Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pre Launch Status (June 2010)

July 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch news

COM = Cross on the Moon;I write this on the evening of the 234th birthday of the United States. July looks to be very promising for us and I am optimistic about the future. Our June status is about leadership changes for our board of directors, gaining Pennsylvania Income tax exemption, a good link to moon information from the moon society, and a few more months for space-workers as NASA has extended Shuttle flights into early 2011, not end the program this November.

We wish Nancy Lee Cochran and Martin O’Toole the very best as they leave the board of Cross on the Moon. Their resignations were sadly accepted last month. In keeping with our by-laws to have 5 directors, I am pleased to announce that Michael (Mick) Stuthers and Artur Matuszewski accepted our invitation and were unanimously approved in June’s meeting.

Our application before the Federal Internal Revenue Service for tax exemption is approaching a full year this July. We gave our attorney legal power to speak for us back in late April. They have had several discussions and both believe that a positive result will happen in the next few weeks. I am optimistic too. In a related matter, we requested Pennsylvania State tax exemption and were approved this month, i.e:  2 month process.

NASA this month announced they will fly the Shuttles in 2011. They had planned on retiring the fleet this year. The reason given was a schedule slip preparing a scientific payload for the Space Station. More information is here: NASA in 2011

The Moon Society has been writing about the moon for many years. They recently added an Indian Space Office and have posted several of their newsletters to the public. India has an advanced space program and was responsible for confirming significant quantities of water on the moon. I encourage you to review their site here: Moon Society

Your Servant,

Mike Clark
President, Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (May 2010)

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch news

COM = Cross on the Moon; Our activities this month focused on Memorial Day and reviewing some articles from the Moon Society. This is a worthy organization that believes as we do that there will be lunar colonies one day. More info is here: Moon Society

Space industrialists are marching forward quickly. NASA held an industry day this month in Houston that discussed near future missions. These include remote robot operations from the earth to the Space Station and from the Space Station to the moon. This Friday, June 4th Space X could launch from Cape Canaveral for thier first test flight of the Falcon 9. This is NASA’s choice launch platform for when the Shuttle retires this year. With a 1.6 billion contract representing 12 flights and an option for additonal missions, the total contract value is near $3.1 billion. Read more here: SPACE X info

On April 22nd 2010 the Deep Horizon oil drilling platform collapsed and in the resulting days, oil and gas has been entering the Gulf of Mexico in the billions of barrels. Robots and their skilled operators are trying to cap the well, a hard task at 5,000 feet under water. Space is a similar, hostile environment. Distance to the moon is much farther. Robots will lead first but mankind will follow. There will be lunar societies. We hope individuals who work for months, maybe years on the moon will be free to practice their faith. Discussions at cross on the moon can help us understand if worship is valid, no matter where in the Universe.

Your Servant,

M.N.Clark
President, Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Apr 2010)

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch news

COM = Cross on the Moon; We, like most everyone in the US filed our Federal and State tax forms before April 15th. COM will be one year old this July so filing was a first for us. After 283 days and 244 pages of correspondence in 14 separate transmissions, the US IRS Federal Tax exemption agent still has our application under her review.

We are not discouraged and will keep moving forward by posting articles, videos, and links within our charter. To that end, COM revised its by-laws to promote global theological discussions. Placing a cross on the moon is one implementation of such a mission. Many of our postings have increased in technical material about space travel, specifically plans to return to the moon.

The US budget encourages private companies to pick up the missions that the Space Shuttle had. There are only three more Shuttle flights before the program ends. However we expect to see more news about private space planes and advanced space robots. Robonaut-2 is an example where the upper body of a human has been mechanically created with fine granular movements in its fingers. Robonaut-2 is a partnership between NASA and GM. That is, government and industry sharing the costs. More information can be viewed in the video here:

R2 –> Space Station

We need to hear from you in emails or by posting on the site. “Promoting global theological discussions” begin with asyncronous messaging like this one. We will continue to move forward so that the symbol of the cross will be broadcasted from the moon. The technology is there but comes at a cost. In perspective, the finances to put a cross on the moon will be much less than airing a single commercial during America’s Super Bowl. However the cross will speak to more people and outlast generations beyond the atheletic shoe or popular energy drink you see on TV for 30 seconds.

If you have an opinion, please speak your mind below.

In Christ,

M.N.Clark, President

Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Mar 2010)

April 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch news

COM = Cross on the Moon;

I am a few days behind on posting this status for March. Back in February the outlook for US Federal tax exempt status was poor. The IRS agent was denying our application filed in July 2009. I am pleased to say the future looks brighter in March. The agent has reopened our case, partly based on the activities we have performed and also because of a minor change to our by-laws. In essence we were stating an implementation and not a purpose. Additionally I believe your thoughts and prayers intervened in a positive way.

The hard numbers for COM to date are 500 in its e-mail database and $1400 in its checking account. No donations were received this month. COM’s monthly expenses are extremely low since we are an all volunteer organization. After initial start up costs, the primary recurring costs are maintaining COM’s web site service, replying to the IRS, and connecting our supporters with e-news. COM’s Board of Directors feel strongly about channeling the maximum amount of donation dollars to the mission.

This is probably a good time to summarize why we are asking for donations. First we believe in having a personal relationship with God. Placing a cross on the moon will encourage theological dialogs. Already discussions have begun, mostly on confused atheist web sites. That’s ok. Our God is the creator of the Universe. The more we study the person and the works of Jesus, the stronger our faith becomes. The donations are needed to send the cross to the moon. Several companies are testing components so they can be the first to claim the Google Lunar X Prize, a 501 C-3 philanthropic organization. We need donations in preparation for sending these companies an RFQ (request for quote). If our resources are enough, we will place a physical cross on the moon. Obviously the size of the cross would have significant restrictions. A lower cost option might be to place a cross decal on the rover. For dscussion on this approach, read COM April Post .

Mahatma Gandhi was a great believer in Christ but gave these sobering words: “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today”.

On this eve of Resurrection Day (Easter) allow me a moment to reflect. No one should judge others in their commitment to God. Every one of us has sinned. Instead we should be looking inward to see if we pass the tests of faith as revealed in scripture. We need reminders of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and love for us. We need fellowship to help grow our faith. The symbol of the cross has performed well for thousands of years as our reminder. It will persist. But we are not absolved of our sins because we simply wear the cross on a chain or raise it high on our walls, buildings, and yes, even the moon. We are absolved because Jesus took our sins and died for us. He came back from the dead to show us our Heavenly Father is master even over death. Placing a cross on the moon will not prepare a place for us in heaven. It will however remind us of God’s sacrifice and everlasting love. It will encourage us to look inward in preparation for eternity.

Your Servant,

M.N. Clark,

President, Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Feb 2010)

February 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch news

COM = Cross on the Moon; Dear friends and supporters of COM, the IRS verbally stated 2 days ago they would not grant Federal Tax exemption to COM. We have discussed for hours and given them many pounds of documentation to answer questions since November 2009. Each time they came back with a different set, seeming to be looking for ways to deny our application and not saying why COM does not meet the religious, educational , or scientific conditions for a 501 (c)-3 organization.  At the end of last week, the agent in charge of our case called to tell me that she would be denying our request. The reasons are not clear to me but must be very specific in their formal letter of denial. A hint at what the reason might be is that COM is using a private contractor to bring the cross to the moon. If true, then it is unreasonable since many non-profit organizations hire private companies to meet their goals. Another reason mentioned was that there was no actual date for placing a cross on the moon. The IRS agent said that there could be a perception of collecting donations for an event that might never occur. Since our first conversations with the IRS, the agent in charge did not believe it was possible for a private organization to launch a rocket to the moon. I was asked for government launch certifications and safety documents when we first started. Much of our early documentation was also to support the viability of the project. We used the efforts of the Lunar X Prize Foundation to demonstrate credibility. It is ironic since the IRS has granted this foundation with a 501(c) non-profit status.

All this background information is to say COM will not give up. We will remain persistent. We will continue to negotiate and if denied in writing, we will appeal the official ruling within 30 days of receiving their letter. What this means is that your donation is not tax deductible on your 2009 federal tax statement at this time. When we receive the letter of acceptance, and we will, then your donation becomes retroactively deductible from our date of filing. In other words, 2009 would be accepted but not without reversing the IRS verbal decision we were given a few days ago. We are however registered as a charitable non-profit in the State of Pennsylvania. This is small consolation for those filing in that state. 

I leave you this month with a definition of persistence that Dr. Bruce Bickel gave before 80 men at our regular Friday 6:30 am Bible study.

“Persistence is remaining in a situation without demanding to be rescued”

I remain your servant,

M.N. Clark

President, Cross on the Moon

Clarkmn@crossontheMoon.org

Pre Launch Status (Jan 2010)

January 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch newsCOM = Cross on the Moon; On January 12th, an earthquake struck Haiti and hundreds of thousands of people died. The relief effort continues. Cross on the Moon can not divert funds to help but as individuals we can and have along with our prayers for the Haitian people.

On January 28, President Obama’s proposed NASA budget for the next 5 years became public. There is much controversy, angst, and even optimism for what the future of space travel becomes. Please read our post: Are We Closer to a Commercial Space Plane? for more details.

The US Internal Revenue Service has been evaluating our application for federal tax exempt status since late October. Several iterations of corrospondance and telephone calls have betranspired between their agent and myself, your COM’s president. We have had to explain that private companies can indeed launch rockets to the moon. I explained that placing a symbol of faith on the moon is a religious act, one of three reasons to grant tax exemption. I also explained our plans to provide information to the public on every aspect of the mission. I hope next month that our application will be granted. If true, then our application filing of July 2009 becomes the effective date.

Lastly I hope most of you enjoyed the full moon this week. In eastern North America the moon sets in the mornings have been spectacular.

God Bless Everyone!

M.N.Clark, President

Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Dec 09)

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch newsCOM = Cross on the Moon; We finished the year with a “Joy to the World” newsletter. COM is 5 months old and we have so much to be thankful for.

We knew that praising God in the heavens would meet resistence. A few comments sent directly to the presidet show palpable hatred for religion in general. I will not approve comments that use profanity or disrespects the opinions of others in a hostile way. However most comments are encouraging, especially from our email newsletter replies. From these we see a 40% open rate.

Our focus in 2010 must be to increase COM awareness. There will be private moon missions in the next 2 to 3 years with or without our support. Each month the moon makes the news. December 2009 was no exception. One item was the discovery of a large, deep lava hole as a possible habitat for a moon colony.

I contacted the Moon Society president this month and with other thoughts, suggested they form a council of theologians. I contend it will be impossible to keep individuals from practicing their faith away from earth. Not recognizing God’s role in the Universe as we explore is a mistake. How boastful and full of self we prove ourselves when we think to control and know all. Let us not have a separation of church and space. Instead let us recognize we need God in our hearts wherever we are, not just when standing on this planet. That’s what COM is about: advancing the freedom to worship from the moon and beyond. It begins by advocating the placement of the cross there.

Finally a word about our web site: we mix science and faith in articles and videos. We believe the two coexist but understand confusion it creates in those who want clear separation. A case in point is COM’s request for Federal Tax exemption made back in July 2009. Our acceptance letter has been under review since late October. They have asked many questions, both in writting and in telephone conversations wanting us to explain our religious, educational, and scientific reasons for government tax exemption. At times it is discouraging but we are stronger for submitting to the process. I expect a ruling within the next few weeks and will keep you informed.

Blessings to you,

M.N. Clark, President
Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Nov 09)

November 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch newsCOM = Cross on the Moon; Google Lunar X Competition added another team this month to compete for sending a rover to the moon. NASA quantified water ejected from its planned impact with the moon at 25 gallons. This spurred several small business contract announcements for lunar exploration. In very late October we saw a test flight of the first stage Ares I, one replacement component for the Space Shuttle system. On Nov 16, NASA launched Atlantis to the Space Station with 27,250 pounds (12,360 Kg) of cargo. In the cargo was a replacement for the station’s massive main gyroscopes. The Shuttle returned to Florida on 27 November. There are only 5 more scheduled flights.

In COM news we analyzed results from our Octoer newsletter. We distributed to 500 addresses obtained from our board members. Our service reported 140 bounces and 157 opens. We learned much from the experience and will tune our message. Also in November the Federal Tax Exempt office in Chicago began reviewing our application. We answered a dozen questions with a 140 page indexed reference. Some questions were clearly from a misunderstanding of COM’s role in placing a cross on the moon. Once we explained we are sponsors of a yet undisclosed team or teams, we didn’t have to file for safety permits or give details on spacecraft design. COM also dropped the word “Foundation” from our web banner because the context implies deep pocket, sustainable funding. In reality, we represent Christians wanting to praise God in the Heavens. Micro donations can do it and COM volunteers keep exploring ways to get the word out.

I hope this status finds you and family in the joys and wonders of Christmas.

Stay connected to our website and tell your friends to check us out.

I look forward to updating you in December here and with our newsletters.

M.N. Clark, President
Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Oct 09)

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch newsCOM = Cross on the Moon

The moon continues to make International news and this month is no exception. India’s Chandrayaan-1 space craft confirmed the moon has water in its soil. Soon after India’s success, NASA’s LCROSS mission monitored residue from impacting part of its spacecraft into a southern, sunless crater to confirm a quantity of water. The Regolith Challenge this month awarded all of its $750K prize money to three teams. This was a clear demonstration that small robots can move respectable quantities of moon dirt (regolith) in a short period of time. The $30M Google Lunar X Challenge added another competitor in October: C-Base Open Moon from Berlin. Just slightly before at the end of September Team Selenokhod, the first Russian team joined the competition. And perhaps the most significant news, the U.S. Human Space Flight Plan Report was released a few days ago to reveal a consensus that believes private industry is ready to play a big role in moving mankind into Space. All these events support a reality that private enterprise is committed to commercial space operations.  Space X will perform its first launch test from Cape Canaveral this year and NASA’s replacement Shuttle vehicle component Ares-1-x will test launch from pad 39B Oct 27. Again, this is great news for COM because we will be negotiating passage to the moon. We are seeing an increase in donations and expect more awareness of our mission when we post our first electronic newsletter.

Inside COM, we held a Board meeting last week and accepted 4 important policies and recomitted ourselves to the existing  no-conflict of interest policy. All members of COM are unpaid volunteers.

Stay tuned to this website and tell your friends.

I look forward to updating you in November

M.N. Clark, President
Cross on the Moon

Pre Launch Status (Sept 09)

September 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Performance Stats

launch newsCOM = Cross on the Moon

It was our first month for COM on the Internet and awareness is building. Our web site added a store-front where one can receive a tee shirt for a minimum $30 donation with no shipping charge. We added several cool videos from NASA and Google Lunar X prize.  Sam wrote a post on how one goes to the moon and we added a new section: Faith.  PayPal recognized COM as a charitable non-profit organization. This was important because more of your donation goes to cover the space mission instead of transaction fees.

We anticipated low volumes of donations for the first month but were surprised when less than 20 provided support.  Large volumes of micro-donations ($1-2) will break the September inertia. To put fund raising in perspective, COM needs evidence of popular support to negotiate with private space-transportation companies. COM is an all volunteer organization and has no corporate or foundation sponsors.

In space industry news, India’s lunar mission completed most of its photo mapping before they lost control of the space craft. NASA continues to wrestle with funding for manned space flight telling Congress $3B more is needed. The JPL reports that the Martian rover that was stuck in the soil received unexpected help from a Martian wind storm. Closer to home, the private company Space X had a last second abort for their Utah full test  of their solid rocket motor.  The Regolith Challenge is next month in California where several teams are competing for $500K first prize to move at least 300 pounds of lunar soil (regolith) in 30 minutes. No one won last year but the potential to capture the prize is high next month.

I look forward to updating you again in October.

M. N. Clark, President

Cross on the Moon

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