US government permits private firm to fly to the moon

By Shawn Knight · 15 replies
Aug 3, 2016
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  1. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation has for the first time granted a private company permission to send a spacecraft to the moon.

    The aptly-named Moon Express plans to send a suitcase-sized lander to the moon next year for a two-week mission, founder and CEO Bob Richards told Reuters. In lieu of a manned mission, the lander’s payload will consist of some commercial cargo – cremated human remains, among them – as well as gadgetry to conduct multiple science experiments.

    The firm’s mission to the moon will cost around $25 million. That’s far less than the more than $100 billion spent on the Apollo mission but no small chunk of change. Fortunately, the company may have a way to fund most of the trip.

    Quartz notes that Moon Express is hoping to win Google’s Lunar XPRIZE which was created in 2007 to incentivize space entrepreneurs. As per the contest, the first team to land a privately funded rover on the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit high definition video and images back to earth will win the $20 million grand prize. The second privately-funded team to do so will take home $5 million.

    In an interview with Quartz, Moon Express co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain said that only three superpowers have ever landed on any planet, adding that they aim to be the fourth (is the moon a planet?).

    NASA will advise Moon Express on its mission but won’t regulate the company’s activities on the moon.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,687   +302

    So we acknowledge that the moon is property of the US. Nice.
    wastedkill and alabama man like this.
  3. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,365   +523

  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,938   +1,353

    no it isn't, but you still need permission to fly into space. if anyone were allowed to do it we would have serious issues with the satellites and any mistake can create space garbage.

    I suggest you read the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to learn more about this subject.
    You can also read this article that explains a few things:
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
    ghostf1re likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,995   +2,477

    Even more interesting will be the determination of who shall own the "intellectual property" that might be generated by such an event. Certainly, the private company is going to want to tap into NASA's knowledge base, particularly on those facts about lunar soil and the highly erosive and destructiveness of the "grey stuff" as was discovered by the Apollo crews during their visits. And most certainly there are a number of "classified" bits and pieces that will be important to the new company as well. It would certainly seem that the US Govt. might have a legitimate claim on intellectual property, but considering how much we shared with the rest of the world, will this trend continue?
    alabama man likes this.
  6. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 186   +44

    Any firm in another country can send a spacecraft to the moon. Moon is off limits having no jurisdiction. So nothing is special about this. The first country to go to another planet might be able to own it.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  7. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +70

    Why would anyone want to? I don't really believe they're flying to mars.
    Anyway, if this god everyone prays to actually created the universe, why can't he do alchemy on the moon to create water and air from rock? After all, he created the universe. This should be petty. You can't take our water. Useful in undoing the hate of allah.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 870   +393

    no, it is simply giving permission for a citizen of the US to go. A citizen is bound by laws of that country. Example: just recently, US gave permission for its citizens to travel to cuba again.
  9. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,865   +1,258

    Our tax dollars at work XD
    JaredTheDragon and mojorisin23 like this.
  10. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,687   +302

    Just joking guys, relax.
  11. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,687   +302

    You did provide some nice information though. Thank you.
    Puiu likes this.
  12. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Booster Posts: 50   +38

    Not exactly correct.

    The permission is not to go to the moon, but to launch and (hopefully) return through US airspace. No one need the permission of any government to travel to the moon. However, unless the launch takes place in international waters, some form of permission from the local aviation authority would be required.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,938   +1,353

    never said that it's for moon landings. just for flying into space.
    the article just has useful information, ignore the name.

    and no, you can't launch even from international waters according to the Space Liability Convention which is part of the Outer Space Treaty.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  14. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    I think the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAAOCST)? should have very strict guidelines for this.... I think they should require "moon express" to take Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton on the spacecraft.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,649   +3,108

    @Shawn Knight Is the moon a planet, you ask?

    First, Pluto isn't even a planet anymore. Second, the moon is a moon, and no amount of bullsh!t from some megalomanical CEO will ever change that.

    Third, the only planet, "four superpowers have stepped on", is this one. This is assuming of course, that we're speaking in terms of human footsteps
  16. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Maniac Posts: 364   +232

    The fact that the CEO of such an effort can't tell the difference between moons and planets should inspire exactly as much confidence as their claims deserve. These people are going nowhere, using the same bunk physics that NASA and Elon Musk pretend are legit. It would be hilarious except it's a huge scam (though not as huge as NASA has been) and people still fall for it. Liars bother me because the truth tells us more about reality, instead of less. Dangerously less, usually.

    But I can't wait to watch Elon Musk blow up his first human clients on trips to space. I can't believe how excited I get about it, after being so horrified watching the Challenger and Columbia explosions. First, we'll get the fraudulent media coverage showing CGI'ed people on the moon (I do CGI for a living, and could easily handle this by myself - anyone could) and then we'll get the lawsuits after these morons kill a bunch of people who paid them to die fabulously. It's going to be beautiful. <3

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