Moon Express, Inc. as a suggested PBL Collaboration...
I just read about Moon Express, Inc. a very hot Silicon Valley start-up company that is seriously focused on Entrepreneurial Exploration and Resources Development (robotic mining) on the Moon: with President Obama's support, a NASA contract, entry into Google's $30 million Moon Prize Competition, a team of lawyers already writing draft versions of International Legal Documents and Treaties (similar to the Law of the Seas precedent-setting example), corporate and technology experts signed-on to their founding Board of Directors, etc.
One of their chief executives has already referred to the Moon as "Earth's 8th Continent"... The company expects to launch and land their first exploratory vehicle on the Moon in 2013...this is not Science Fiction, this is the New Natural Resources Frontier...
This could be a real PBL Collaboration for "STEM and Society" research and activities, as the headline news items start quickening their pace during the 2011-2012 school year...
If anyone would like to join a Special Interest Group (SIG) "Moon Express" here at Edutopia.org please let me know... all age levels and subjects are invited... because this simply is going to be studying and engaging in Creating A New World for Earth...
from the Foresight Institute Newsletter:
"Now Foresight is also proud to announce our Sunday keynote:
BARNEY PELL, PhD - Cofounder and CTO, Moon Express
Chief Architect, Bing Local Search; Associate Founder and Trustee, Singularity University.
The Moon-Rush is on and Dr. Barney Pell, well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former NASA R&D Manager, has joined the race. As Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Moon Express, Inc., Barney believes very strongly in the economic potential the Moon. He says "the Moon is Earth's eighth continent. We have barely begun to explore the lunar surface and are already finding compelling evidence of resources that are very important to Earth".
Moon Express is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit. Selected last fall by NASA, Moon Express was awarded a lunar data services contract worth up to $10M, for the initial delivery order of the Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) program. In addition, the X PRIZE Foundation announced Moon Express as a competitor for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE, a competition to place a robot on the Moon's surface that travels 500 meters and transmits high definition video, images and data back to Earth. Moon Express will be sending a series of robotic spacecraft to the Moon for ongoing exploration and commercial development.
Barney is excited to apply his expertise in artificial intelligence, search and spacecraft control to the exploration of the Moon and the search for lunar resources that can be of benefit to Earth. "It's highly motivating for me to come back to my roots of space exploration as a commercial space entrepreneur at a time when the Moon is revealing compelling new secrets, he said. My career has been largely devoted to space and search technology and I can think of no more important place to focus my attention than on searching for new energy and resources for planet Earth."