Published: Sat, August 06, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Private Moon Mission Gets Go-Ahead From US Government

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Moon Express, Inc., on its USA government authorization for a planned robotic mission to the Moon in 2017.

Analysts have said this approval could pave the way for future licensing of commercial space activity outside of Earth's orbit, such as SpaceX's mission to Mars set for 2018. Under the Outer Space Treaty, the USA is responsible for its private citizens' space activities, Listner added, necessitating the approval.

This is the first time the United States has cleared a private space mission to beyonf Earth's orbit.

When asked about the permissions the co-founder said as no private firm had traveled beyond Earth's orbit and space.He explained that representatives from many federal agencies worked together to determine that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which gives launch licenses to rocket companies, should be the official point of contact for such ventures. It will not only carry commercial payloads such as cremated human remains, but equipment for several different science experiments. It will launch three probes to the moon beginning in 2017, the company says, using a rocket developed by Rocket Lab USA.

Moon Express was founded in 2010 by Dr.

"It's been a very steep mountain", Mr. Richards told Reuters in a telephone interview. These requirements include letting the USA government oversee the mission, making sure that the mission doesn't interfere with those of other nations, and avoiding the spread of bacteria on the moon's surface. Other companies are expected to soon follow the same framework. NASA and other agencies, including the Defense, State and Commerce departments, ultimately agreed that no new law was necessary, Richards said.

It has been a while since NASA made a trip to the moon.

The FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which issued the permission for Moon Express, is likely to issue licenses for other private space ventures, possibly ranging from satellite fix and servicing space labs to asteroid mining.

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