GOOD

Human Ashes Are Flying To The Moon, Among Other Strange Things

Someon’s ashes are about to go on a wild ride

Credit: Moon Express

On Wednesday, the U.S. government officially authorized the first trip to the moon by a private company. According to Reuters, the Florida-based space flight company, Moon Express, got the go-ahead from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation to take a small lander to the moon during a one-way, two-week mission.


Aboard the compact spacecraft will be scientific materials as well as commercial cargo including the ashes of an individual whose identity has yet to be revealed to the public. Scheduled to launch sometime in 2017, the company also has plans to send video and pictures of our moon back to Earth.

Before this mission was proposed, only government-run programs have flown beyond the Earth’s orbit and monitored space travel. It wasn’t until an international treaty was passed in 1967 that the U.S. became legally responsible for any and all space exploration conducted by its citizens.

But getting that approval from the FAA has not been easy says Bob Richards, the founder and CEO of Moon Express. In an interview with Reuters, Richards said, “It’s been a very steep mountain. We had to lay the track at the same time that we wanted to do the mission.”

Though, to be clear, Moon Express won’t be the only private company to get a stunning view of our planet in the near future. As early as 2018, Space Exploration Technologies (founded by space innovation giant Elon Musk) plans to land a spacecraft on Mars. And trips to the moon and Mars only mark the beginning of private space travel, with missions to mine asteroids and aging satellites also in the works.

As space travel becomes more advanced, private companies along with traditional, government-operated agencies will have to work together to improve on parallel platforms. Richards has already run into this problem, saying his company had to take the Apollo landing site into consideration while planning their mission and that they “proposed a scenario that built on the existing FAA mission-approval framework.” While NASA, along with other government agencies, will advise Moon Express and other independent space explorers, Richards says they will not regulate their activities.

No doubt it will be exciting to see humans back on the moon and beyond. But in the meantime, we’ll just have to keep our imaginations active with the thought of cremated remnants traveling to space in our stead.

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics