The moon express

The moon or bust. Rare elements keep scientists coming back for more.

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The moon or bust. Rare elements keep scientists coming back for more.

Sandy Hutchins, Staff Writer

Companies have finally broken the final frontier.

Ever since man could fly, our sights have been set on leaving our beloved earth and flying into the cosmos to explore.  In 1955 this goal was shared by the United States and the Soviets as the space race began. This race led to the USA sending Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to the moon.  Only the United States has accomplished this feat and only five nations have even sent a spacecraft to the moon; India, Japan, China, USSR, and the European Space Agency. But no private corporation has ever made it out of orbit; it doesn’t help that no government has allowed them to do so. However, on August 3rd this all changed, as the United States Government has permitted the perfectly named The Moon Express company to perform operations on the moon. The reason they got the go ahead was because they took care of everything, they organized a plan that allowed the government to give the okay because they were no longer going to break the Outer Space Treaty, which limited activities in space, and helped them avoid any costs.

So, will you should you be packing for a vacation on the moon? Sadly, the answer is a no, not yet at least.  As of now, their plans for the future are simply unmanned commercial missions to search and tap the mineral wealth that is on the Moon’s surface. There are not only moon rocks up there; in fact, many rare and valuable minerals and elements exist up there, For example, the moon also has water, a rare isotope of helium called Helium-3, and also a plethora of REEs (Rare Earth Elements). The fact that now a private company can tap this gold mine is big news and could result in the moon’s version of a gold rush only ten times bigger.

Now, the reason that a private company can go to the moon is such a big deal because a private company can focus much more on such a project and with the right profit motive companies can achieve the seemingly impossible, and the main issue with government is everything takes a little longer because of all the processes it would have to go through.

Even though we won’t be tanning on the moon anytime soon, this is a step in the right direction and has opened doors to the exploration of other planets as well. The possibilities are as endless as space itself now.