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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

What would you send to the moon? Lockheed wants to know

This morning I killed a little time before starting work and I watched a rerun of the PBS show History Detectives. The investigation tracked a tiny ceramic chip with images of six works of art, including by Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg that may have been part of the Apollo 12 mission to the moon.

The chip ended up in the hands of a collector and it turns out it was one of perhaps 20 that were made. And perhaps one of those snuck onto Apollo 12 and is now on the moon. Turns out that the tiny ceramic chip might not be the only piece of unofficial cargo to go to the moon. But you’ll have to watch the episode to learn more about that.

It was a fun episode and as History Detective Gwen Wright said it showed another human side to the Apollo mission.

After watching the show, I opened my email and there was a pitch from Lockheed Martin that the company is soliciting ideas for commercial payloads on the Orion spacecraft. The company is studying what kind of market opportunities there might be. The company is casting a wide net.

What would you fly on Orion? from Lockheed Martin Space on Vimeo.

“The payloads could be for science, STEM, art and entertainment, data or any other commercial endeavor. Payloads can be flown in the interior crew cabin or mounted to the exterior and can be static or deployable,” the company wrote in its press release.

Lockheed has partnered with NanoRacks for the initiative, which they said is similar to work that has taken place on the International Space Station. Now they want to apply the model to deep space.

So what would you send to the moon?

I think I’d send my Weber grill and see how to smoke a shoulder on the moon. And yes, I realize that there is no oxygen so who do you get a fire. And with no fire there is no smoke. But those are details for the engineers to work out.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 05, 2018 at 8:12 AM

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