Moon Express is pioneering the way towards a new era of space exploration - here's how.
Yes, you read that right. It’s been decades since man has walked on the moon, but in recent years there has been a resurgence in interest in visiting the Earth’s biggest natural satellite. According to a report from the Independent, an American company called Moon Express has just received permission from the U.S. government to carry out the first-ever private mission to the moon.
The company hopes to send the MX-1 space probe, barely larger than a washing machine, to the moon by late 2017. The company is slated to reveal the MX-1 rover to the world this September, along with other details about the forthcoming mission.
Moon Express founders say they hope to begin mining resources from the moon to send back to Earth. Another slightly more bizarre venture would entail burying the remains of the deceased on the moon’s surface. According to Dr. Bob Richards, Moon Express Co-Founder, “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 moon has long stood as a symbol of life’s fragility on Earth; the barren landscape glowing in the night sky holds a place in the majority of cultures stretching back to the dawn of humanity. But Moon Express is the first group ambitious enough to visit the moon for economic reasons; the previous sorties to the moon were largely motivated by geopolitical concerns in the mid-twentieth century.
The decision to look towards the moon for new resources represents growing concern that we as a species may have gone too far here on Earth. Scientists warn that it may be necessary for the species to set up self-sustaining bases in space in order to survive the next few centuries. Even if moon Express’ plans fall through, the trend is clear; humans will continue to look outward toward space to find new resources and habitable areas in the future.