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NASA Moon Space Science

Energy Firm Wants To Be First To Mine the Moon 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the exploration-by-chasing-green dept.
coondoggie writes "By 2020, the Shackleton Energy Company says it intends to be operating the world's first lunar base and propellant depot for all manner of spacecraft. Shackleton stated that after a phase of robotic prospecting, its crews will establish the infrastructure in space and basecamps in the lunar polar crater regions to supervise industrial machinery for mining, processing and transporting lunar products to market in Low Earth Orbit and beyond. The company said it will use a mix of industrial astronauts and advanced robotic systems to provide a strategically-assured, continuous supply of propellants for spacecraft."
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Energy Firm Wants To Be First To Mine the Moon

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  • by guybrush3pwood (1579937) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:07PM (#38088290) Homepage
    Perhaps Assimo will finally be put to work.
  • SEC team members have deeply embedded relationships at many levels within the international space community, industry, academia and NASA.

    right. Deep connections to all those people, who can help with extracting a few bucks from the Fed. Why not? Everybody else is doing it.

    • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horningNO@SPAMnetzero.net> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:27PM (#38089326) Homepage Journal

      It isn't just the deep connections that these guys have with NASA and elements of the space industry. It is the fact that they have already done several projects for NASA and other federal agencies, as well as some private foundation grants and even some work with for-profit companies. This TED talk [ted.com] shows some of the more impressive things that Bill Stone (one of the major investors in Shackleton Energy) has done and at least one other crazy off-the-wall idea that has a real shot at being built some time in the future.

      This is a very legitimate group and of anybody who says they might be able to get to the Moon and make a profit off of what they are doing on the Moon, these guys would be it. The market for propellant from a location near the Moon would certainly be a valuable market, considering that a 1 liter bottle of water currently costs about $20,000 just to get it there with current rockets.

      In this case, while I'm sure that they wouldn't mind having NASA/USAF/NRO/ESA/Roscosmos/JAXA as customers, there might be some other potential customers for their product as well. It isn't purely for government contracts. It does take a different attitude about how you go about launching stuff into space, however.

      • by Jeng (926980) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:34PM (#38089426)

        They don't look too legitimate if you check out their website.

        http://www.shackletonenergy.com/ [shackletonenergy.com]

        • by squidflakes (905524) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:46PM (#38089550) Homepage

          The donations page is amusing. For a donation of half a million dollars, you can have the base named after you. Personally, I'd love to see this actually happen, but the skeptic in me is...well, you know.

          Still, if I had the two-hundred and fifty thousand laying around that would get a spacecraft named after me, I'd do it. Then I'd ask to name the seventh craft in the fleet and submit my middle name so it could be Blake's 7.

        • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horningNO@SPAMnetzero.net> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @04:44PM (#38090196) Homepage Journal

          Yes, the page looks shaky, but the people involved are real. Their marketing and website may leave a bit to the imagination, but they have some real engineers and folks who know what they are doing along with access to capital resources to get at least some major projects completed.

          The problem here is that none of the guys involved are millionaires/billionaires like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos. Sadly, it will take somebody like that before these guys get much put together, so I'll admit it is a long shot at best. From a technical viewpoint, however, they certainly could get the job done if anybody can get it done.

          Why they are going the route of the "donation" method to get something going is something I won't understand. For myself, I wish they would get rid of the silly little side projects like that, but there are others who have tried that route before. Sadly, I have never seen a project get built using that sort of financial model, at least in terms of rocketry or much of anything that dealt with devices that spent a prolonged period of time in space. The closest I can imagine that has been involved with projects on a similar scale is the Amsat [wikipedia.org] satellites put up by amateur radio operators. There is also Team FREDNET [wikipedia.org] who has been trying to compete with the Google Lunar X-Prize competition, who at the moment seem more likely to get something to the Moon before Shackleton Energy at least in terms of the resources being offered.

          Still, this isn't a group that I would call a bunch of scam artists, but rather dreamers and wishful thinkers. If you really did want to go to the Moon, they would be the ones to make it happen.

      • Is this even news? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @04:58PM (#38090398)

        "To make this ambitious plan possible, the company this week said it had begun its initial fundraising campaign via a company called RocketHub which defines itself as a crowdfunding outfit that helps raise money for a variety of entrepreneurial pursuits."

        In other news, I have decided to build a robot army to take over the world and build fusion power plants, donations welcome! lol. In the aerospace industry without funding you're just another in a LONG list of dreamers with a bunch of untried concepts. Maybe the Shackleton people are less utterly vapor than some, but the chances of anything like this getting off the ground are 1000's to 1 against. I think the business plan is vastly overoptimistic in its cost analysis, and the question still remains who would be the customers for all this rocket fuel? Truthfully, having been in the business of building rockets, this stuff is way harder and way more expensive than even most of the people in the industry are wont to estimate when it is their own project.

        Not that I don't hope they can pull it off, but they're going to need 50-100 billion to do it, and I'm pretty much doubting they're going to crowdsource the GDP of most of sub-saharan Africa... Good luck to them though.

  • Moon movie? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CodingHero (1545185) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:12PM (#38088358)
    My prediction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_(film) [wikipedia.org]
  • Moon base in 2020? So I've got 9 years to work on embellishing my CV.

  • My only prayer is that they don't call the moonbase moonbase alpha and start storing nuclear waste on the other side of the moon. ... and that we don't recalibrate the calendar so that 2020 becomes renamed 1999.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A lot of people own land on the moon and will sue you for trespassing on their mineral rights!

    • Yes, I'm one of them. I am actually supporting this in hopes I can convince them to transport this bridge in Brooklyn I bought up there as a lawn decoration.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:17PM (#38088450) Homepage Journal
    2020? These guys are either nuts or lying, maybe both. If they're not just total crackpots, then this is probably just trolling for VC dollars like that stupid flying car thing.
    • I doubt they will be on the moon that quickly myself.

      Not that, with significant investment it can't be done- but that there will be all sorts of hurdles to jump through- and all sorts of legal thingywatsits to deal with before a private corporation dares risk human life.

      • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:31PM (#38088626) Homepage Journal
        One minor hurdle will be designing and building a launch system capable of putting enough mass on the moon to actually start mining. The though that it could be done in 8 years is frankly laughable, even if these guys did have money and a workable plan.

        If they were maybe shooting for 2120 I could take them slightly more seriously. Even the Apollo program needed 9 years, and they were just putting a couple of guys on the moon for a brief landing. They weren't trying to build infrastructure.

        The economics don't even make sense. Who are they going to sell it to? Themselves? There aren't any plans for manned missions beyond earth orbit (G. W. Bush's Mars fantasies not withstanding) so there isn't even a customer for this. It's total lunacy (pun intended).
        • by alen (225700)

          in the apollo program everything was done on paper. today my iphone has more computing power than the mainframes of the day. it took them years to build and test the LEM, today most of this testing can be done in days using computers

          • by Jeng (926980)

            Development will most probably take just as long as Apollo even with the increase in computing power. I doubt it was the calculations that took 9 years for us to get to the moon.

            Although much testing can be done on computers you do need to do real world testing to make sure your models are correct as well as to look for manufacturing issues, bugs, etc.

            Just look at the Russians as a good example of this. What went wrong most probably could not have been tested on computers since it was most probably a hard

          • That's kind of naive. For space, lots and lots of thorough testing is required. Yes the testing itself can be automated so that it (re)runs in a hurry, to some degree, but initially creating all that test methodology and infrastructure is costly and time-consuming.

            Space is an unforgiving environment. Witness the Russian/Chinese Phobos-Grunt mission, or the recent JAXA orbiter Akatsuki-Venus, lost on its way to Venus.

        • We don't have to reinvent the rocket... That makes a huge difference.

          We probably have all the technology we need now to get the fundementals up there.

          The main problem is who will pay for it? How will they get their moneyback? And how many lawyers do you have to bend over for to make it a reality.

          Profits to costs and risks are too high. It's feasible- if there were significant motivation it could be done...

          That said. It won't be done that quick.

          • by Patch86 (1465427)

            The Apollo programme didn't have to invent rocketry either. And the Apollo-era rockets aren't enough for the job they're proposing; Saturn V was designed to carry 3 men and a small suite of science experiments to the moon. That's a long way from what would be required for an inhabitable, permanent factory colony.

        • by Spy Handler (822350) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:24PM (#38089294) Homepage Journal

          well, they didn't say they're developing their own launch vehicle... maybe they're just waiting for Falcon Heavy to be ready, which could be as early as 2017.

          If they were to start developing a lunar descent module and robotic mining equipment NOW, I don't see why they can't send their stuff to the moon on Falcon Heavies by 2020.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Falcon heavy can do ~20 tons to TLO with a few tweaks and the first launch is scheduled for next year.
    • I'm skeptical, but the US (discounting the previous programs) did it in 9 years from the unmanned Saturn launches to the first landing.

      That was all done with slide rules and paper.

      Can we do it much faster, better, and more accurately now with computers, AUTO-CAD, CNC, and iPads? Sure, but will we?

      I hope so, but again, skepticism runs rampant.

    • by sam0737 (648914)

      But it just took 8 years for Apollo to land a man on the moon-

    • 2020? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Un pobre guey (593801) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:06PM (#38090480) Homepage
      If they insist on human astronauts they can kiss it all goodbye right now. If they focus on exclusively robotic missions for the first 20 years or so, they can very likely have several missions under their belt and a minimal active presence in at least one lunar surface operation by 2020. All they need is half a dozen autonomous or semi-autonomous mining machines and a logistics and material support setup to start getting a little work going. Nothing a couple dozen or so Titans and Deltas couldn't manage. One rocket lifts the cargo to LEO, another lifts the vehicle to transport it the rest of the way. Do that a dozen or so times and you've got a robotic moon base. I would bet $20 that they can get at least one or two such missions in by 2020. The absence of humans has the potential of making it lean, fast, and effective.

      My main concern is that no taxpayer subsidies be involved. If they want to set up their vast lunar mining industry, fine. Don't expect me to pay for even a tiny bit of it so that a handful of rich assholes can bask in luxury and privilege. VCs should fund all of it.

    • I don't think he's lying. According to Wired, [wired.com] apparently the guy behind the company is very good at inventing underwater machinery that brings dead people home. Now never mind that the dead person he wanted to bring home is a close friend who died while wearing his re-breather, another invention of his, but that's besides the point. If this incident proves anything, it's that at least he's serious about exploration (serious enough to put other people's lives on the line, which is what you'd need for space e

  • Interesting but ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:17PM (#38088452)
    How have they solved the problem of the abrasive Moon dust? It is really hard on bearings and even worse on lungs.
    • "It is really hard on bearings and even worse on lungs."

      of course the fact that the moon more or less has no atmosphere is a real killer.

      it may be solved more or less by having a "muck room" in the airlocks and sealing what parts can be sealed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Nope, the moon dust is extremely fine and won't be filtered like TV/movie decontamination boothes. NASA have published masses of material on the subject, perhaps you might want to read some of it?

    • Assuming wheels are right out, maybe we've finally found a practical use for legged vehicles?

      • by jandrese (485)
        What's wrong with wheels? The moon buggy used them and they worked fine.
        • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:31PM (#38089380)

          The moon buggy didn't have to work for very long, and even then it had serious issues with abrasive dust. They almost had to abort the use of the buggy on one mission because the fender got snapped off, which would have caused dust to fly everywhere (duct tape saved the day though). The dust on the moon hasn't been worn into relatively smooth shapes by thousands of years of erosion. It's sharp edged, extremely fine particles that gets everywhere. The buggies wouldn't have been operational after a month of activity on the surface, let alone the years it will take to develop an infrastructure on the surface of the moon.

    • by Botia (855350)

      Use sealed bearings and don't breath the lunar atmosphere?

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:56PM (#38088938)

        Use sealed bearings and don't breath the lunar atmosphere?

        The latter is tricky when it sticks to just about everything. The only simple solution I've seen proposed is to use space suits that 'dock' with the habitat (i.e. you back up to an airlock, latch to it and climb out of the suit) rather than suits you put on or remove inside the habitat.

        • Use sealed bearings and don't breath the lunar atmosphere?

          The latter is tricky when it sticks to just about everything.

          I think the latter would be tricky because, practically speaking, the lunar atmosphere is a vacuum.

          • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:24PM (#38089296)

            I think the latter would be tricky because, practically speaking, the lunar atmosphere is a vacuum.

            Good luck breathing vacuum.

            Which part of 'the dust sticks to just about everything' is proving hard to understand? The Apollo astronauts said that the LEM's interior was covered in dust after a few spacewalks and smelled like gunpowder because they were breathing it in all the time after it fell off their dust-covered suits. They also had to continually clean it off the Lunar Rover's radiator so it wouldn't overheat.

            This is one of the biggest problems with living on the Moon, not a silly joke.

        • by mark_elf (2009518)

          It makes it more difficult, but isn't it just silica dust? I mean it's not good to breathe at all, but we have silica dust here too. Moon dust isn't magically different. Mining is dangerous here too. Bring a lots and lots of filters and scrubbers with you and leave the suit in the airlock. Since this would be described as an extremely dangerous job anyway, I don't see how the moon dust is a deal breaker.

          Love to see that waiver of liability and "hold harmless" though. If this next martian rover actually wo

          • by Jeng (926980) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:57PM (#38089650)

            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080924191552.htm [sciencedaily.com]

            The trouble with moon dust stems from the strange properties of lunar soil. The powdery grey dirt is formed by micrometeorite impacts which pulverize local rocks into fine particles. The energy from these collisions melts the dirt into vapor that cools and condenses on soil particles, coating them in a glassy shell.

            These particles can wreak havoc on space suits and other equipment. During the Apollo 17 mission, for example, crewmembers Harrison âoeJackâ Schmitt and Gene Cernan had trouble moving their arms during moonwalks because dust had gummed up the joints. âoeThe dust was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jackâ(TM)s boot,â Taylor says.

            To make matters worse, lunar dust suffers from a terrible case of static cling. UV rays drive electrons out of lunar dust by day, while the solar wind bombards it with electrons by night. Cleaning the resulting charged particles with wet-wipes only makes them cling harder to camera lenses and helmet visors. Mian Abbas of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will discuss electrostatic charging on the moon and how dust circulates in lunar skies.

            Luckily, lunar dust is also susceptible to magnets. Tiny specks of metallic iron (Fe0) are embedded in each dust particleâ(TM)s glassy shell. Taylor has designed a magnetic filter to pull dust from the air, as well as a âoedust suckerâ that uses magnets in place of a vacuum. He has also discovered that microwaves melt lunar soil in less time than it takes to boil a cup of tea. He envisions a vehicle that could microwave lunar surfaces into roads and landing pads as it drives, and a device to melt soil over lunar modules to provide insulation against space radiation. The heating process can also produce oxygen for breathing.

        • by xhrit (915936)
          That does not seem like a very simple solution, considering how current suits are designed around pressurization issues and are basically impossible to get into or out of by yourself. Unless of course, the 'suits' are large mech like robots, which again does not seem like a very simple solution.
          • by Jeng (926980)

            The new suits are actually already designed, or at least test models have been produced and are being tested.

            They have been show on the basic science channels.

            Basically the very back part can be opened up and is attached to the moon buggy, you crawl in though the back of the suit and then seal it.

            http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/lunar_architecture.html [nasa.gov]

            Goddamn fucking twilight, searching for new moon suit is not pulling up relevant images.

    • by Zephyn (415698)

      How have they solved the problem of the abrasive Moon dust? It is really hard on bearings and even worse on lungs.

      It's pure poison, but a great portal conductor.

      Let's all stay positive and do some science.

  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873)
    I would be amazed if a private company managed, by 2020, so much as to land a man on the Moon, let alone build a permanent base there. But no, I'm too skeptical. No one would ever exaggerate the feasibility of such a venture just to bilk money from credulous investors. Especially not a much of middle-aged former NASA engineers who just got laid off due to the end of the shuttle program.
  • And here NASA thinks that it will take 10 years until there's a mature enough technology to remotely build reusable landing fields on the moon, followed by another couple of years to actually build them. And that's for something in the warm areas, not the -220C cold permanently shadowed craters. There guys probably plan on ordering their equipment from Caterpillar and let the engines run overnight to make sure they stay warm (works in Alaska).
    • Would the "temperature" really be a problem? The machines are going to be in vacuum, so the only way they can lose heat (apart from conduction via the soil) is by radiation. Here being constantly in shadow is probably a benefit, as then you can wrap the machine in enough reflective foil to maintain whatever your desired operating temperature is without having to worry about the sun spoiling your calculations.
      • Sure you can insulate, but are you going to wrap every exposed tool on your system in insulation? This company is planing a mining operation, how long do you think that foil is going to last while digging in dirt (which happens to be extremely abrasive). And sure it's easy to maintain the desired operating temperature if you're connected via cable to an operating nuclear reactor, but your excavator moving in the field will be draining its batteries just trying to keep the joints and hydraulics warm withou
    • by Jeng (926980)

      Actually the roads and landing fields might be one of the easier projects.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080924191552.htm [sciencedaily.com]

      Taylor has designed a magnetic filter to pull dust from the air, as well as a âoedust suckerâ that uses magnets in place of a vacuum. He has also discovered that microwaves melt lunar soil in less time than it takes to boil a cup of tea. He envisions a vehicle that could microwave lunar surfaces into roads and landing pads as it drives, and a device to melt soil over lunar modules to provide insulation against space radiation. The heating process can also produce oxygen for breathing.

      Though any mining machinery will need to be completely redesigned for use on the moon. In some ways I'm sure it is easier to mine on the moon vs earth, but in almost every other way it is going to be harder and we will have to approach it from a completely different direction.

  • Who owns the moon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:19PM (#38088476)

    So who owns the moon? I mean - will they have mineral rights licensed from someone? And is there an agreement as to who that might be? Sounds like a casus belli brewing.

    • Whoever can defend their claim owns the moon.

      Same as on Earth. It's impossible to own anything without having the force to protect it. Or live under an authority willing to do it for you.
    • Nobody. There's no established law about the moon in any practical sense. There's the the Moon Treaty [wikipedia.org], which pretty much bans any commercial exploitation of the moon--but no country that actually has space flight has ratified it, making it effectively dead.

    • You must not be from around here. In the free world, mineral rights trumps national sovereignty and private property. In other words, it doesn't matter who owns what, as long as we can take it by force and defend it by force. It's ours for the taking.

  • [quote]The company said it will use a mix of industrial astronauts and advanced robotic systems[/quote]

    Great, just what we need -- mass-produced clones having an existential break-down while being gently prodded on by a robot with the voice of Kevin Spacey.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      [quote]The company said it will use a mix of industrial astronauts and advanced robotic systems[/quote]

      Great, just what we need -- mass-produced clones having an existential break-down while being gently prodded on by a robot with the voice of Kevin Spacey.

      I'd land a lot of robots, to explore, before landing another man on the moon. Something found with the South Pole examination of the lunar surface is that surface is very soft, fluffy and deep. Land there with care or become lost at sea, so to speak.

  • by codepigeon (1202896) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:20PM (#38088490)
    I was excited about this, until I went to their "website". http://www.shackletonenergy.com/ [shackletonenergy.com]
    • $1,200,000 Campaign Goal


  • by P-niiice (1703362) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:25PM (#38088550)

    TV: "In 2020 we'll land privately-owned vvehicles on the moon-"


    TV" "-in order to rape its resources."

    Viewer: "fuuuuuuuck"

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:25PM (#38088552)

    Either way I got my laugh for the day.

  • by MrP- (45616) <rob.elitemrp@net> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:28PM (#38088578) Homepage

    His TED Talk was great:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_stone_explores_the_earth_and_space.html [ted.com]
    (the moon stuff is towards the middle/end)

    They're also on RocketHub ("crowdfunding"):
    http://rockethub.com/projects/3822-shackleton-energy-company-propellant-depots [rockethub.com]

    I just found out about Bill and his company yesterday. I'm hoping they're successful!

    • by kermidge (2221646) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:31PM (#38089374) Journal

      When I first saw the article, I flashed on Heinlein, then "Destination Moon", the first movie I saw, back in 1951.

      Seems to me that what Bill Stone is setting out to do is the kind of thing any real nerd would give his left nut to do, be involved in, or see happen. I may be getting too cynical (I think many here are, or have already arrived) but I'd like to see this work. Wouldn't hurt to have a modern-day Delos Harriman or three backing this. I think too many forget that humans invent their own future. One may observe - avidly or idly, participate, or scoff.

      For those who didn't click through the links: http://www.stoneaerospace.com/news-/news-mining-moon.php [stoneaerospace.com]

      (Thanks for the hippie quiz. It brought back a few memories. 114)

  • Bottom line, if there was any profitability in it, Exxon, shell, BP, Citgo, etc. etc. would have already done it. This is someone's day dream.
    • In their defense, you could have said the same thing back in the late 70s about PCs.

      Those companies aren't going to take the risk. They'll let somebody else do it and, if those people are successful, they'll buy them out.

    • Is that why Exxon made the iPhone? Lunar mining has nothing to do with the core business of any of those companies. You do realise there are no hydrocarbon lakes on the moon?

  • Anyone who has watched a mine, and a refinery, or even seen pictures of them, is qualified to question the validity of the time frame here. All that industrial process activity, in an environment with no atmosphere to speak of and reduced gravity ?

    Kudos for thinking big and bold, and the value of whatever solutions do emerge ... but operating by 2020 ?

    Not gonna happen.
  • We're whalers on the Moon, we carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales so we tell tall tales and sing our whaling tune.

  • They aren't "energy companies." They are mining companies that mine fossil fuels. That is why they will never be involved in renewable resources. It just has nothing to do with their core business. When the Earth runs out of things for them to mine, they'll just have to try to mine the moon.
  • "To make this ambitious plan possible, the company this week said it had begun its initial fundraising campaign via a company called RocketHub which defines itself as a crowdfunding outfit that helps raise money for a variety of entrepreneurial pursuits."

    If every human on Earth gave them a dollar, they wouldn't have enough to do this. We're talking about settling the moon AND having steady traffic back and forth AND manufacturing using lunar materials...a trifecta of things that have never been done, and a

  • Is it truly cheaper to get liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen on the moon vs. on the Earth?

    These are apparently expensive to make here and may exist already frozen on the moon. OK, but you have to design/build/destroy/redesign/rebuild rockets and robots, hire gobs of people, send them to space, get everything insured, run the operation, send the stuff back, burn up a lot of fuel and consumables, and then once it gets here, keep it cold (which I'm guessing takes lots of energy).

    So even using back-of-envelope

    • by glop (181086)

      That's not the point.
      The idea is that it costs a lot to make fuel here and then send it into space.
      So if you want to power a spaceship to go to Mars or Saturn or anywhere, using fuel is expensive.
      But these guys are saying: have robots harvest it on the moon, stockpile it and then when Nasa or anybody wants fuel in space, they can just rendez-vous with the stockpile and get some fuel that never had to be hauled from Earth.

      Another post said a bottle of water in space costs 20000$. So if they can make a 1000 k

  • by hedgemage (934558) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:25PM (#38090686)
    I am an indigenous aboriginal person and any grant of mineral rights should include compensation to my tribe (the "Humans") as the moon is our collective property and any use of it could potentially damage it and affect its prominent role in my culture. The moon features prominently in the traditions of my people from dances (the Moonwalk) to courting and romantic rituals (the honeymoon) and cuisine (cheese). I propose that any private commercial venture be submitted to approval by vote by a base majority of my tribe (7 billion+ members) and that revenues from any commercial venture be distributed equally to each member.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson