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Lunar Express

The Lunar Express is an idea conceived by Constellation Services International (CSI) of Laguna Woods, California. CSI is primarily a commercial re-supply company for the International Space Station (ISS). However, they have a vision that includes taking average people on a trip around the moon.

Lunar Express View

How is that possible you might ask? CSI has many interesting thoughts on the subject. The Soyuz is a spacecraft that currently is used to ferry people and goods from earth to the ISS. Not many people have seen other uses for this craft other than continuing its life as a ferry.

If the Soyuz is to be converted to the Lunar Express, it will need to be outfitted with additional hardware in order to make its trip around the moon. This would include a logistics module that would include docking mechanisms on each end, have a docking radar and a communications system that will work at lunar distances.

The module of the Lunar Express would also need to carry provisions for the crew and passengers and an upgraded toilet system. The current toilets can only handle three people for two to four days. The moon missions would take about a week to complete and the current toilets would not hold up under that length of time.

The new version of the Soyuz has been thought out pretty carefully, with quite a few ideas with the details, but CSI has not even begun the development stages, let alone testing the module to see if it will work the way it is envisioned to work.

CSI is trying to complete this job without utilizing NASA funds, so they are trying to get private funding to cover many of the costs that come with engineering an (almost) entirely new space vehicle.

If CSI succeeds, a person can expect to spend about a week on the ISS preparing for their weeklong mission to the moon aboard the Lunar Express. The spacecraft will take a free-return circumlunar trip. The people on the Lunar Express will be the first paying passengers to see the Earth rising as they come around the moon.

CSI is primarily concerned with this venture from a commercial standpoint. They believe that someone adventurous and wealthy will purchase a ticket to the ISS and eventually the moon on the Lunar Express. They also believe that other nations will be willing to pay to send one of their dignitaries on a trip around the moon as well.

Potentially, this could be a very lucrative venture for the company, if they can get the Lunar Express built and tested. Undoubtedly, there will be high rollers in the world who will pay whatever it takes to join the ranks of the very few who have gone to the moon.


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