Space exploration company Moon Express (who sound like they should also be selling outer space credit cards) just became the first private company to be approved to go to the moon. (Moon trips are approved by the Galactic Council, or, if they can’t be reached, by the FAA, the State Department, NASA and the White House.)
What does this mean? Well, it means a) that Moon Express is now the frontrunner for Google's $25 million Lunar XPrize, b) we are one step closer to moon tourism, and c) most immediately, some very rich people are going to get their ashes sprinkled on the moon.
Moon tourism is obviously the pinnacle of commercial space travel, but since we are at least a decade away from that becoming a reality, Moon Express is going to make some money by transporting customers’ ashes to the moon and leaving them there, this apparently being a thing that real people want and are willing to pony up large sums of money for.
The company has not said how much they are charging for the service, but existing moon burial company Elysium Space (which is about to get beaten at its own game) charges $12,000 per customer, so it’s probably somewhere in that range.
• First private company gets the OK for a moon shot [CNN Money]