- Speculation on China's rocket technology suggests the country's Long March 9 rocket will be more than capable for sending astronauts to the moon, Mars, and perhaps other distant destinations within our solar system. The Long March 9 is expected to be in service around 2020-2025. [url]
- Google's Lunar X Prize is closed to new participants, but there are about 25 teams still competing for rewards totaling $30 million -- for these privately funded teams to send robots to the moon. The deadline for these teams is the end of 2015. Hopefully at least one team will succeed in its mission, and we'll have mini moon bases sending back all kinds of data before the end of the decade. [url]
- The Soyuz spacecraft has been a workhorse for decades, but Russia has recently announced plans for its next generation spaceship design that could be used for manned missions to the moon (or possibly Mars). Test flights are scheduled to begin in 2017, and this Prospective Piloted Transport System (PPTS) could also service the International Space Station (creating another backup solution to supply the ISS). [url]
stories filed under: "ppts"
by Michael Ho
Thu, Jan 3rd 2013 5:00pm
Apollo 17 launched in December 1972, and it was the last time a human being went to the moon -- or even traveled beyond low Earth orbit. Since then, there have been several plans to return to the moon (or to skip it and go straight to Mars). Plenty of other countries (and even corporations) are now looking to land spacecraft on the moon again, and here are just a few of these competitors in the post-Apollo space race.