Crashing into the Moon
A whole new space race has begun.
Over the next decade, the United States… Germany… England… Japan… India… China… Russia… and even a few private companies… have plans to send rockets to explore the moon.
They will map the lunar surface… search for clues to its origins… and find out what’s there that humans can use to survive.
A Russian mission will send seismic detectors into the soil to monitor moon-quakes… and study the flow of heat from the moon’s core.
A Japanese mission will use x-rays to search for rare minerals.
An American mission is prospecting for water in the shadowy craters at the Moon’s poles.
But governments aren’t the only ones joining this new race to the Moon;
With more missions on the drawing boards…
- and the chance to actually make money developing space businesses -
private ventures are angling to supply launch or human transport services….
And even begin exploiting space resources like energy…materials…and the freedom from gravity itself.
Private robotics teams, vying for the 30 million dollar Google Lunar X-Prize, are designing, building and planning to launch rovers with video cameras to explore lunar landscapes.
It’s inspired by the Orteig prize that sent Charles Lindbergh flying across the Atlantic Ocean more than 80 years ago.
That feat helped launch the civil aviation industry. The sponsors of this prize hope it will unleash the entrepreneurial spirit into space.
The goal of these missions is to begin to fulfill a grand promise of the space age… to send humans back to the moon and beyond, to permanently live and work in space.
NASA has unveiled its grand plan…
It’s a series of steps… designed to build knowledge and expertise, while steadily reducing the risks to human life.
For now, it’s the space shuttle to take us up there. It’s a big freight hauling system able to lift over 25 tons of people and machines into space with every launch.
On more than two-dozen flights since