By: Nick Gambino
The U.S. has, for the first time ever, approved a private company to land on the Moon in 2017. This historic approval should open the doors to so much more when it comes to commercial space travel.
They’re approved specifically to send a robotic lander not a manned mission but until now private enterprises were only approved to operate in or around the earth limiting any real outer-space trips.
Moon Express, based in Florida, submitted an application in April to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration seeking approval for the lunar landing. The application had to go through numerous approval channels including the State Department, Department of Defense, NASA, Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.
Co-founder and CEO of Moon Express, Bob Richards, explained the lengthy approval process “took some time, not because anybody was against or averse to this. It’s just that we asked questions that had never been asked before, and that had to be addressed and worked out.”
This brings up an important question: why go to the Moon? We’ve been there several times albeit not physically since 1972 but what’s different about a commercial mission to our orbiting moon?
“Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children,” Naveen Jain, co-founder and Chairman of Moon Express detailed in a statement. “In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals and moon rocks back to Earth. In 15 years, the Moon will be an important part of Earth’s economy, and potentially our second home.”
I’m no scientist or great thinker, in fact I’ve only got a lifetime of cinema to inform my thoughts on the subject but I have some trepidations about plundering another celestial body for resources. This very well might be a great endeavor to ensure the planet’s future survival but I also see another scenario that works out more like Avatar.
Then again this is the Moon, which is part of the Earth’s orbit and there’s no sign of disrupted life if we were to gather and use its resources. And if we are to believe in the Fission Theory then the Moon was at one time part of Earth and simply separated from it. So it’s kind of like hitting up your kids for money when they get a good-paying job.
No matter how you slice it, a commercial trip to the moon is historic.
What are your thoughts on mining the moon for resources and potentially colonizing it? Let us know in the comments below or by hitting us up on Instagram.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.