DailyDirt: Space Race 2.0
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Space exploration is starting a new era. With more and more commercial ventures taking over low earth orbit missions, government space programs can focus on more long-term missions to increasingly distant places in our solar system. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many collaborative international efforts for missions to other planets, so it's looking like a new nationalistic space race is emerging. Here are just a few space projects aimed beyond our planet.
- NASA is about to announce ambitious plans for manned space outposts on the moon and at a Lagrangian point. There are only a handful of Earth-moon Lagrangian points, so if NASA gets to the better ones first, the US will occupy some of the best space real estate. [url]
- China is planning to land a probe on the moon sometime in 2013. China ultimately wants to have a manned mission to the moon, but it hasn't set a timeframe for that goal. [url]
- If you want to keep score, the Soviets have landed spacecraft on two other planets (Venus and Mars), while the US has only landed equipment on Mars. But if we're counting quality, not quantity, then the US has gathered far more information on Mars than any other space program. [url]
- NASA's Morpheus lander is designed to touch down on other planets, moons and even asteroids. Morpheus runs on methane and oxygen so that it could potentially re-fuel on extra-terrestrial bodies, and it could handle a variety of payloads such as robots, laboratories and even astronauts. [url]