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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Private moon mission: U. S. approval?

   (Photo by Jessie Eastland)
Are private moon missions a problem for the United States government, and if so, why? reports that there are international treaties that must be honored.  The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, for example, “bars nations from claiming sovereignty over celestial bodies.”  A corporation therefore can’t just plant a flag and start digging.  Militarization of any kind is also strictly prohibited.

And just as the transport of firewood here on Earth can yield cross-contamination, so may the transport of materials from one world to another…

Expense, however, is becoming less and less of a barrier.  Merely “six years ago,” a moon mission was projected to cost $50 million.  These days, it is now only thought to cost “half that.”

Whereas the U. S. government used to allot NASA “almost 4.5 percent of the entire federal budget,” this allotment is now down to approximately 0.5 percent.  Privatization of U. S. space journeys would therefore allow exploration to expand in ways that it otherwise could not.  


Copyright June 7, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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