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US company receives historic nod to send a lander to the moon

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posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 05:59 PM
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We are now free to set sail as explorers to Earth's eighth continent, the moon, seeking new knowledge and resources to expand Earth's economic sphere for the benefit of all humanity," said Bob Richards, co-founder and chief executive of Moon Express.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced its approval Wednesday, following consultations with the White House, State Department and the US space agency NASA.

Moon Express, based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was founded in 2010.

It has yet to finish its moon lander, which will be carried in late 2017 by a rocket made by Rocket Lab, another startup, which has not yet launched any commercial missions.

Source: Phys.org, Aug. 3, 2016 - US company gets historic nod to send lander to moon.
Company link: Moon Express (warning: consists of page flips, hard to read).

So they applied on April 8, 2016! Seems pretty quick turnaround for government approval. The planned launch date is in 2017. They do not even have a lander built yet. Their website high lights the "commercialization" aspect of what they are trying to do by this launch.

On one hand the question always has been, "Why have we [human beings] never gone back to the moon?" The answers run the gamut and are found all around ATS. So for those with favorite theories from "fake" to "warned off by Visitors" will now be able to see if what you believe stacks up against a non-government agency going back. Hologramists have it easy... still all fake. Science-nerdy types have the "I told you" aspect covered. And even the tree-huggers and economist types have a say!

Commercialize space like SpaceX and now Moon Express want to do? Great idea or bad idea? Or lost somewhere in the spectrum in between?

I think technology and science are good things but human wastefulness is edging towards an all time high which cause me some concern. So when Moon Express calls the moon "the eighth continent" my knee jerks to "look at all the bad things that happened when we did first visit other continents" rather than jump up and down in joy. I still like the news even if not completely behind it due to history.

Oh, I know there are going to be various opinions on this! So, anybody have any they would like to share?
edit on 3-8-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity




posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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I've been actually looking forward to this sort of thing for some time. I honestly feel the only way we'll really get out into space is on the backs of a free market in this regards.

Space mining is next, Lunar or asteroidal - is that even a word?


edit on 3-8-2016 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: SLAYER69

Bim skala bim! I grant your wish! "asteroidal" can now become a word!

I am sort of worried about grand announcements like this especially with a short timeline. Reminds me too much of "graphene light bulb" or "graphene battery" with nothing to show for it all these years later. But they have had 6 years to think how to actually accomplish their goal.

I also hope they do this in an environmentally friendly manner too. Who knows? With all the craziness down here we might need a place to run to and hide out for a bit.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Well the Soviets/Russians gave up on the moon, The US got bored with the moon, The Chinese landed a probe recently, and now hopefully this. To be honest and in my humble opinion, I think we humans although busy fighting wars, gouging each other for profit, not to mention killing our fellow man over petrol, has done a horrible job taking advantage of the whole "That's one small step for man...."


Ok, so landing a Car sized lander on Mars was cool, KUDOS NASA, yeah take a bow, you deserve it but....still no life found.


edit on 3-8-2016 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:15 PM
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The space program has been choked out by government for decades.

Don't get me wrong, I am eternally grateful to NASA for all they have contributed to the human race in terms of space exploration.

But they aren't the problem. Congress is.

Companies like SpaceX and Moon Express don't have to necessarily worry about the which way the political winds are blowing when it comes to space exploration, mining of the moon and asteroids, and other endeavors.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

I also hope they do not have to worry about this guy either!


Dennis Hope, an American entrepreneur, sells extraterrestrial real estate. In 1980, he started his own business, the Lunar Embassy Commission. As of 2009 Hope claimed to have sold 2.5M 1-acre plots on the Moon, for around US$20 per acre. He allocates land to be sold by closing his eyes and randomly pointing to a map of the Moon. He claims two former US presidents as customers, stating Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan had aides purchase them plots on the moon.

Wikipedia: Extraterrestrial real estate.

Feeding the meter would be a PITA unless you can use Visa or AmEx! I guess there no way to get a ticket so NVM.

So if the idea of ownership and land/mineral use are not settled wonder what that would mean to this venture? IDK, just thought about space treaties and how they involve the moon...


edit on 3-8-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar nazi



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 06:48 PM
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Yah sure, go for it (snicker).

They know how much thats going to cost, this time around. Going back to the moon will require they do it just like they did it before. In stages, with orbiters, landers and return capsules.

Every phase of the landing and return to earth has to be extensively tested and bugs worked out until they finally go all the way there and back in one shot. That was at least 11 apollos last time.

Then what?

Yaaay!



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 07:07 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr


Then what?


Stage 3 - Profit!


They want to bring back samples and moon rocks at first. First it starts with a lander. I wonder if they get to the point of sending up a human they will be given the green light?



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Helium 3?

Yeah there is that too

But supposedly this is just around the corner..



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: SLAYER69

I was thinking about mentioning that (H-3) but did not want to hog the start of the thread. And am a self-proclaimed fusion fanboy so figured we would get there eventually and I would not shut up (hehehe).

Thanks SLAYER!

[Got to run today! So releasing control to whims of ATS! Hope this is informational! Will be back as soon as I can tomorrow!]



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 07:26 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

originally posted by: intrptr


Then what?


Stage 3 - Profit!


They want to bring back samples and moon rocks at first. First it starts with a lander. I wonder if they get to the point of sending up a human they will be given the green light?

Thats what they sold us last time, developing the moon, building bases. The following missions (12 thru 17)reflected that was seen as unrealistic. Thats why they stopped moon missions, we were wasting our time going back and forth but not developing the moon building 'colonies', whatever.

The fact of the matter is by the time you expend all the fuel necessary to get all the way there and land you are sitting in a small tin can with a few hours of air, before you have to blast back off... or die.

All that they could carry there was left behind as litter piles. Useful for one flight, (like the landing engine) but not having any ongoing purpose (except for a few experiments).

As far as bring back, the size of the return to moon orbit engine and fuel supply was limited to the weight they could carry of two men and a couple hundred pounds of moon rocks. As soon as you want to add any more it becomes an extra burden to initial lift off from earth and then lifting off from the moon.

Filling the tiny reentry earth capsule with a ton off rock is unpractical, it wasn't designed to carry that much weight, increased load on parachutes, splash down, etc.

What they did was the best compromise between the weight of fuel needed landing on the moon and then returning to earth safely.

They would have to do it the same way they did before, all over again. The cost today would be gynormous, the skill to engineer and build it all over again, limited. It was a different era, there was a space race, a blind ideology contest to beat the Commies, blah blah.



edit on 3-8-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 07:56 PM
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Moon base is cleared, you are ready and have clearance to land alpha one.
edit on 3-8-2016 by Naturallywired because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 08:03 PM
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Just shows NASAs impotence when it comes to anything space related these days. It's just a glorified PR company.

Russian and Chinese space agencies are where it's at nowadays



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 08:04 PM
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originally posted by: SLAYER69
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Helium 3?

Yeah there is that too

But supposedly this is just around the corner..

I'm going out on a limb here as to say it's got a lot to do with rare earth magnet tech. Think about rare moon magnets.

Is Mining Rare Minerals on the Moon Vital to National Security?
edit on 3-8-2016 by Naturallywired because: Added links



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: Naturallywired

OK, I'm going to break my reputation of years of silence, in certain topics .


OK, now what?

What do YOU think it means, in depth please.






edit on 3-8-2016 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 08:58 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
The space program has been choked out by government for decades.

Don't get me wrong, I am eternally grateful to NASA for all they have contributed to the human race in terms of space exploration.

But they aren't the problem. Congress is.

Companies like SpaceX and Moon Express don't have to necessarily worry about the which way the political winds are blowing when it comes to space exploration, mining of the moon and asteroids, and other endeavors.


Don't forget though, the only reasons why SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, and Boeing have spacecraft that can now go to the space station (and soon take astronauts to the space station) is because of NASA contracts that paid them money to do so...money that came from congress.

I doubt SpaceX would have progressed so far so fast without the carrot on the stick that NASA put in front of them in the form of the C.O.T.S. (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) contract and the CCtCap (Commercial Crew Transportation Capability) contracts. NASA just awarded SpaceX with one more of the CCtCap contracts last week.

NASA is sub-contracting out the LEO ferrying business to SpaceX, Orbital, and Boeing while they concentrate of building the heavy-lift SLS, which will be the largest rocket ever with the heaviest payload to places beyond Earth orbit.

edit on 2016-8-3 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: Naturallywired

No offense

Rare Earth. the US military/economic security is a BS. the vast majority presently known are based on nationalistic info from China. The Global reserves are tied tied to known slate flats. The US are sitting on the two largest resrves in the world. Wake up!



Say tuned



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Oh believe me I understand that.

But SpaceX and others aren't reliant entirely on congressional funds. There is a huge market waiting for lift infrastructure for commercial satellite and space mining operations that are coming around the the bend over the next 5 to 10 years.

The government has a vested interest in exploiting space. To them the cost of contracting companies with their own resources is more cost effective than the old hat in house development that has been a hallmark of US space exploration for decades.

That dynamic will soon change as more and more companies look to space to increase their profitability.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 11:29 PM
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My only question is . . . why are they asking permission since nobody can technically own any rights for the moon since they are not there?



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 04:53 AM
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originally posted by: JDeLattre89
My only question is . . . why are they asking permission since nobody can technically own any rights for the moon since they are not there?

I gather that since it's going to be an American mission, they have to get an approval from the USA government. Same would be the case with a commercial Russian or Indian mission. The government is ultimately responsible for their country's space missions and their impact.



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