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Billionaire’s Private Mission to the Moon

at4:55 pm | By

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


2001 space odyssey food

Credit: MGM/Photofest

On Apollo 11’s world-altering trip to the moon, Buzz Aldrin reportedly burned 300 calories per hour hopping across the surface of the moon. That puts any of Kimmy K’s workout regimes to shame. Jokes about cheese aside, what was he eating up there to keep the marathon going? The majority of Apollo’s diet consisted of thermo-stabilized cheddar cheese spread and hot dogs. And who doesn’t love hot dogs? Seriously, they are the best, though applying ketchup and mustard must have been a challenge in a zero gravity environment. Russia reportedly brought champagne and caviar to space. We don’t even want to think about the Chinese using chopsticks up there.

But what would dot-com boomer Naveen Jain bring up there? While his first moonshot will be a small, unmanned craft, essentially a five-foot by five-foot suitcase, he has expressed long-term plans for manned lunar landings. “My goal is one day the honeymoon will really be about taking the honey to the moon,” he said kind of cleverly. But if you’re taking your newly-wed bae to the moon, she’s not going to want to eat hotdogs and thermo-stabilized cheddar spread. So, we suggest taking molecular gastronomists/physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist Hervé up there to serve up some edible floral Octopops and some immersion-blended salmon foams. We’re sure they will have a ball cooking under the stars.


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In case you didn’t think that golf was the most boring sport of all, you can watch this extremely boring video of Alan Shepard hitting golf balls on the moon. Apparently he’s using a six iron, whatever that means. And the ball goes for “miles and miles,” basically without end, which is how it feels watching golf. Endless.

But if Jain wants to “colonize” the moon, he’s going to have to think of some recreations beyond playing golf (because, really, how many balls do you have to lose before it becomes a lost cause) and long moonwalks with you newly betrothed. Well, we have some suggestions. For example, if your a lawn-sports couple, perhaps croquet. What is more gratifying in croquet than knocking your partner’s ball off the course? On the moon, you could knock your lover’s ball into the cosmos. It will continue to fly into the depth of space long after you both have passed. Kinda romantic.

If you’re into something a little more picante than lawn sports, fooling around in zero gravity would be fun for sure. Getting out of those space suits must be worse than houdini-ing out of a corset, but lunar sex would be otherworldly (though we don’t suggest doing it outside of your moon suite). We can’t guarantee that some lonesome astronauts haven’t beaten you to it, but imagine the sexy positions possible freed of gravity.