Google Lunar X Prize competitor Odyssey Moon will have a press conference on Friday to announce a deal with Paragon Space Development Corporation to send a greenhouse to the moon.
In an X PRIZE blog post, Loretta Whitesides says the company will be “announcing a new partner on our team and a new capability on the lander.” Although she is not specific, Leonard David has already broken the story.
For Paragon, this is a bit of a return to its roots. The company was co-founded by Biosphere 2 participants (and later husband-and-wife) Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter. One of their start-up company’s first products were self-contained biospheres full of water, plants and small organisms.
I would expect that Paragon and Odyssey Moon will announce plans to sell replica greenhouses where people can grow their own plants–just like on the moon. That could turn a tidy profit for the companies if sales are high enough.
The venture certainly has a lot of potential for a global education program that would get children excited about space exploration. Poynter has been involved in global education initiatives for a number of years.
David reports that in addition to its work on the biological payloads, Paragon is providing “robotic lunar lander design support and the landerâ€™s thermal control system.”