Until now, the only entities which could visit the Moon were governments, such as the United States. But it's all about to change thanks to a private spaceflight company.
A Florida based firm, Moon Express inc., will be the first commercial entity which will be granted a permission to leave Earth's orbit for a destination in outer space. MoonEx (Moon Express inc.), has in plan to send a robotic lander to the moon, where it will drop scientific instruments that will help researchers study the mysteries of space. For example, the lander will be carrying several retroreflectors designed to reflect light back to earth; in the past, these devices have led to discoveries about relativity and quantum mechanics and in the future, could yield insights into dark matter, said MoonEx co-founder Bob Richards in an interview.
MoonEx Lunar Lander
Will on the Moon, MoonEx will also try to win a $20 million prize being offered by Google as part of the Lunar XPRIZE
There are firms such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic which pioneered private space launches in hopes of making it much cheaper to fling heavy payloads into orbit. But MoonEx said it is the first company to obtain clearance from the U.S. government to venture beyond.
MoonEx aims to be far ahead of the competition, looking to make money carrying cargo to the moon and mining the lunar terrain for water and other resources.
source - https://www.washingtonpost.com