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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Private company plans US's first controlled moon landing in 40 years

•, By Jeremy A. Kaplan/
 Moon Express will unveil the MX-1 spacecraft at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas on Thursday evening -- a micro-spacecraft that will in 2015 mark the first U.S. "soft" landing since the days of the Apollo program, has learned.

The craft looks for all the world like a pair of donuts wearing an ice cream cone, and the tiny vehicle clearly isn’t big enough for a human being. But it is big enough to scoop up some rocks and dirt, store them in an internal compartment, and return it to Earth. After all, the moondirt Gene Cernan, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin once trod holds a king’s ransom of titanium, platinum, and other rare elements.

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