While the idea about flight to the Moon was completely forgotten by governments of different countries, private businessmen start to think about obtaining precious metals from the space. Moreover, an Applied Space Resources (ASR) official states that in 5 years, a flight to the Moon will be carried out.
The businessmen are mostly interested in minerals that are rare for our planet and that have been found by scientists in samples of lunar soil 20 years ago. The most costly are six elements of platinum metals: iridium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhodium, and ruthenium. They all possess unique chemical and physiological qualities: conductivity, strength against corrosion, and catalytic ability.
Ian Randal Strock, Artemis Society International’s director is sure that governments have no reasons to return to the Moon, while businessmen have many reasons. Artemis Society International participates in the commercial project of creating a manned lunar base and plans to carry out a flight within the next 10 years. The main trouble for realizing this project is lack of money: 1.5 billion dollars are necessary.
The moon Agreement proposed by the UN in 1979 should have restricted the activities of private companies in this field. To be more exact, according to this agreement, lunar ground resources should have been allotted to all inhabitants of Earth.
Businessmen are interested in a return on their money through minerals extracted from lunar soil. However, according to the experts, transporting a substance in space costs 2,000 to 3,000 dollara for every 300 grama of cargo. Therefore, transporting a 30-centimeter-thick piece of gold would surpass all possible investments in the project. The only way to solve this problem is to decrease expenses for space flight.