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Private moon mission rumour is glimpse of lunar future
newscientitst.com ^ | 15:28 21 November 2012 | by Lisa Grossman

Posted on 11/24/2012 2:53:14 PM PST by BenLurkin

Cryptic tweets and posts from the websites NASASpaceFlight.com and NASA Watch, neither of which is affiliated with NASA, said former NASA astronauts and engineers would soon announce such a venture.

This led various bloggers to single out the company Golden Spike. It is registered in Colorado to Alan Stern, a former administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and now working on the New Horizons Pluto mission at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Golden Spike has not revealed its plans, and Stern told New Scientist that he "can't comment either way" on the purported mission.

NASA and China have vague plans to return astronauts to the moon. But Bourgeois says private players will do it more cheaply. For example, Scaled Composites became the first commercial outfit to send a human into sub-orbital space in 2004, winning the Ansari X Prize, and it spent only a third of what it would have cost a state-supported aerospace organisation, according to a source from the X Prize Foundation.

Commercial missions will also help establish the moon as a new frontier, which is important for humanity's development, Bourgeois says. "If we're not going up and out, we're going to fall back in on ourselves."

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: Travel
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/24/2012 2:53:19 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Yeah and this news coming from Boulder makes it even more believable.
Hemp powered scientists and rockets.

Rocky Mountain High Colorado!


2 posted on 11/24/2012 2:58:19 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: BenLurkin; zot; SeraphimApprentice

Why NOT a civilian space program? Let the former NASA folks look for backing and get it going on their own. Better the free market than the government.


3 posted on 11/24/2012 3:04:32 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: GreyFriar

Run it like a lottery and they won’t know what to do with all that cash.


4 posted on 11/24/2012 3:09:53 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: GreyFriar

Yup. Private space is the way to go.

If NASA wants to justify their existence, lets them do exploration and prospecting with all findings freely given to the public.


5 posted on 11/24/2012 3:15:11 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: BenLurkin

Let private enterprise do what the Federal Government is unwilling to do!


6 posted on 11/24/2012 3:19:09 PM PST by MDspinboyredux
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To: cruise_missile
It is much more believable that a private concern willing to take risks will be much more likely to go to the Moon long before a U.S. Government funded enterprise returns. They are too risk averse and poorly managed to do it again.
7 posted on 11/24/2012 3:51:34 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Jim from C-Town

Not from Boulder it’s not.


8 posted on 11/24/2012 4:03:07 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: cruise_missile
As apposed to one based in DC? Of course it is.
9 posted on 11/24/2012 4:14:57 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: cripplecreek

The plan has always been for NACA/NASA to do the preparatory work needed for commercial aerospace industry to takeover the developments of extraterrestrial industry and commerce.


10 posted on 11/24/2012 4:28:37 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: BenLurkin
The Harrison Schmidt He3 mine?

Property Rights will be the deciding factor. Otherwise, colonizing the moon has a huge commercial upside.

11 posted on 11/24/2012 4:33:00 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("Our president ... makes big speeches packed full of little ideas" Charles C. W. Cooke)
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To: GreyFriar

Interesting. Question is, what could they find or do there that would generate enough return to justify the investment? Tourism? Minerals?


12 posted on 11/24/2012 4:36:08 PM PST by zot
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To: Jim from C-Town

The one based in DC has already done it. Over forty years ago.


13 posted on 11/24/2012 4:36:32 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: cruise_missile
Yes, but that was a different time when risk was acceptable and failure was not. NASA used to be one of the few government agencies that actually could be counted on to get things done. Manned space flight and moon landings where incredible but with a massive Social Welfare system and O’Bumbler Care to pay for they are under funded and confused in their mission.

NASA couldn't put men on the moon again in 100 years. Not the way they are structured now. They are little more than a bloated bureaucracy with over paid, under worked political hacks like James Hanson. They are more concerned with 'diversity' and 'Muslim Outreach' than science and effective space exploration.

14 posted on 11/24/2012 4:57:21 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Jim from C-Town

Just because NASA has been mismanaged for a long time doesn’t mean these jokers are capable. They have some Power Point slides and a front man that is a big talker.

What has this company accomplished? Who’s funding them? They better have a boat full of money.


15 posted on 11/24/2012 5:10:40 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: KevinDavis

Thanks BenLurkin.


16 posted on 11/24/2012 5:21:25 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: zot; Jim from C-Town; cruise_missile; SeraphimApprentice

Modern version of trading companies like in the 17th Century perhaps. Rare minerals and perhaps some industry that can produce small, high value products that can be made from minerals found on planets. I remember reading about ball bearings being a possibility, that more precise ones could be produced in lesser gravity.


17 posted on 11/24/2012 6:35:13 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: BenLurkin

18 posted on 11/24/2012 6:45:22 PM PST by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: BenLurkin
Matlock!!!

19 posted on 11/24/2012 7:47:51 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth" - Voltaire)
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To: cruise_missile
I am not saying this organization is capable or not. What we do know is that with almost 1/2% of the entire Federal Budget, close to $20 Billion a year, NASA couldn't do it again, or much of anything else of note. They can not even fund ANY type of rocket that is suitable for manned space flight and safe return. They rely on of all things Russian rockets and the kindness of the Russian space agency to hitch rides.

Give the $20 Billion per year to any quality private sector organization with the express purpose of space exploration and offer some sort of competition and we would be amazed at what happens. To put that amount of money into perspective, NASA has an annual budget larger than the annual sales of Nationwide Ins, Alcoa, Good Year Tire, Brystol-Meyers, Cigna, Time Warner, Occidental Petroleum, U S Steel, Colgate Palmolive, Bank of New York, OR ANY company in the Fortune 500 NOT higher than 107. Something tells me that mismanagement is an under statement. They are just another top heavy government Bureaucracy. AND I am a fan of NASA. They at least have cool toys and generally have things made domestically.

20 posted on 11/25/2012 1:12:24 AM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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