Moon Express Becomes First Private Company To Get Permission To Go To The Moon

Source: TheCrunch.com
via: AceBreakingNews.com
Emily Calandrelli
August 3, 2016

Moon Express has officially become the first private company in the world to receive permission to travel beyond Earth’s orbit. After months of conversations with government officials, the company received the green light from the FAA to venture to the moon in 2017.

“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.” Bob Richards, Co-founder and CEO of Moon Express

The announcement marks an important milestone for private companies in the space industry because, so far, all commercial space activities have been limited to operations within Earth’s orbit.

Moon Express was born out of the Google Lunar X-PRIZE, an international contest with $30 million up for grabs for a private company who can soft-land on the Moon and travel across its surface.

If successful, Moon Express will become the fourth entity in history to soft-land on the Moon. The first three were all superpowers – United States, U.S.S.R. and China – while Moon Express is privately funded and comprised of 26 entrepreneurs and engineers.

It’s important to note that the permission given to Moon Express doesn’t necessarily set a precedent for other companies. Naveen Jain, co-founder of Moon Express, told TechCrunch that this permission is a one-time exception for their company. Jain stated the U.S. government plans to take future requests to travel beyond Earth’s orbit on a case by case basis until laws governing this activity can be passed.

Illustration of Moon Express lander / Image courtesy of Moon Express

Interestingly, the legalities surrounding a private mission to the Moon came about a bit backwards.

First, Moon Express purchased a launch to the Moon with Rocket Lab in October, 2015. At that time, they didn’t have permission from the government to go to the moon or the regulatory security that they could have ownership of lunar resources they obtained if they could get there.

Then, in November, 2015 the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act was passed, which explicitly stated that private companies are allowed full ownership of resources they extract in space. The bill made it legal for Moon Express to mine the Moon and keep what they extracted, but they still didn’t have permission to travel to the Moon in the first place.

This was the last piece of the regulatory puzzle, but from a security point of view, giving this permission to anyone with the resources to go is a bit tricky.

For example, national assets like reconnaissance satellites that monitor specific areas of the Earth are located over 20,000 miles away in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). This is the farthest orbit that private companies have placed satellites in to date. Going beyond this orbit could potentially give a company full view of some of the most important space-based security satellites, making it important for the government to know exactly what a company intends to do on a mission past GEO.

Illustration of Moon Express MX-1 lunar lander / Image courtesy of Moon Express

Because no company had traveled beyond Earth’s orbit before, there wasn’t a plan in place for receiving permission to do so. Jain explained that representatives from multiple federal agencies including the State Department and the National Security Agency worked together to determine that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is already responsible for granting launch licenses to rocket companies, should be the official point of contact for this type of activity.

Continue Reading At: TechCrunch.com

US To Move Space Assets Into Deep Space & A Strange Goldman Sachs…

 US TO MOVE SPACE ASSETS INTO DEEP SPACE, AND A STRANGE GOLDMAN SACHS ...
Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
May 17, 2016

Yesterday I blogged about the continuing emergence of details about the recent visit of President Obama to a summit meeting with the newly elected President Macri of Argentina in San Carlos di Bariloche, a location that hardly needs any introduction to readers of my books, and particularly of The Nazi International. In yesterday’s blog, you’ll recall, I referenced a strange article that connected some very unlikely dots, namely: (1) the secret Chinese space base in that region of Argentina, (2) the Falklands Islands and a recent UN report that lists the Falklands as falling within Argentina’s territorial waters (3) President Obama’s summit meeting with Senor Macri, and the fact that a virtual battalion of NASA people was part of Mr. Obama’s entourage, (4) the speculations that the Falklands played some sort of role in American plans for the region, and finally, (5) that all of this was somehow related to Moon mining and secrets and secret activity in Antarctica.

Well, today put all that into yet another context, as the steady trickle of space-related news stories seems to get more and more bizarre on an almost daily basis. Consider this article, shared by Mr. T.M., and(in what is an unusual procedure for us on this website) this video “commercial” by a Goldman Sachs analyst about space:

US to move more assets into deep space over next 4 years

Continue Reading At: GizaDeathStar.com

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Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.