Naveen Jain is a co-founder of Moon Express, Inc., one of several companies in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, in which privately funded teams will try to put robots on the moon by 2016. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Eryn Brown, Jain says his company, also known as MoonEx, is building a self-guided hover craft and plans to make billions by mining the moon.
“Our interest in the moon came because we think it’s a great business, not because it’s a great hobby,” Jain tells the Times. “My whole thinking really is, how do we use science and entrepreneurship to solve the big problems?”
“The MoonEx project came about because we started thinking: There are a tremendous amount of resources that are available on the moon, and the moon has never been explored from the perspective of an entrepreneur,” says Jain.
In addition to bringing rare elements back to Earth, Jain’s plans are to build a platform that will allow people to send messages and other precious items (like family pictures and the ashes of loved ones) to the moon — which Jain describes as “the best time capsule you could ever find, because nothing gets destroyed there.” MoonEx is shooting for late 2013 to launch its hover craft.
You can read the complete Los Angeles Times interview with Jain here.