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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
It’s no secret that President Donald J. Trump wants private companies to mine the moon for valuable materials, but now the private spaceflight company Moon Express has unveiled plans to build a robotic outpost on the moon’s South Pole by 2020.
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino
Moon Express: The Company Set to Mine the Moon
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The Florida-based company is working on a new class of spacecraft called MX Robotic Explorers—to land and deliver things to the moon’s surface. Their idea: To set up permanent robots on the moon that can mine for water and minerals, and then sell what they dig up for profit. Possible buyers the company has targeted even include NASA.
The company is competing for the Google Lunar X prize, which has a purse of $20 million. In order to win the competition, though, they’ll need to launch by the end of the year; their MX-1E, the company’s lunar vehicle that’s being developed to carry raw, mined materials back to earth, must also travel 500 meters on the lunar surface after safely landing. The vehicle also has to send photos and videos from the moon to earth. Moon Express has the approval of the U.S. government to land on the moon, which they received as the first regulatory approval ever for a private mission outside earth’s orbit.
What Do You Think?
Should we even be entertaining this idea, or is it unethical to make plans to mine the moon for valuable materials? Even then, is it ethical for a private company to do so? I’d love to hear your thoughts on who owns the moon and whether exploiting it is a good idea, so please share your opinions on my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed.