Moon will soon have more than one country’s flag
I’ve learned new details about the company that plans to start lunar expeditions by 2020. Part of the experience package includes staking a land claim on the moon with a flag stake ceremony. Soon for just over $2 billion any country or individual can place their flag on the moon. An insider says bids for the placing the first flag are nearing the $10B mark. I am hearing the Saudi Royal family is the first client that they invested heavily just to be the next country to have a flag on the moon. Maybe they hope to spike it rich and find black gold up there.
We are just a few days away from the announcement in Washington.
US and Russia going to the moon
It sounds like SpaceX is not the only heavy lift lunar contender. The US based space exploration company made up of former NASA engineers are working with Ken Bowersoxto negotiate a deal with Russia for use of Soyuz services of a manned lunar lander that is currently in design. This begs the question if the Russians lift it who is credited with the trip? The first private team of cosmo- astronauts, 1 Russian and 1 American plan for initial test launch by 2021. Look for more details in December 2012. This sounds like golden opportunity for someone else to walk on the moon.
Alan Stern spotted with investors
A friend said Alan Stern was spotted leaving a project briefing on a new lunar orbital project set to launch in 2020. The meeting was a who’s who of industry leaders that gathered just after ISPCS. The NASA veteran went into private sector around 2008 working with a group on the Lunar X Prize. He seems to be teaming up with other players now with some big plans for 2018 to be announced in December. Other meeting attendees included: Gerry Griffin a former Apollo Flight Director, Cynthia Conrad who until recently worked in planetary exploration at NASA, Esther Dyson a trained Russian cosmonaut, Jim French a systems expert and attorney Doug Griffith. That group sounds like the making of something big.
$120 million lunar lander heavy lift deal signed
I’ve heard, from a reliable source, a heavy lift deal was just signed with SpaceX for use of Falcon 9 Heavy as the launch vehicle to carry an new lunar orbiter. The lander, designed for both payloads and 4 passengers, is now moving off the drawing boards and into prototyping. The deal calls for $80 million upfront with the first 4 investors putting up $10 million each.
To the Moon for under $2B
A US company is planning payload and manned lunar tips for under $2B per expedition. A page of the business plan shows an impressive investment team and list of targeted customers in Europe and Middle East. Expect to see an official announcement soon. Richard Branson and Warren Buffet are along with Guy Laliberté alleged to be two of the key investors