Tanja Masson-Zwaan on crowds on the moon: can anyone simply go there?
It has been a coming and going of satellites and spaceships near the moon. It has not been this busy in years. There are currently more than ten moon missions in progress and another five are being scheduled for next year.
The spacecraft Orion returned to earth yesterday after a trip around the moon. It is not the only vessel that has been circling the moon lately or is currently underway: the Emirates Lunar Mission and the Japanese Hakuto-R were launched this week by the Japanese company iSpace.
It is important to differentiate clearly between missions by countries or states and missions by private corporations, according to Tanja Masson-Zwaan. ‘NASA is exempt, for instance, according to space law. But permits are required for private missions,’ she told Dutch news programme RTL Nieuws.
Which rules apply also depends on the country from where the mission takes off. ‘Usually, the rocket should be technically sound, it must be safe, and it cannot be a bomb. And insurance-wise things should also be in order. That is all verified.’
Tanja Masson-Zwaan also appeared Dutch news programme EditieNL to talk about the subject. You can watch the episode (in Dutch) here (between minute 5 and 8).