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Moon Google The Almighty Buck Technology

Privately Funded Lunar Mission Set a Launch Date For 2017 50

merbs writes: If all goes according to plan, the world's first private lunar mission will be launched just two years from now. SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit, has secured a launch contract with Spaceflight Industries, and will aim to land a rover on the moon in the second half of 2017. It's the first such launch contract to be verified by the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize competition. Another group called Moon Express has signed a deal with New Zealand-based company, Rocket Lab, to launch and put a lander on the lunar surface 2017.
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Privately Funded Lunar Mission Set a Launch Date For 2017

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  • by Cito ( 1725214 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @01:43PM (#50680909) Homepage

    It was predicted!!!

    https://youtu.be/ZAZhtT-dUyo [youtu.be]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And getting their spacecraft in orbit with technology perfected by NAZIs.

      Oy! The irony! THE IRONY!

      • <grin>throwing objects into the air is not "technology perfected", but the victims underneath could debate the issue on point.</grin>
    • The Israelis are actually from the Simon Wiesenthal center - they're hunting for the Nazis that have been hiding on the dark side of the moon since 1945. They'll chase the Nazis from the moon to Argentina in 2018. I think I saw this in a movie [imdb.com], so it must be true.
    • ignoring the irony, "god speed."
  • A Rover? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MagickalMyst ( 1003128 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @01:47PM (#50680939)
    This is the 21st century. Let's send a human there instead.

    I nominate Mark Zuckerburg.
    • Re:A Rover? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @02:00PM (#50681039)

      We don't have the post WWII impetus and properly taxed corporations of the 1960s anymore. We have a fractured populace entertained to death, and any increased productivity or technological gains are immediately funneled up towards the rich.

      Funny how a society with single income families and no cell phones was able to put people on the Moon, hm?

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        Another way of looking at it is that money that could have gone to a space program is now in the homes in the form of smartphones, cutting edge PCs, home entertainment systems, etc. No one wants to sacrifice for a greater good if it means not getting the latest new iPhone.

        • Re:A Rover? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @02:48PM (#50681339)

          Actually both of you are wrong or at least misleading (my guess is misleading for ideological reasons; i.e. you value government projects more than you value individual wealth in the form of better material goods that even the poor have access to better than at any other point in history.) The reality is that the US government is pulling in record revenue, but adjusted for percentage of GDP, it's at about 16.9%. The post WWII period was about 17.6%.

          That's not a big enough change to take away moon landings. The reality is that the money you're lamenting going into stuff that everyday people actually want (why is this a bad thing, by the way?) is really going into pork projects, such as the F-35 (oh, and that $1.2 trillion figure only accounts for the contractual costs, the actual cost of the project itself is much higher than that even though it's not done yet.)

          Even if it wasn't going into pork, and I don't know about you guys, but I much prefer a situation where I (and anybody else) is able to have nice things even if it means we put off manned space exploration for 50 years.

          The reason why is simple: Going to the moon is nice and all, but when you spend a crapload of money on it just for the novelty of it, then it's somewhat pointless. I think the money is better spent finding a way to do it in a practical manner that is cheap enough that you can actually afford to put people other than the world's wealthiest (or an otherwise lucky select few) into space. Read: I don't care how you try to spin it, going to the moon is pointless if we can only send about 20 people there per lifetime. All that the 1960's moon landings did was prove the concept. Until it becomes practical from a cost perspective, then we still haven't truly reached the moon yet.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The thing is, going to the moon in the 60s is the reason why you have nice things like smartphones today.

            Not because of spinoffs (which never actually were spinoffs) like velcro or space pens, but because of the re-industrialization of the South that LBJ required of Kennedy to support the project (look at where all the Apollo era NASA centers are), because of the manufacturing and quality control techniques developed for the space program, and -- less directly -- because of the huge boost in the number of k

            • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

              The thing is, going to the moon in the 60s is the reason why you have nice things like smartphones today.

              ICs already existed before Apollo. At worst, computers would be a few years behind where we are today.

              If you really want to find the money we used to be able to throw at expensive technological boondoggles, it's easy. It's in the massively increased post-60s welfare state.

              The hard part of 'bread and circuses' is funding both.

              • The hard part of 'bread and circuses' is funding both.
                Maybe we stop exporting food from the U.S. and feed our starving masses. Would WalMart survive?
            • Not because of spinoffs (which never actually were spinoffs) like velcro or space pens, but because of the re-industrialization of the South that LBJ required of Kennedy to support the project (look at where all the Apollo era NASA centers are), because of the manufacturing and quality control techniques developed for the space program, and -- less directly -- because of the huge boost in the number of kids going into what's now called STEM because of the popularity of the program. Those kids led the personal computer revolution that led to all the other nice things.

              If that's the case, then the F-35 should (by your own argument) be a huge boon to technological advancement due to the sheer number of firms that are working on it. And again, if that's your only motivation, then who needs the space program when we've got tons of technology pork projects?

          • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

            You're reading ideology into a non-ideological comment. I greatly prefer that people retain as much of their income as possible. I would love it if we could choose parts of the government to fund voluntarily rather than the funds be removed from our pay before it ever hits our checking accounts. I don't ever expect to see that happen, but it could create a government that is actually "for the people".

            The point I was trying to make is that a lot of great things were done during the race to the moon, but t

            • I would think we'd be able to get people on the moon for a heck of a lot less money.

              Sadly not. We've had nearly fifty years of tightening FAA regulations (rightly so, isn't it nice to feel safe on airplanes?) and there's not much on a Saturn V that would get a type certificate these days.

            • You're reading ideology into a non-ideological comment.

              Your comment was effectively 'it's a shame that we have smartphones, and it's because we didn't tax corporations enough'. That's an ideological argument for why you think the government should have more money than it already has. It also neglects that the government has by far more resources at its disposal today than it did back then.

              The point I was trying to make is that a lot of great things were done during the race to the moon, but the average family didn't have the kind of possessions that we take for granted today. If everyone made do with what they had during that time period, there would be money to fund a more aggressive space program.

              No, that wouldn't be the case at all. The government needs an economy to be able to fund itself, and the economy would be considerably weaker without the private sector having

              • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

                I didn't even mention corporations, that was someone else. I was just making an observation that our standard of living and what we deem as essential possessions and such have changed considerably since the era of the space race. America isn't poorer than it was before, the funding could be had.. but I don't think most folks would want to make any sacrifices in order to free up money to fund truly large space programs.

                Yes, if it was cheaper, it'd be more likely to happen. Also true that if there was reve

                • America isn't poorer than it was before, the funding could be had.. but I don't think most folks would want to make any sacrifices in order to free up money to fund truly large space programs.

                  As I mentioned, people making those sacrifices would do the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. If they did, that would mean that consumer spending goes down, and if consumer spending goes down, less people are making money, and if less people are making money, the government has reduced tax revenue. Remember, what people produce in America counts as GDP, and people don't produce if nobody buys.

                  Having said that, while it's true that the government today is taking in slightly less as a percentage of G

        • No one wants to sacrifice for a greater good

          Sending meat to the moon is not "for a greater good". A robot can do 90% of what a human can do for 1% of the cost.

          • Sending meat to the moon is not "for a greater good".

            After all, who wants anything to do with people made out of meat? [terrybisson.com]

          • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

            That depends on what you view our role to be in this existence. You can send a robot up a mountain too, but climbers generally prefer to climb it themselves. I'm not in favor of spending a fortune on human space travel right now, but at the same time.. can you imagine our existence if we went with the lowest cost option for everything in life?

      • by mbone ( 558574 )

        We don't have the post WWII impetus and properly taxed corporations of the 1960s anymore. We have a fractured populace entertained to death, and any increased productivity or technological gains are immediately funneled up towards the rich.

        Funny how a society with single income families and no cell phones was able to put people on the Moon, hm?

        And this is generally treated (even by people concerned about it) as a fact of nature, something like the drought in California or dust storms on Mars.

    • This is the 21st century. Let's send a human there instead.
      I nominate Mark Zuckerburg.

      Let's wait and send him for the Google Sol XPrize competition ...

    • "I nominate everyone currently on a TLC or E! reality show to be launched in a rocket!"

      "To space?"

      "To anywhere where they wouldn't come back."

    • He's to old. Lets send a Chess Master, from India.
  • Let's give the conspiracy theorists some BUZZ LIGHTYEAR ROCKET FUEL!!!!
  • Substitute for your rover a cylindro-conical projectile. I shall go inside.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They want to use this mission to get kids interested in STEM fields. What I found disappointing after having grown up and watching the US Moon shots is that when you get your STEM degree, you are most likely going to be working in an industry that makes consumer products. Products that have no real value; it's just crap to get people to part with their hard earned money.

    So kids, just because you have a STEM degree does not mean you will be doing cool or valuable things. Most likely you will be working on th

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh man, at one job I said "we're building next year's landfill". What can you do? We have this social model that says "work or starve" while farmers pour milk down sewers to control the price.

      We want to pretend we're all so technological and we believe in progress, but we don't even accept 19th century automation to reduce the workweek.

      So, keep building crap. It's vital.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

      Um, yeah. So, you know that humanitarian project we hired you for? Well, the corporation scratched that project, sooooo, I'm going to ask you to go ahead and move over to the team that's working on our Death Gel, okay? Thanks.

  • McDonald's should take the opportunity to fund a $50 million pre-launch that lands a small habitat on the moon, well-stocked and waiting, for an extended stay if necessary (this is how we should go to Mars BTW) complete with a tiny McDonald's in it where they can buy four Big Macs, run by one astronaut who is also a legal McDonald's employee.

    McDonald's, are you listening?

  • It's a luminary, like the sun, and is the same size and distance away from us here standing on this flat Earth. Moon light makes things colder; sun light makes things warmer -- thus, it is not reflected sunlight, as were that the case it would still warm things, just to a lesser degree -- it wouldn't cool them.

    See my signature to learn more.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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