It’s official: The US is Return back to the Moon - Physics-Astronomy.org

It’s official: The US is Return back to the Moon

Commercial space company Moon Express presently became the first private organisation still to get support from the US federal government to land a spacecraft on the Moon, and it could happen as early on as next year."With this landmark decision, Moon Express has become the 1st  private company accepted to literally go out of this world as a pioneer of profitable space missions beyond Earth orbit," Moon Express said in a press declaration.The company, establish by billionaire entrepreneur Naveen Jain, computer scientist Barney Pell, and space futurist Bob Richards, will be the fourth unit in record to soft-land spacecraft on the Moon, after the US, Chinese, & USSR federal space agencies.

And, assuming they’re winning, Moon Express will be the first confidentially funded entity to land on the Moon, which means if there’s money to be complete on the stuff they discover up there, they’re sure as hell going to mine it.
The information that this the 1st  time a commercial venture has been decided permission to leave Earth’s orbit has made things mighty hard for the regulatory bodies in indict of handing out such permissions, since there is no precedent here.
There strictly isn’t even a regulatory framework in place by which the US government can issue similar permissions to other company in the future.

Instead, Moon Express has been granted a one-time exception to launch a commercial space mission beyond Earth, and if someone else comes forward with an equally viable proposal, well, the regulatory bodies will have to cross that bridge when they come to it.
"There are no latest laws, no latest regulations," Bob Richards from Moon Express told Loren Grush at The Verge. "We proposed a situation where we would build on the existing load review process."The path to approval was really so haphazard that Moon Express ended up getting legal support to mine and profit off Moon minerals before it still had permission to go there, as Emily Calandrelli explain for Tech Crunch:
    "[I]in November 2015, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act was approved, which clearly stated that private companies are allowed complete ownership of resources they take out in space. The bill made it legal for Moon Express to mine the Moon and stay what they extract, but they still didn’t have consent to travel to the Moon in the 1st place."
"Ironically you had a huge 'space resources' act that says you can own what you get, but we’re in a state of affairs where you can’t launch to go get it," Richards told The Verge.
It wasn’t until April this year that the US State section, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), amongst other bodies, were actually ready to obtain Moon Express’s application to discover beyond Earth’s orbit, and approval has now been granted.
The approval hinges on the information that the US can guarantee any future mission won’t violate the international Outer Space Treaty.
This means Moon Express had to show that it would be completely clear with the government about its movements to and on the Moon; wouldn’t get in the way with other space missions, spacecraft, or existing artifacts - "Don't do wheelies over Neil’s footprint," joked Richards - and the majority importantly, won't contaminate another world.
Fortunately, unlike Mars, which at rest has the potential to host life, the Moon is as barren as it comes, so this isn’t too serious a concern.
So currently we wait, and hope that Moon Express can get to the Moon by its future date. Because how freaking awesome is it that people with cash want to spend it getting humans up and off this big blue marble and into our cosmic neighborhood?
Hopefully the US government will be set when the likes of SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace come knocking with their application to launch a Mars mission & space hotels.
It’s official: The US is Return back to the Moon

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