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Open Lunar began a few years ago as something of a thought exercise. A group of friends in Silicon Valley were taking stock of the dramatic improvements in aerospace technology along with the falling cost of rocket launches, thanks to companies like Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Peter Beck’s Rocket Lab. The friends came to the realization that it might soon be possible to create a small lunar settlement for about $2 billion to $3 billion. It’s a hefty sum, but a very achievable one in an era that abounds with wealthy space enthusiasts. And so, the friends decided to explore the idea of going to the moon in earnest
The foundation’s strategy will be to borrow from the playbook of open-source technology as it tries to accelerate the exploration and settlement of the moon. Open Lunar’s members have been discussing ways to have people from many countries come together to work on projects. And they have plans to share data and hardware designs from their missions, mirroring the development of open-source software like Linux or Android.