Moon Express Praises Signing of Commercial Space Act

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WASHINGTON, DC, November 25th, 2015 (Moon Express PR) – Today, history was made when President Obama signed legislation into law recognizing and promoting the rights of Moon Express to explore, harvest and own resources from the Moon. This historic law was passed as Title IV of the “U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act”, making the United States the first nation to explicitly recognize private sector mining rights for water and minerals obtained from the Moon.

Moon Express applauds the President for supporting Moon Express’ mission of harvesting lunar resources. The “Space Resources and Utilization Act of 2015” protects and supports Moon Express’ interests to expand the economic sphere of Earth to the Moon and beyond.

“Today’s signing is a giant leap for mankind and Moon Express,” said Moon Express co-founder and Executive Chairman, Naveen Jain. “I am super excited that President Obama has recognized the rights of Moon Express to harvest and own lunar resources that can be used for the benefit of humanity. The Moon is our sister planet that has an incredible amount of natural resources, including helium-3 that can provide clean and limitless fusion energy for the entire world.”

The Obama administration has been supportive of an increasing role of the private sector in the American space program, mandating NASA to select private sector partners wherever possible. NASA selected Moon Express in 2014 under its Lunar CATALYST program to help build the capability to return the United States to the surface of the Moon.

Moon Express recently demonstrated the capability of its lunar lander vehicle at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, and was awarded a $1M prize by Google as the first private company to flight-test a lander vehicle in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.

“Moon Express is grateful to have the backing of the United States in our quest to harvest lunar resources,” said Moon Express co-founder and CEO, Bob Richards. “We thank the President, the Congress and the visionary champions of the bill, particularly Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), for their leadership and support of our emerging private sector space resources industry.”

ABOUT MOON EXPRESS

Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) is a privately funded commercial space company blazing a trail to the Moon to unlock its mysteries and resources with robotic spacecraft products & services using exponential technologies. Driven by long-term goals of exploring and developing lunar resources for the benefit of humanity, the company has short-term business on-ramps of providing lunar transportation and data services for government and commercial customers. The company is partnered with NASA in its Lunar CATALYST Program and is also a leading contender in the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.

The Moon Express founders, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Naveen Jain, and Dr. Barney Pell, believe in the long term economic potential of the Moon to produce resources essential to humanity’s future on Earth and in space.

For more information about Moon Express, visit: www.moonexpress.com

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, the wording change in conference from Asteroid Resources to any abiotic Space Resources means the Moon, Mars, and every other Celestial Body in the Solar System is open for business.

  • Chief Galen Tyrol

    When do we get to see a Moon Express hardware update?

  • Nernst

    A simple rule is that anyone who talks about off-Earth mining of He3 as a somehow profitable resource, and isn’t writing a science fiction story about it, is a huckster.

  • That’s true, but it’s a wonderful resource to have on the moon if it exists in any quantity and can be extracted, particularly with ultra cold craters nearby where it can be stored in quantity much closer to its ambient boiling point.

  • savuporo

    Which science fiction author writing about He3 mining isn’t essentially a huckster ?

  • Christopher James Huff

    At the concentrations expected, He-rich regolith wouldn’t be worth shipping around if we already had it on Earth. The quantities of material you’d have to process to get any useful amount of energy are simply absurd. If we eventually come up with a need for large quantities of He-3 (unlikely due to its scarcity and the existence of far more available fusion fuels), we’d be able to breed vastly more of it via D-T fusion or plain old fission plants…just produce excess tritium and let it decay. If you’re looking at non-terrestrial sources, you’re better off scooping it from the gas giants. (Not that that’s a particularly good idea…it’s just better than mining the moon for it.)

    Lunar He-3 is irrelevant and will likely never be relevant, there’s just no reason to go down a technological path where we require He-3 yet can’t get it more easily elsewhere. It’s volatile ices that are the interesting lunar resource in the near term.

    (Also, the coldest craters wouldn’t be cold enough to make a real difference in helium storage. You’d need power for active cooling no matter what, so you might as well put storage where power is plentiful…which would likely be close to where it’s being produced and used to extract He-3 from regolith.)

  • I never said anything about energy. I was talking about Helium 3. You’ll just have to excuse me if I didn’t read the rest of your rant.

  • The authors that understand a little condensed matter physics.

  • Paul451

    but it’s a wonderful resource to have on the moon

    Why?

  • For starters it’s useful for cooling things to liquid helium temperatures, in this case about 3.2 K, and when mixed with helium 4 in a dilution refrigerator, much lower. There is a whole lotta physics going on down there, much of it exploitable.

  • Nernst

    Updates will come when you send more money.

  • Christopher James Huff

    …you do realize that the one and only reason why there’s any interest at all in sources of large quantities of He-3 is to use it as an energy source, right? So yes, you *were* talking about energy.

  • No, I’m not responsible for other people’s interests and I don’t think that’s any of my business. My business is condensed matter physics, and that business is utterly dependent upon helium, both of its stable isotopes, to function. I don’t tell you how to think, that’s not my business. If you want to think about nutty things like nuclear fusion when you have a perfect nuclear fusion reactor running 24 hours a day, that’s your business, I’ve better things to do, for instance – condensed matter physics.

  • Christopher James Huff

    Until now, He-3 as fusion fuel was the worst idea I’d seen put forth as justification for mining the moon. Congratulations, you have managed to outdo it. Instead of a process that might conceivably power itself and provide excess fusion fuel for Earth’s energy needs, you are arguing for an energy-intensive process that provides He-3 for some unspecified potential future condensed matter applications, the only thing known about those applications being that they require large amounts of He-3. Instead of an overly difficult and expensive solution to an already-solved problem, you’ve posed an even more difficult and expensive solution to a nonexistent one!

    Nobody is ever going to mine lunar He-3. If we don’t have enough for helium dilution refrigerators, we’ll use something other than helium dilution refrigerators. If some must-have killer app comes up that requires He-3 in larger quantities than we have access to, we’ll just make more of it. This isn’t some wild suggestion…we already do so.

  • Your reading comprehension is quite unremarkable. What I said was that helium (3 and 4) would be nice things to have on the moon, since it demonstrably exists in the regolith and is just about the most useful thing to have in quantity anywhere.

    However, I love your use of ‘never’. That clinches it for me.

    As far as I’m concerned then, it’s a done deal.

  • Paul451

    I didn’t ask whether He3 has uses, I asked why “it’s a wonderful resource to have on the moon”.

  • I gave you one answer, which is obviously the most persuasive. However perhaps the answer you seek is ‘because it’s there’ and once on the moon the primary activity will be scooping up or digging lunar regolith. Therefore this very simple result follows.

    With that you immediately projected that I was in favor of nuclear fusion research, which I am not for the obvious reason the our star called the sun is already doing a fabulous job of it, and that I was justifying the mining of the moon just for its helium 3, which obviously I am not since the primary reason for going to the poles of the moon have nothing to do with helium 3 and everything to do with a civilization on the brink of collapse and its very foundation, fossil fuel combustion, is an exercise in political fraud.

    So you are already committed to going to the poles of the moon for gravity, radiation shielding and volatiles. The helium 3 and 4 contained in the regolith is just a wonderful byproduct of something you are already committed to do, space colonization.

    It would help you immensely if you would read my essays, because clearly you are not grasping anything I’m saying, and are taking little snippets of thought and then projecting wildly.

  • Christopher James Huff

    You are aware that the highest concentration of He-3 in lunar regolith is around 15 parts per billion, right? To collect 1 kg of He-3, you would have to process around a hundred thousand metric tons of regolith, and that’s when you’re specifically mining the upper layers of regolith for He-3…typical ores mined for other things are not going to be enriched in He-3.

    It’s not going to be a useful byproduct of lunar operations, there just isn’t enough of it there. And nobody’s going to bother to scavenge such tiny quantities of a material that’s relatively easy to synthesize, it doesn’t make any kind of sense for them to do so.

  • Paul451

    because clearly you are not grasping anything I’m saying, and are taking little snippets of thought and then projecting wildly.

    That’s a lot to place on a one word question.

  • ‘Relatively easy to synthesize’ is dishonest in my opinion. But since projection seems to be your debating tactic I expect that.

    There is also much more helium 4 than helium 3, which is equally useful for 4 K cooling among other interesting uses.

    However, I admit, helium production on the moon would have to be piggybacked onto the some other wide scale industrial development of the poles of the moon, and we’re not sure what the abundances of it will be down in those deep dark craters.

    We’ll just have to get down there and look, won’t we. Since we are by default circumstances committed to digging up the poles of the moon on a truly immense scale, then the result follows.

  • Forget that. Sorry, I confused you with the other debater here.

    I quite honestly don’t put much effort into my responses here. This is really just stream of consciousness thinking with me.

    It’s like a glorified modern usenet. These are all old arguments.