First Private Company Authorized To Land On The Moon


Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
August 10, 2016

Many regular readers here sent me versions of this story, and I’d like to thank them all for drawing our attention to it, for here, as always, I suspect there’s more going on than meets the eye. Here’s one version of the story:

A start-up’s race to harvest the moon’s treasures

Once again, we’re being told that the wealth of riches to be mined on the Moon is the only motivation for going there, beyond, of course, the usual “stepping-stone-to-Mars” meme:

In a race against global superpowers, Moon Express — a private venture founded by billionaire entrepreneur Naveen Jain, space technology guru Dr. Barney Pell and space futurist Dr. Bob Richards — has cleared a path for private U.S . companies looking to explore and commercialize space.

Today the company is the first private enterprise in history to receive U.S. government approval to travel beyond Earth’s orbit and undertake a deep space mission. The goal: to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon’s surface in 2017 and analyze and explore its valuable resources that can be used on Earth.

The moon is a treasure chest that has vast amounts of iron ore, water, rare Earth minerals and precious metals, as well as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and helium-3, a gas that can be used in future fusion reactors to provide nuclear power without radioactive waste. Experts concur that the value of these resources are in the trillions of dollars.

But there’s a catch here, and it leaped off the page at me, but first, a few “Moon Landing” facts: if one wants to land on the moon, one must select an appropriate landing site, and that requires some extensive mapping of the surface, and planning. So the first question this raises to my mind is: have these private companies already secretly launched satellites to do so? Or have they entered into private and hidden arrangements with the various governments that have had lunar surveying and mapping missions?

I suspect the latter is the order of the day, and that there are such hidden agreements already worked out. Here’s why (and herewith the part of the article that leaped out at me):

Already, Moon Express has six payloads on its manifest for its first mission, planned for the second half of next year. According to Moon Express CEO Richards, customers include Google Lunar X Prize; the International Lunar Observatory; Celestis; and a partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Laboratories of Frascati, Italy.

The mission will be a baseline where a camera will be set up to take photos and video. According to Richards, the International Lunar Observatory plans to put a “mooncam” (a small astronomical observatory) accessible on the internet on the moon’s surface. Google plans to provide access to these images through YouTube — democratizing information about this important celestial body.

The company also expects NASA will send one or two payloads on the first Moon Express mission, Richards said. Dr. Christopher McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center who is involved in planning for future Mars missions, has expressed interest in sending an incubated mustard seed plant to the moon to see how plants can be gestated in lunar gravity and radiation. (Emphases added)

Photos? Live video streaming? For those of us (myself included in this group) who suspect that there is “artificial stuff” up there, based on analysis of old Russian and American satellite and later Apollo photographs (think only of the “Blair cuspids” here), this revelation implies three different scenarios might be in play.

The first of these is that the “era of secrecy” might be drawing to a close, as technology makes the Moon more accessible, it also makes it increasingly difficult to keep such things hidden and secret. Indeed, just as the New World was known to Europe long before the staged “discovery” of it by Columbus, one might be looking at a similar scenario here: corporations may be tasked with “lifting the veil” on the subject.

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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”.

For The First Time Ever, A Private Company Is Authorized To Exploit The Moon

August 5, 2016

Moon Express is the first private company to obtain the approval of the US government to go where few have gone: the Moon.

The company based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, created by multimillionaire Naveen Jain in 2010 has received approval from The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States to go to the moon with robotic probes, kick-starting a new era of exploitation of earth’s natural satellite.

So far, the only attempts to reach the moon have been made by the national space programs of the United States, the Soviet Union, and China.

The approval of the private mission was confirmed by several agencies, including the FAA, the State Department, NASA and the White House.

Interestingly, the FAA determined on July 20 — the anniversary of the first moon landing by Apollo 11 — that the MX-IE payload does not put into jeopardy “public health and safety, safety of property, national security or foreign policy interests, or international obligations of the United States.”

“The Moon Express 2017 mission approval is a landmark decision by the U.S government,” said Bob Richards, co-founder, and CEO of Moon Express. “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.”

The company’s MX-1E probe is designed to travel to the moon, perform a soft landing on the lunar surface and perform post-landing relocations through propulsive hops.

The companies moon lander is its entry to Google’s LUNAR XPRIZE, a $30 million contest to be the first to land a privately funded probe on the surface of the moon.

Interestingly, last year, we saw the creation of the US Space Act, a new law that authorizes for the first time in the history of our planet, the commercial use and exploitation of the minerals and riches found on asteroids and the moon, foreseeing that all material found by an American, or a company of the US will belong solely to them and can do with the finding whatever they please.

According to, before now, no government agency was recognized as having authority to oversee private missions beyond Earth’s orbit, though a 1967 international treaty holds the United States responsible for any flights into space by its non-government entities.

Also, the new law breaks with the utopian concept that space must be shared by all the inhabitants of the earth for scientific and exploration purposes, and establishes the rights of investors to profit from the personal efforts and exploitation of the moon.

It is believed that as part of the agreement, NASA will advise, not regulate, Moon Express activities on the lunar surface.

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

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.

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