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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
First Commercial Lunar Mission Reaches the Moon

Los Angeles, CA, May 13, 1998 – The Space Frontier Foundation applauds the reaching of the Moon today by the HGS-1 satellite, which has thereby become the first privately funded Lunar mission. The spacecraft, formerly known as AsiaSat 3, was originally placed in a useless orbit due to a launch failure. It was then re-directed by its owners at Hughes Global Services so that it could use the Moon's gravity to reach a useful orbit. The Space Frontier Foundation announced to the world on April 24 of this year that the spacecraft's operators were planning to attempt a lunar swing-by, and has been following the progress of HGS-1 closely since then.

"This marks the arrival of the private sector at the Moon, just at the moment in time when Congress is debating whether to rely on the private sector for future space exploration missions," says David Anderman, director of the Foundation's HGS-1 project. "A current bill pending before the Senate, HR-1702, would allow the government to purchase science data about the Moon and the asteroids from private companies, and the HGS-1 Lunar mission shows that private missions to the Moon are a reality."

Although Hughes is the first private company to operate a spacecraft in deep space, there are several other private companies that are planning exploratory missions to the Moon and the asteroids, including LunaCorp, Inc., which plans a commercial Lunar rover, and SpaceDev, Inc. which is developing an asteroid survey mission.


The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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