Monday, February 06, 2017

"Good Night, Moon"

The waxing gibbous

9.3 days old

70 percent lit

A billionaire wants to mine the moon. How stable is the moon when explosives become a daily ritual? What happens to the tides on Earth? All those questions have not even been asked!

January 31, 2017
By Lori loannau

Moon Express, (click here) the first private company in history to receive government permission to travel beyond Earth's orbit, announced Tuesday that it raised another $20 million in private equity financing to fund its maiden lunar mission to take place in late 2017. This brings the total amount of private investment to $45 million from investors that include Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Collaborative Fund and Autodesk.

What may have added impetus to investor interest in Moon Express is President Trump's picks for the NASA transition team — Charles Miller and Chris Shank — and the leading candidate to become the next NASA administrator, GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine. All support commercial space ventures and manned exploration — including lunar missions.

If successful, the new MX-1 lunar lander from Moon Express would not only win the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, it would also help jump-start a new era of space exploration. Up until now, only government-funded missions from the United States, China and Russia have landed on the moon....