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First Commercial Moon Mission Approved

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the fly-me-to-the-moon dept.

Space 601

dorantrist writes "A Discovery Channel article that The U.S. Government has just licensed the first commercial mission to the moon to TransOrbital, Inc.. Part of the mission is "to VERIFY Apollo and other landing sites" because there are still a few people out there who believe the Apollo program was a hoax. --Maybe they can also pickup the golf balls left by Alan Shepard?"

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601 comments

Verify? (5, Funny)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201189)

Who thinks that people silly enough to believe the first trip to the moon was a hoax will now believe that this trip is for real?

Re:Verify? (4, Funny)

nick-less (307628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201202)


Who thinks that people silly enough to believe the first trip to the moon was a hoax will now believe that this trip is for real?


You still think there's a moon?

Re:Verify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201244)

You think that's air you're breathing?

Re:Verify? (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201204)

I always wondered: can Apollo sites, Lunokhod, etc
be seen in optical telescopes?

Re:Verify? (1)

aiabx (36440) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201225)

Yes and no. You can see the Sea of Tranquility with the naked eye, but no telescope can provide a sharp enough view to see any evidence of the moon landing from earth.
You can, however, fire a sufficiently powerful laser at the reflectors left on the moon for that purpose.
-aiabx

Re:Verify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201295)

but no telescope can provide a sharp enough view to see any evidence of the moon landing from earth

What, not even Hubble? O.K, technically it's not on earth, but it shouldn't be able to resolve the individual grains of moon dust - or is it's focal length too long?

Re:Verify? (1)

purplebaron (588531) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201267)

I think that the sites are below the resolution limit of Earth based telescopes. However, Apollos 11 and 15 left retroreflectors which anyone can use to measure the range to the moon with quite high accuracy. There is a website here [nasa.gov] where anyone can read about it. Of course, I suppose you can fake all the range data and the ranging experiment as well.

Re:Verify? (3, Informative)

los furtive (232491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201279)

Apparently not. Even for the Hubble telescope it's not that easy, and I've got the pictures to prove it. [nasa.gov]

Re:Verify? (1)

RobertNotBob (597987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201339)

That picture is not from Hubble.

It was taken in 1972 from the Apollo 17

Re:Verify? (1)

TrueKonrads (580974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201208)

Reminds me of chicken and egg problem here.
It really does not matter at this point wether they had landed. Clearly, we (humankind) possess technology to do so.

Re:Verify? (1)

Saggy (142571) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201210)

Who would believe that someone smart enough not to write 'First Post' would get the first post?

2nd Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201203)

I claim this second post in the name of those corporations that will use it & exploit it until there is nothing left.

Here we go again (2, Funny)

jethro_troll (596531) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201207)

"...to VERIFY Apollo and other landing sites"

Great, they're going to send back fake pictures of the Apollo landing site...

Landing on the Moon (1)

Angus McNitt (542101) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201209)

I wouldn't invest in that. Imagine the parking tickets and littering fines waiting for them when they land. I'll bet the US goverment isn't going to refund their taxes to cover it.

Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (5, Interesting)

rberton (456041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201212)

I wanna know what right the US has to grant commercial missions to the moon. Like we are the only country that has rights to the moon as a resource.

The next big wars will be over space shipping lanes.

riley

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2, Interesting)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201226)

We didn't have to let them take off from our airspace.

You didn't... (4, Interesting)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201242)

"Trailblazer is expected to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next nine to 12 months. "

So, WTF does it have to do withthe US government?

Re:You didn't... (5, Informative)

FlexAgain (26958) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201400)

"Trailblazer is expected to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next nine to 12 months. "

So, WTF does it have to do withthe US government?


From the Space Law [unvienna.org] pages:

"The Outer Space Treaty states that States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried out by governmental agencies or non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the treaty. The Treaty further states that the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party."

Presumably TransOrbital is registered in the US, so the US government will be responsible for supervising any activities.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (1)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201327)

I thought it said they're launching from Khazikstan.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2, Informative)

brondsem (553348) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201258)

Legal status of the moon according to the UN: http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/SpaceLaw/moon.html [unvienna.org]

No mention of the United States as having any special rights.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201306)

The Moon Belongs to the Zhti Ti Kofft, or as we more commonly call them, Martians. They have a base [uncoveror.com] on the dark side of the moon.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201321)

What sort of jurisdiction does the UN have over the moon to settle the matter? The moon isn't a member nation, I didn't bother to see if the US was a signatory in its goofy 'moon rules'

I think the old-timey notion of 'we got here first' applies to the moon, so far as the moon as a piece of real estate.

btw, my favorite part of the UN agreement is:

"All activities on the moon, including its exploration and use, shall be carried out in accordance with ... Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations."

Sure! Because we dont want to piss off the moon people!

Who sez the UN is a waste of time?

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2)

chill (34294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201391)

Actually, the UN agreement on the Moon is very similar to the way things are set up for Antarctica. No one "owns" it -- everyone shares.

Of course, it won't be until after we use it as a Penal Colony and an AI organizes a decent revolution that Luna will become truely free.

(For the confused -- that is the basic plot of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by R. A. Heinlein)

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201335)

What about US airspace? We do own a lot of landscape, and I don't know about you, but if I were hurling a huge metal spike filled with highly explosive materials through the air, I'd want to make sure it was OK with the people I'd be hurling the spike over.
It wouldn't surprise me if they got the permission of a bunch of nations in addition to the US.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201368)

Read the article.

They are taking off from Kazakstan (or however you spell it).

Export restrictions (1)

SpankTech3000 (194420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201352)

The US Gov probably has export restrictions (especially since 9/11) on alot of the technology they are using for the launch.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201364)

Hey Butthead, heh heh, heh heh, Who owns the moon? The same dude who owns uranus, Beavis Huh huh, huh huh, and the dingleberries, Huh huh, huh huh.

Re:Who "owns" the moon, anyway? (2)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201384)

>The next big wars will be over space shipping lanes.

Nope. The next big wars will be fought over *water*, one of the most common substances on the planet.

Golf balls? (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201219)

Maybe they can also pickup the golf balls left by Alan Shepard?

dont have to..... take a look here [irtc.org] or more specifically this [irtc.org] animation.

The U.S. Govt doesn't have the right! I DO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201222)

I hold a patent on moonshots. You have to get licensing rights from ME.

About fucking time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201223)

We haven't been to the moon in, what, 20-30 years? It's about fucking time, guys. And maybe, finally, the idiots who think the moon landings were faked will finally shut up.

Re:About fucking time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201275)

the idiots who think the moon landings were faked will finally shut up.

Or better yet! Maybe the idiots who believe they were real will shut up.

Get a fucking telescope (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201224)

I'm sure we've got a shitload powerful enough to see the landing site from here. Why the hell send another ship?

Re:Get a fucking telescope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201383)

No. You are wrong.

The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201227)

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

by 70%

Re:The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (1)

rberton (456041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201247)

Dude, ease down.

MOD DOWN- this is a cut and paste copy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201265)

The loser is karma whoring....

Re:The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (1)

ryuuzin (215760) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201324)


You know, the scary fact is that I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh at the seemingly satirical tone of the parent passage... or whether I should offer it up as an illustration of the frightening mental state of certain members of our society...

-1 Redundant/Off-Topic (and I'll admit it)

Hmmmm... (2, Funny)

DCram (459805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201228)

I bet this company was started years ago by the military in secret and now after all this time, when the dust has settled and the heat has let up, is going back to the studio to fake another landing. :)

This time I bet ILM will put some really cool animals and critters on the moon. Maybe even some faces in the rocks and a giant underground mine with a real live arnold.

WOW.

Mission Trailblazer ? (1)

nick-less (307628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201231)

What does Telebit think of this name? Do bad I sold my trailblazer modem some years ago, but i still have a worldblazer somewhere...

Re:Mission Trailblazer ? (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201382)

What does Telebit think of this name?

There's no trademark infringement if the products or services involved are in unrelated fields. That's how you can end up with a modem [telebit.com] , a truck [chevrolet.com] , and a spacecraft [transorbital.net] that have the same name.

Permission? (1)

Rolker (24927) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201233)

Why do they need permission from the US?

Why does this company have to get US permission? (2, Redundant)

mcwop (31034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201234)

Why does this company need to get approval of the US Gov?

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

ozzmosis (99513) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201263)

Because they are launching from the US.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (2, Informative)

verch (12834) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201292)

Actually if you read the article they are launching from Kazakhstan.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201297)

The company expects to launch its Trailblazer Mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next 9-12 months. since when did kazakhstan become a part of the US.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201401)

since when did kazakhstan become a part of the US.
I'd say "as soon as Bush is done with Iraq", but he'd have to learn to spell kazakhstan, and there'll have been another election by then.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201268)

Eaxactly what I was wondering. WTF is up with that, you need permission to leave the planet? Well, I guees maybe you need permission to come back, but still...

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

Gekko (45112) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201278)

Because they need to go through US airspace, kinda gotta make sure no planes are in the flight path of what is a essentially a big missile you know?

It's being launched from Kazakhstan, not America (2)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201312)

So it's highly unlikely to travel through US airspace. No?

So WTF does it have to do with the US government?

Re:It's being launched from Kazakhstan, not Americ (1)

Gekko (45112) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201353)

Ok then lets see, the list of export controlled components in a rocket is large, no.

So they only got permission to export parts. (2)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201386)

And it has fuck all to do with permission to go to the moon.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (2)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201366)

from the article:

"Trailblazer is expected to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next nine to 12 months. Trailblazer will also carry a time capsule containing messages and personal items that will remain on the moon where the craft crashes.
"

If you want to establish imperial right to the moon, just establish the precedent of demanding control over such activities. Companies such as Transorbital are not rich; they cave quickly. But now precedent is established: the U.S. claims the right to regulate U.S. companies' activities on the moon, even if launched from another country.

Editorially I add that the precedents established in cases such as Noriega and various internet sites overseas has given the U.S. expanded *expected* control of activies in other countries. We're essentially claiming, bit-by-bit, hegemony over the planet by any means necessary. It's not a vile conspiracy, merely the Logic of Empire.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

legomad (596194) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201290)

Because NASA is orchestrating it's masonic conspiracy.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201293)

Because we own the moon. Kind of like claming land for country if you get there first. Same principle. In 500 years we'll own the solar system, so be ready.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

legomad (596194) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201317)

Unless it belongs to some aliens already.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (2)

Have Blue (616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201397)

No government owns the moon. There is an international treaty/pact/something [accpc.com] which states that no country may place a claim on any celestial body (scroll down to article 2). This has, however, not stopped private enterprise from placing such claims.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

mikeboone (163222) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201329)

From that ancient movie shown to Lisa Simpson:

"The moon belongs to America." :)

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (3, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201331)

Because they are incorporated in the US and therefore bound by its laws and regulatory agencies, I assume.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

Captain Pooh (177885) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201341)

If you read the Press Release [transorbital.net] the reason TransOribital says, is beacause they must satisfy a number of design requirments and directives which took them 2 years to complete.

US Airspace (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201343)

Assuming it launches from a part of the US one kind of need US permission to fly super large launch vehicles. The US doesn't take kindly to unscheduled large object flying around in US airspace nor would I suspect many other countries would either.

Reguardless of the stance on the privitazation of space, many functions will still fall under US Federal juristiction and regulation. After all you don't want thousands of pounds of rocket fuel falling on major cities do you?

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201344)

I would imagine that since the US is the only global power with a more-than-signifigant financial and commercial intrest (what, with all our satellites for pr0n and what not), one would have to seek approval from them. Plus, since we have seemingly multiple agencies within the dept. of defense that moniters all all inter-continential/ orbital rocket launches, you kinda have to let them know about it. Since an unknown ballistic rocket coming from Kazakhstan would definatly cause a panic.

Re:Why does this company have to get US permission (1)

Inominate (412637) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201355)

My guess is that it's for the rights to launch. Just a matter of getting permission from the FAA I think.

How will they respond to this? (0, Offtopic)

wildcard023 (184139) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201235)

Cattle mutilations are up

--
Mike Nugent

Re:How will they respond to this? (1)

MySpleenHurts (575068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201367)

Sneakers. Good one. Didn't they stage the lunar landing at a sound stage in San Bernadino, CA?

future of space travel (1)

germinatoras (465782) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201238)

This is the future of space travel. I can't download the article for some reason ( /.'ed already?) Once businesses get interested in traveling to the moon, progress will begin to pick up where NASA's work ended. I think this is a good thing.

moon lander to earth base.... (5, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201243)


lander: we are now returning with alan sheperds balls.

base: what was that? (chuckle)

lander: i said were returning with alan shepards balls.

base: hehe, sweet. did you use the retractable cup tool to scoop them up?

lander: yes, we used the cup.

base: would you say that your... hehehehehe, cupping alan shepards balls?

lander: umm, yes, weve successfully cupped his balls.... do you guys hear laughing over the frequency cutting in?

base: oh no, no laughing here. would you say your excited to be cupping....

Re:moon lander to earth base.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201347)

your = your
you're = you are

I can't figure out which is worse... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201348)

your joke or the fact that you don't know when to use "your" vs. "you're".

Data Storage? (0, Offtopic)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201245)

Ultra-secure data storage, eh?

Try DoS'ing my machine on the moon, RIAA!

C'mon now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201246)

Do you really think the US Government would have approved the mission if we hadn't gone to the moon after all? ...Or at least made them promise to bring back doctored photos?

What?? (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201249)

The U.S. Government has just licensed the first commercial mission to the moon.

TransOrbital, Inc. received permission from various government agencies last week to send a probe back to the Earth's little sister.


Received permission?? Did I miss the part where the US Gov't purchased the moon?

Good Luck! (-1, Funny)

sllort (442574) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201250)

This charade has gone on long enough. No one's going into the void to pick up "golf balls" from "the moon", unless of course they're authorized by the government to do so.

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

Wait a minute -- "permission"?? (1, Redundant)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201251)

Transorbital has been granted permission by the U.S. government to land on the moon.

Since when do we need permission to land on the moon? Does NASA own the damned thing?

Who grants permission to leave the Earth? I didn't know we had a warden.

Re:Wait a minute -- "permission"?? (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201309)

I believe you need permission to launch any satellite into orbit, and launching a large rocket into space without first letting everyone know what you are doing might not be a real good idea.

Moon as "national park"? (3, Insightful)

frohike (32045) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201256)

Am I the only person disturbed by the idea that people will go to the moon and strip mine with abandon, and destroy its beauty from the perspective of people on Earth? I think something will never be the same about our little neighborhood of space when people look up and see lights all over the moon at night and they've dug up the man in the moon's face... ;)

Re:Moon as "national park"? (0)

confusednoise (596236) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201370)

I'm with you. I for one am not terribly excited about the prospect of humanity spreading to other planets/heavenly bodies so we can pillage them as thoroughly as have this one. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of space exploration & travel (heck, if it becomes possible to take tourist visits to the moon & elsewhere for a semi-reasonable price in the near future, put me on the waiting list now), but I have more than a little cynicism when it comes to my faith in commercial organizations' & governments' abilities to sensibly colonize other planets without repeating the mistakes we've made here.

Re:Moon as "national park"? (2, Insightful)

rew2 (55661) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201379)

Actually the largest strip mine imaginable would probably be dwarfed by an average sized crater.
You won't be able to see it with the unaided eye.

I'd rather see a dead rock get strip mined than a living planet. Although in reality it is so uneconomical to mine the moon that it won't happen in your lifetime or mine.

Won't change their minds. (2, Insightful)

thing_from_space (449789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201257)

This won't change their minds. These people are never going to believe we landed on the moon. They'll just convince themselves that TansOrbital is a puppet company. I'm not even sure if they'd believe the whole deal if they went up themselves, took off their helmets and died from exposure to the vacuum and cold.

Is it our permission to give? (1)

The Magic Yak (559288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201261)

I fund it a bit amusing that you even need permission to do this! Other countries may venture into space, corporations already have satellites launched. Is this really that big of a deal? If you really needed permission, why doesn't a world wide governing body like the U.N. make this decision, rather than the U.S.?

Great! (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201264)

Well, I'm still somewhat skeptical that they'll actually be able to do it ... I'll believe it when it happens. But if they do manage it, I think that it's a good step forward. As the government doesn't seem to have much interest in getting us to space, we're going to have to rely on commercial ventures to do it for us.

This scares me.... (1)

jsonmez (544764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201273)

This company was approved for a moon mission? I'm supposed to believe they are going to make it to the moon, when they can't even build a decent website? They have a banner add (a cheesy one) advertising leaving your mark on the moon. Tell me this is a joke?

Decent links page, though. (2)

nucal (561664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201357)

They do have a decent astronomy links [transorbital.net] page, including an amusing Bad Astronomy [badastronomy.com] site.

At least it wasn't an X-10 pop-up ....

judge not a company by it's web page (2)

Treeluvinhippy (545814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201399)

so thy got a shitty web page. That tells me they're not spending money on web design. Maybe tha banner ad was a quickie made by one of the engineers on some spare time? Maybe you should't blast a company by it's public outlook and give them a chance to actually get to the moon. Then when the money is rolling in from tourists, mining, whatever, you can bitch because the web page isn't up to your petty standards.

It was a hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201282)

Just look under the LEM, no blasted away moon dust.

WHY?

Re:It was a hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201365)

You talking about this?

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/apollo/image s/ a12_lm.jpg

We never landed on the moon. (1, Funny)

MySpleenHurts (575068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201289)

Who would be believe a phony government agency disguised as a "privately" held company anyway? I sure as hell wouldn't. :)

Re:We never landed on the moon. (2, Funny)

CrazyBrett (233858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201396)

nonono... you've got it backwards: We've got a privately held company disguised as a government!

future plans (3, Funny)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201294)

"Future plans by TransOrbital include the creation of a network of navigation beacons on the moon to help future lunar explorers and possibly ultra-secure data storage facilities."

Don't these guys know anything about marketing!?! What they should have mentioned is building the first Wi-Fi network and WarShuttling.

proof of landing (2)

!splut (512711) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201298)

Shooting off another space mission to take pictures of the landing site from the first space mission isn't going to convince skeptics, who are convinced that all these space missions are big left wing conspiracies. What they need to do is go up there and dust the moon with some colored powder or something.

"Trlblzr wuz here! 02"

That'll convince them.

Re:proof of landing (2)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201395)

who are convinced that all these space missions are big left wing conspiracies.

Er...left wing???

Its a right wing conspiracy! You think any left winger has controll of the militaro-industrial complex?! So a bunch of nazi scientist and US miltary types make a big show of their technical superiority, and you think it was all orchastrated by "save the whales" types?

NOT a moon landing. (1)

slugfro (533652) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201310)

Having read the article I noticed that this is not a mission to land on the moon. Rather it is an orbiting probe to take pictures:
TransOrbital, Inc. received permission from various government agencies last week to send a probe back to the Earth's little sister. That probe, dubbed Trailblazer, will orbit the moon for 90 days, filming portraits of Earth as it rises over the lunar horizon and mapping the moonscape in unprecedented detail -- as small as one meter in diameter.
Definitally still cool though!

Do you need a passport? (1)

DaytonCIM (100144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201316)

Do you need a passport in order to travel to the moon? And if you do, who stamps it?

truly sad news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201326)

Leonard Zubkoff, 32, was found dead in his helicopter this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure the Slashdot community will miss him. Even if you don't have a RAID, there's no denying his contributions to the BSD project. Truly an American icon.

Time capsule? (1)

spaten-optimator (560694) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201333)

Trailblazer will also carry a time capsule containing messages and personal items that will remain on the moon where the craft crashes.

Children's letters to God to jettison -- check.

Licenses (2)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201351)

Yes, it's strange at first sight that you need a license, from the US government no less, to go to the moon. They don't even launch there, they launch from Kazakhstan, as the article says.

But that also means this is a US company launching space craft from abroad. I would think a few permits are involved there - like in exporting it there in the first place. I don't know exactly what sort of technology export restrictions there currently are, but I think spacecraft will be covered.

And of course they need a license from the guy who patented 'flying to the moon' as a business method...

Arrogant Conquerors? (0, Troll)

dbCooper0 (398528) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201354)

So let me get this straight. Since the U.S. was the first to land there, we own the moon?

TransOrbital, Inc. has become the first private company in the history of space flight to win approval from the U.S. government to explore, photograph, and land on the moon. The company expects to launch its Trailblazer Mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next 9-12 months.

The approvals and licensing by U.S. State Department and The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) position TransOrbital as only company presently authorized by the U.S. Government to return to the moon.

The moon travels all around the world and has since before we existed, IIRC. It also affects the tides of oceans that don't "belong" to any country (can you say "international waters"?) - so does that mean that the U.S. "owns" these oceans now?

The thought that someone needs the U.S.'s permission to go there is repulsive. The only thing that should be considered is the fact that a missile/rocket will be launched from the other side of the world, and DoD needs to know it's friendly.

Other reasons for the trip... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4201360)

...getting Lance Bass & the rest of N'Sync in space permanently ...using the new lunar rover with bulldozer blade mounted on the front to carve a Pepsi logo into the surface of the moon to offset launch costs ...and the number 1 reason...
It's the ultimate vaction go where few have gone before.

Permission (4, Interesting)

Restil (31903) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201378)

It's not so much a matter of getting permission, but to inform people of what's going on. MOST launches are at least announced, since especially in this day and age, you don't want to launch off rockets without informing anyone. Jittery governments who are in the dark might think its the start of a nuclear attack. This HAS happened in the past. We don't care that you launch rockets, we just want to make sure they're going into space and not somewhere else.

Its also important that if something goes wrong with the spacecraft and all contact is lost, the craft (or debris from it) can be tracked by those who are most concerned about such things. A single screw in low earth orbit can cause major havoc if it impacts a spacecraft. You want to know where it is.

The other issue is to insure compliance with any international treaties with regards to propulsion systems or use of celestial bodies for which someone at one point in time might have signed a treaty for. True, they could launch the rocket anyway, and probably nobody could do much about it. But there's no sense pissing anyone off if a yes answer is overwhelmingly probable anyway.

-Restil

Riiiiight. (5, Informative)

cjpez (148000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4201392)

Okay, so let's see. We have the technology to digitally edit people out of video scenes in REALTIME. We have the technology to digitally add in elements to a video scene (I would assume in realtime). We have the technology to do damn near anything we want digitally, given enough time and servers, short of making fully-believable humans. And some pictures supposedly sent back from a satellite is going to convince someone who thinks they managed to fake the moon landings 30+ years ago that they were wrong? Riiiiight.
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