Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX is an example of successful private entrepreneurship in the space industry. Now a private firm co-founded by an Indian –American billionaire; Naveen Jain has obtained a license from the US government to launch a spacecraft and land on the moon. The company also plans to send human remains to the moon, at a price of $3 million per kilo. Stiff price you may say but Naveen Jain says that there is a big rush, and his orders are full. The Federal Aviation Administration or the FAA has granted a license to Moon Express, to launch a spacecraft and land on the moon in 2017.
It became the first private company to get approval for an odyssey to the lunar surface.
Moon Express was formed in 2010 by space visionary Bob Richards, serial industrialist and artificial intelligence and space technology expert, Barney Pell and Indian-American billionaire, Naveen Jain. The company plans to take commercial cargo including human remains to the Moon.
Naveen Jain first to Land space craft on Moon
The human remains will be transported to the lunar surface at a ‘payload’ price of $3 million per kilo. Since the average cremated remains of an individual weigh 4 to 6 pounds, the final price could be between $5.1 million to $8.1 million.
Space technology was a realm of state agencies that performed outer space missions. However burdened with burgeoning costs and inefficiency NASA decided to invite private partnership in the space industry.
SpaceX is an example of such a partnership and already rockets from the company is ferrying supplies to the International Space Station.
The Moon could become an outpost for forays deep into space. Considering the fact that 80% of the fuel used in a rocket is consumed for lifting and clearing the Earth’s atmosphere.
Moon has petite gravity and therefore less fuel will be required for deep space forays if the rocket could be manufactured and sent from the Moon. The satellite of Earth also has vast water reserves on its Poles, and this could be used to produce Rocket Fuel.
Moon is also a potential site for mining rare minerals which are present in better quantities than Earth. One particular area of interest is Helium 3 which is the fuel which could be used in future fusion reactors. Such a reactor needs very little fuel and also does not produce radioactive wastes commonly seen in nuclear fission reactors.