COM = Cross on the moon.
We see many “lasts” this month. Sadly the Space Shuttle had its last flight. We remember the last men to visit the moon by celebrating the anniversary of man’s first steps on July 20th, 1969. Kennedy Space Center had over 6,000 workers see their last day building, refurbishing, and launching Space Shuttles.
Now is the time for “firsts”. We look forward to the first privately funded lunar rover and the return to science missions on the moon. Lava tubes anyone? Exotic metals and water in pure form? Google’s Lunar X Prize is the catalyst and teams are building space hardware today to meet the deadline’s prize in 2014.
Other Space missions plan to visit an asteroid and return with samples. These giant rocks in space make the task tricky because they do not have gravity.
Another “first” was installing a half-humanoid robot on the ISS (International Space Station). A collaboration of NASA and GM, Robonaut is an experiment with many options for firsts.
Catch you next month…
Michael Clark, 2011 President
Cross on the Moon
COM = Cross on the moon.
Greetings on Easter’s eve,
Everyday, Christians celebrate Christ’s sacrifice to pay for mankind’s sins since creation and into our future. This is especially true tomorrow, Easter Sunday. For some churches, Easter and Christmas are the most attended services of the year. These are festive days. As Christians, we know the son-of-man endured human pain to be closer to us. We do not know why bad things happen to good people but we know He will not forsake us. Every Easter, we are reminded that our God chose to experience being human. In the physical sense, God understands intimately conception, birth, maturation, and emotions: all leading to His experiencing human death. He rose from the dead and visited many afterwards. Our celebration continues here on earth and we outwardly show our faith.
Recognizing the cross’s meaning is at the core of the Gospel. There should be no mystery why we place the cross inside and outside churches, as grave markers in cemeteries and placed along roadsides as memorials. We wear the cross as more than jewelry. These acts will continue because we remember what happened 2000 years ago and look to God’s promise of everlasting life.
The intent of placing a cross on the moon is an extension of our remembrance and desires to build a personal relationship with Him. In Tim Keller’s book: “A Reason for God”, he answers critics who say Christians believe to be superior to non-Christians with this statement:
“We should think of churches as hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints”
His meaning was that Christians should recognize their “brokenness” and be humble because of what Christ did for us. When attending church this Easter Sunday, remember how much our God loves us amidst the celebration of resurrection. No other faith has their king willing to experience all aspects of being human.
Next month I will provide technical launch status. The countdown has begun for a handful of teams.
Michael Clark, President
COM = Cross on the moon. In late February we witnessed the last launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. It carried among other items Robonaut-2, a humanoid assistant to the International Space Station. The Shuttle undocks early March 7th for its final landing at Kennedy Space Center.
On February 8th, Business Insider headlined: “Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket To Carry Moon Rover To Historic Apollo 11 Site”. The effort is to win Google’s Lunar X prize by Astrobotic Technologies and students at Carnegie Mellon University. Link to the story is here.
In February Orbital Sciences failed to place into orbit a $424 million NASA satellite. A nose cone fairing did not separate thereby preventing the vehicle in reaching orbit. A similar event occurred in 2009. Orbital Sciences has a separate contract with NASA to supply Space Station, estimated to be $1.9B. Those vehicles will be Taurus-2, not Taurus XL that has been experiencing nose cone failures. Link to the story is here.
Finally, we recently were treated to this headline: “Secret Mission: Bible on the Moon”. See video and story here: . The short version is that on Feb 5th, 1971, Edger Mitchell took microfilm bibles to the lunar surface on Apollo 14 and brought them back to earth. That was roughly 40 years ago. In the article, the interviewer asks Ms Mersch, author of a recent book: But what is the significance of sending a bible to the moon?
Carol Mersch: Through the years the Bible has crossed many continents, many countries, many distances. And it was not unnatural, then, that the Bible be carried to another celestial body. For more information on Carol Mersch’s book, “The Apostles of Apollo,” click here: http://apostlesofapollo.com/
God Bless everyone…
Michael Clark, president Cross on the Moon.
Once again, I am a a few days behind giving status for the month. The race for funding a private unmanned lunar expedition is in full gear. Since Google’s Lunar X prize vanishes in 2014, teams are competing for launch schedules as well as vehicles to place them into lunar orbit. Lead times are incredibly long and very pricey. To that end, one team benefited from Draper’s donation of $1M and another team Astrobotic Technology http://astrobotic.net/ submitted $1M as down payment for a launch vehicle. Many more dollars are required and even small individual contributions are greatly appreciated. Here at COM we will channel up to 90% of your donation to your team’s efforts. We cannot do more because of US tax laws.
As I write this, the Steelers and the Packers are playing in the Super Bowl. A 30 second commercial costs $3M. In comparison to the Lunar X-Prize, the logos on the rover will be broadcast to the earth many times in HD, certainly longer than 30 seconds and the population coverage to the world will be larger than tonight’s sporting event. It is no wonder why we at COM propose to sponsor placing the Christian cross on the vehicle that goes to the moon. This symbol of our Christian faith has its roots in knowing that God so loved us, He experienced human suffering and paid the price for our sins. No other world religion claims a god who loves us so much that he/it wanted to experience our pains. We may never know why God permits pain and suffering but because of what happened at the cross, we know He truly loves us.
Thanks for your support…
Michael Clark, president Cross on the Moon
COM = Cross on the Moon; Hello! I am actually writing this status in early January 2011. I hope your Christmas was wonderful on several levels. The Lunar X teams have until 2014 to win the prize. NASA is sweetening the pot with side-contracts. We will see a private company placing a rover on the moon, perhaps in 2012 which is the target Astrobotic Technology has set. Their launch vehicle comes from Space X, NASA’s provider to resupply the Space Station.
But no matter what we do on earth, or the moon, nothing will compare to that one Solitary Life we celebrate every December. I close with this passage from a card I received from a Board member:
He was born in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. He then became an itinerant preacher. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the public turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. He was laid in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, al; the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as One Solitary Life.
COM = Cross on the moon; In the U.S. we have a unique holiday in November- Thanksgiving. We surround ourselves with family and friends and give thanks to one another. Our small volunteer staff extends their heart-felt thanks to our supporters this year.
Two things are important to share with you before the new year:
1) We will forward 90% of your donation to any registered Google Lunar X Team that you choose. We cannot by law make it any higher. For instance, if you want your $100 donation to go to team “X”, COM will provide you tax exemption for $100 but only $90 can be forwarded to “X”. 10% will be used by COM to continue the mission.
2) Having given several copies as gifts, I recommend this book: A Reason for God by Tim Keller. I am happy to discuss theological points he makes within it and how it applies to COM.
May God Bless Everyone,
Michael Clark, President
Cross on the Moon.
COM = Cross on the Moon; October heated up for space activities. Specifically NASA awarded 6 US companies for their ILDD (Innovation Lunar Demonstrations Data) program. Funding can range from $10K to $10M each. Read about it here (NASA) and here (GLXP). The teams are:
- Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
- The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
- Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, Ala.
- Earthrise Space Inc., Orlando, Fla.
- Moon Express Inc., San Francisco
- Team FREDNET, The Open Space Society, Inc., Huntsville, Ala.
Then Google’s Lunar X-Prize held thier 4th yearly mission progress meeting October 8 where 14 of 23 teams attended.
You may not be aware of another non-profit organization: World Space Week Association (WSWA). Founded in 1981, they plan activities for October 4-10 every year. Information is here.
Still another non-profit space organization is the Moon Society. They posted a 2007 video this month on “Why the Moon?” along with the origins of Phobos, a Martian moon with similar origins as our moon.
Lastly, Cross on the Moon is a US recognized tax exmpt non-profit organization. We haven’t made a strong appeal for donations this year but as Google’s prize ends in 2014, many teams are now in thier testing phases along with scheduling launch providers. Please contribute to sending a cross to the moon aboard a private space craft.
Michael Clark. President Cross on the Moon.
COM = Cross on the Moon; September was a busy month for Google’s Lunar X-Prize. 22 teams are competing for the $30M purse. They meet October 4-5 for their fourth team summit. Team ARCA claims to have launched a test flight from a high altitude balloon. We are waiting for more info. Details are here: Lunar X-Prize
Since the prize deprecates (reduces) in value in the coming years, there is a strong urgency to place a rover on the moon. The deadline is in 2014.
In other news, the X-prize awarded first place to five, 8th grade friends from New Jersey called “Team Land Lords” who competed in creating a simulated lunar rover using Legos.
The Pew Foundation released a report this month that tested religious knowledge. Although not a surprise, Atheists and agnostics scored significantly higher than other groups. Jews, then Mormons followed by evangelical Christians were last. The report and in-depth analysis is here: Pew Religious test .
Finally, I came across this statement and want to share with you. Our thoughts will form words and from those we act. These actions become habits that define our character and it is our character that becomes our destiny.
My point is we need to constantly evaluate our thoughts to check if they are the character we want to be. Your faith plays a significant role in keeping your moral compass true.
Very Best to All,
Michael Clark, President
Cross on the Moon, Inc (non-profit)
COM = Cross on the Moon; Tomorrow begins the Fall semester for most campuses across the US. Middle schools and high schools also start. Last week was student orientation. Freshmen arrive to learn the school’s policies and expectations. Students make friends and acclimate to new settings.
I enjoy this time of year. It is refreshing to see the eagerness on young faces. Being an adjunct faculty for CMU in Pittsburgh, I often spend time on campus. Last week it was to prepare for a research paper. Observing the public notice boards is always a fun past time. What pleasantly struck me were the appeals to join a worship group, mostly Christian but not exclusively. The school has an inter-faith council and groups wanted to be clear that they were a member of it.
Many decades have passed since my freshman days. My faith was immature then and I regret not aligning with Christians to help grow my relationship with Jesus. It takes courage to explore both the universe and our relationships in it. I find students in my classes to be bright academically, and if one listens carefully, they are asking questions about God at the same time. I hope parents would support their sons and daughters choice to join a campus worship group over some other social choices campus life offers.
The class of 2014 begins tomorrow. It is the largest in my University’s history. We have significant international and cultural diversity. 12 freshmen had perfect SAT scores and some with perfect scores did not get accepted. I can appreciate that similar statements can be said at other universities. This gives me hope that people we are training to be tomorrow’s science and engineering leaders, may be guided by moral choices they develop from studying their faith.
COM = Cross on the Moon; We are officially a 501-C-3 organization!
Effective July 2009 and in a letter dated July 22, 2010, The U.S. Internal Revenue Service acknowledges Cross on the Moon as tax-exempt. We are also tax exempt in the State of Pennsylvania. Your 2009 and 2010 donations can be deducted under the full extent of the law. We will provide a reciept and a reminder email in December for your tax records.
As proof that private enterprise has entered the space-business, next month a Californian company Interorbital Systems plans to begin launching personal satellites from kits they provide for $8,000. The price includes delivery into space. Source is a July NPR story here.
Houses of worship on earth, however grand are more than mere buildings. One example is the Salt Cathedral of the Zipaquira Mountain, located in Northwest South America. The still functioning salt mine dates back 2,000 years. Every Sunday more than 3,000 visitors come to worship.
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Allow me to close by asking for your prayers to the men and women of Kennedy Space Center who make human space flight achievable with their attention to detail and passion to explore. This week 1,000 employees were given lay-off notices. More reductions are in the near future. Many skilled engineers are available to the private sector.
President, Cross on the Moon