Old Blue Eyes might have sung about flying to the moon, but Moon Express Commercial Missions is making that idea a reality. Moon Express has a legitimate point—the moon really is our world’s eighth continent. The moon’s landmass equals that of North and South America combined. Consider all the natural resources of those two continents, then consider that the moon has similar resources. Beyond that, the moon’s resources have been augmented by millennia of asteroids crashing into it. One of the major resources discovered on the moon is water, a discovery verified by NASA in 2009. Not only is water necessary for the sustainment of life, but its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen, can be used as fuel for the very rockets needed to get to the moon. Creating a way to harvest the resources of our closest neighbor represents an economic opportunity unparalleled in the history of mankind.
Moon Express looks to be the fourth entity to gain access to the moon (only three government superpowers have done so). With approval from the U.S. government, obtained on July 20, 2016, Moon Express is set to start sending crafts to the moon. These voyages will start with robotic shuttles that will start to set up the moon as a base of operations and will also bring back samples to further our knowledge of what the moon is and what opportunities are there.
Flying to the moon isn’t going to be a romantic notion much longer.