MoonMail Raises Questions About Commercial Space Flight and Space Freight

Dec 12, 2014

Credit Astrobotic / www.astrobotic.com

So, your life's dream has always been to send something to the moon? You may soon have your chance. A Pittsburgh company called Astrobotic is introducing a new service called MoonMail that will allow individuals to send their keepsakes to the surface of the moon. 

But with whose permission, and for what purpose? Astrobotic CEO John Thornton joins us to talk about the future of space freight.

Thornton describes Astrobotic as a “lunar logistics company” -- something like FedEx or UPS but with service to the moon. There’s been a great amount of interest in lunar freight, explains Thornton, including a plan to put a tiny house on the moon’s surface.

We’re about making the moon accessible,” Thornton says. “We are there to make the dreams happen, to make what people want to do on the moon a reality.”

In the past, Thornton explains, only governments and large, national space agencies could reach out to the moon, but now companies like Astrobotic are beginning to make moon travel affordable and accessible.

However, big questions remain about how spaceflight is regulated in this country or any other, who monitors safety in light of recent commercial spaceflight accidents, what rights we should have to the lunar surface?