Cape Canaveral, Florida - (Ass Mess): This weekend sees NASA's launch of the unmanned Phoenix probe which will prospect large parts of the moon for oil, diamonds and water.
The Phoenix moon lander will blast off on August 4 and is expected to reach its destination early on Monday 6 August.
NASA issued a statement today saying they felt confident that a rich seam of hydrocarbon wealth exists on the moon following a tip-off about the Russians who were belived to be trying to launch a submarine there to lay claim to any mineral deposits up for grabs.
Previous attempts to find oil on the moon were complete failures. But NASA has written these off as mere errors and is said to be concentrating this time on the dark side of the moon "where no man has been before".
"We think there could be upwards of 5,000 billion barrels of crude up there," a spokesman said.
"We're also interested in the Helium-3 isotope that's tested positive.
"If all goes well we should be in a position to begin mining very soon and start sending our space tankers to fill up by, oh - 2020 at the latest."