Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Around the Moon

NASA is studying a plan to have astronauts travel around the Moon around 2015, similiar to the Apollo 8 mission. This would use a rocket design combining the Ares V main stage with the upper stage of Ares I. This combination has been called Ares IV. This mission would allow test of a "skip entry" technique for landing on Earth.

Meanwhile Europeans and Russians are considering a similiar mission at about the same time. It would be embarassing for the US if somebody else got there first. If you have 100 million to spend on a holiday, Russia's Energia will fly YOU around the Moon in a Soyuz spacecraft. Everybody start saving those pennies!

NASA has planned a manifest of Orion missions. Some of these flights will service the ISS. NASA has no ISS flights planned for Orion after 2016. Hopefully a privately developed rocket will take over from there. Presently Orion 13 is planned for December 2019. During this 21-day mission 3 astronauts will finally set foot upon the Moon.


Blogger Rae Ann said...

It's good to hear that there are definite plans to go back to the moon.

12:52 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Louise, you say "hopefully a privately built rockect will take over from there"

Only governments have the real funds to sponsot space exploration.
Anything 'privately' built, will be built with vast subsidies from government - or from vast tax breaks - putting 'ownership' of projects in private hands.

Though several flags of the Soviet Union and the United States have been symbolically planted on the Moon, the Russian and U.S. governments make no claims to any part of the Moon's surface. Russia and the U.S. are party to the Outer Space Treaty, which places the Moon under the same jurisdiction as international waters (res communis).
This treaty also restricts use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons) and military installations of any kind.

A second treaty, the Moon Treaty, was proposed to restrict the exploitation of the Moon's resources by any single nation, but it has not been signed by any of the space-faring nations. Several individuals have made claims to the Moon in whole or in part, though none of these claims are generally considered credible (see Extraterrestrial real estate).

China may well become the first 'nation' to find a use for the Moon's resources
More is achieved by the will of government's than by the individual's quest for profit

2:00 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Q9: It's a step forward that private companies are participating in COTS to resupply ISS. Exploration still looks like the business of NASA, for now. Government agencies are best for things that lose money.

6:51 PM  
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