Billionaire’s Private Mission to the Moon

Aug 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm |

Get that moon rock

Last week, billionaire Naveen Jain, founder of the company Moon Express, gained the first official approval from the United States government to land a private spacecraft on the moon. Jain’s craft will represent the fourth organization in the history to land a man on the moon, preceded by the U.S., Russian and Chinese governments. Conspiracy theories aside, the barren rock has been circling the Earth for a long, long time and could probably use some company. Privately funded, Jain not only has full permission to leave the earth’s atmosphere and land on the moon, but take whatever he can find there.

In an interview with NBC News, Jain said, “Imagine getting engaged and instead of a diamond, giving your fiancé a moon rock ring.” And while the surface of the moon is largely a desolate desert that smells like garbage (or “spent gunpowder” as Buzz Aldrin described it), apparently there is a fair sprinkling of titanium and platinum on the lunar landscape. And who knows what else space has decided to dump there over the ages. So, if Jain has made a billion on earth, we’re interested in what he hopes to cull from our favorite lingering space rock.

Space ship launch

CREDIT: Universal Pictures/Photofest

One small step for man, one large step for a billionaire

A billionaire is sending first private spacecraft to the moon. And we have some questions.