Life on the Moon

Bigelow’s proposed moon base volume would be twice as large as the International Space Station.

Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow has made his fortune building his hotel chain here on Earth. But to some, Earth is a road block to the future potential of business. Bigelow, who is also the CEO of Bigelow Aerospace, is asking U.S. government officials to establish lunar property rights on the moon.

Bigelow and his company are currently building vessels he hopes will make it possible for ordinary people to travel and live in space. Getting property rights on the moon is no easy task, which sounds more like a movie than a reality. But it seems the future is here sooner rather than later, and Bigelow is talking to the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation to allow him to stake claims on the moon.

“Our business is providing affordable, reliable habitats, whether they are on the surface of the moon or somewhere in between in low Earth orbit,” Bigelow said. He described the vessels as, “expandable structures that have an element like the steel belts in your tires.”

While space travel could still be years away, Bigelow said his dream of making space travel more accessible is not too far from becoming a reality.

“We have made a lot of progress in creating this vessel, and we will have two full-scale vessels to launch by the end of 2016,” he said.

For anyone with the desire to travel or those who grew up with dreams to go to the moon, this news can be nothing short of spectacular. For many travelers, the chance to see Europe and other luxurious islands is No. 1 on their bucket list, but it’s hard not to dream that Bigelow’s plan comes through for the opportunity to see Earth from a view not many have witnessed.

The ambition Bigelow displays for his project is demonstrated in the goals he has set out for himself: “We want to be prepared in case we have clients who say, ‘Look, we want do a lot more. We are interested in doing a lot more, we want to establish a much larger base, we want to do mining operations …We need to have a legal regime that protects those resources.”

The whole idea of space travel and the chance to live or stay on the moon is mind-blowing. Just imagine when you were a kid being told someday you could travel to the moon. Most of us wouldn’t believe those crazy statements, but Bigelow and his team are working to turn this dream into a reality.

The craziest part about all of this is that it’s only 2013: What will space travel be in the next 20, 40 or even 60 years?

One obstacle Bigelow faces besides the numerous safety steps – and an actual grant to own part of the moon – are customers who are not only interested but have enough money to afford such an experience.

While an actual price for this trip has not been discussed, I could only assume only the most powerful leaders, celebrities or athletes, could embark on this journey. But if Bigelow wants to move forward with his dream, he will need to pinpoint customers and get an idea of who is seriously interested.

I don’t know how and when Bigelow will advance his ambitious and futuristic ideas, but if he can manage to avoid any setbacks and settlements issues, I hope I can see a day in the near future in which a vacation to the moon is as easy as spring break in Florida.

The breaking point in all of this will be if Bigelow can not only make this happen, but make it an affordable price tag for the average middle class to be able to live out their wildest dreams and fantasies without breaking the bank to the point of no return.