 MOON EXPRESS LUNAR CATALYST MILESTONES
NO.MILESTONE
DATE
STATUS
1Kickoff Meeting

Success criterion: clearance of action items from Kickoff meeting

 September 2014 Completed
2Financial Milestone 1

Moon Express will close its Series B Investment Round and will have raised the dollar amount indicated in the Lunar CATALYST proposal’s Funding Plan for purposes of funding the design and build of the first test article (MTV-1).

Success criterion: Successful Series B Closing reaching threshold needed for all bridge notes to convert to equity.

September 2014 Completed
4MTV-1 Test Readiness Review (TRR)

Success criterion: All conditions for test readiness are met

November 2014Completed
3Financial Milestone 2

Moon Express will open its Series C Investment Round in accordance with the Lunar CATALYST proposal’s Funding Plan.

Success criterion: Series C round opened/SEC filings submitted

January 2015Completed
6MX-1 System design review

Success criterion: Resolution of all Requests For Action (RFA)

September 2015Completed
10Financial Milestone 3

Moon Express will close its Series C Investment Round and will have raised the dollar amount indicated in the Lunar CATALYST proposal’s Funding Plan for purposes of completing build and integration of MX-1 spacecraft.

Success criterion: Successful Series C Closing reaching threshold needed for all bridge notes to convert to equity

March 2017Completed
5Component radiation testing TRR

Success criterion: NASA approval to proceed to
component radiation testing

September 2017Completed
7Bi-Propellant Engine Vacuum Tests

Success criterion: Complete a bi-propellant engine test in a relevant vacuum as evidenced by test completion and a summary of the results

 December 2017
8Expedition One Vehicle Manufacturing Readiness Review

Success criterion: Completion of MRRs required to procure vehicle components as approved by executive management and evidenced by a summary of the reviews and any major findings

December 2017
9Expedition One Spacecraft Structural Tests

Success criterion: Completion of the structural tests planned for the Expedition One vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results

January 2018
11Expedition One Avionics Integration Tests

Success criterion: Completion of the avionics tests planned for the Expedition One vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results

February 2018
12Expedition One Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Tests

Success Criterion: Completion of the TVAC tests planned for the Expedition One vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results

February 2018
13Expedition One Launch Readiness Review

Success Criterion: Review and resolution of vehicle and infrastructure readiness for launch Expedition One

 May 2018
14Financial Milestone 4

Moon Express will have achieved sufficient funding from all sources to enable the launch of Expedition One.

Success criterion: Revenues banked or contracted plus mission indemnity and funding reserves that are sufficient for mission cost recovery on at least a break-even basis as evidenced by a summary certification of the financial resources and commitments, including contracts, sufficient to enable the launch of Expedition One.

 May 2018
15Expedition Two Avionics Integration Tests

Success Criterion: Completion of the avionics tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results

 July 2018
16Expedition Two Spacecraft Structural Tests

Success Criterion: Completion of the structural tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results

 August 2018
17
Expedition Two Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Tests
Success Criterion: Completion of the TVAC tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results
 September 2018
18
Expedition Two Launch Readiness Review
Success Criterion: Review and resolution of vehicle and infrastructure readiness for launch Expedition Two
November 2018
19
Financial Milestone 5
Moon Express will have achieved sufficient funding from all sources to enable the launch of Expedition
Two
Success criterion: Revenues banked or contracted plus mission indemnity and funding reserves that are sufficient for mission cost recovery on at least a break-even basis as evidenced by a summary certification of the financial resources and commitments, including contracts, sufficient to enable the launch of Expedition Two
 November 2018
20
Expedition Three Avionics Integration Tests
Success Criterion: Completion of the avionics tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results
January
2019
21
Expedition Three Spacecraft Structural Tests
Success Criterion: Completion of the structural tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results
 May 2019
22
Expedition Three Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Tests
Success Criterion: Completion of the TVAC tests planned for the Expedition Two vehicle as evidenced by test completion and a documented summary of the results
 July 2019
23
Expedition Three Launch h Readiness Review
Success Criterion: Review and resolution of vehicle and infrastructure readiness for launch Expedition Three
 September 2019
24
Financial Milestone 6
Moon Express will have achieved sufficient funding from all sources to enable the launch of Expedition Three
Success criterion: Revenues banked or contracted plus mission indemnity and funding reserves that are sufficient for mission cost recovery on at least a break-even basis as evidenced by a summary certification of the financial resources and commitments, including contracts, sufficient to enable the launch of Expedition Three.
 September 2019

  • Search

    So not a single piece of completed hardware. Just paper. Unlike the two other CATALYST companies who have built and tested actual things.

  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    Moon Express were tether testing a lander at KSC 2 years ago. They appear to have performed a redesign since.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfSdJPOU3fc