DailyDirt: Moonshot 2.0

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's been a while since anyone has proposed and executed a plan as 'out there' as going to the moon in less than a decade. Sure, we have computers that can beat humans at Go, and we're on the cusp of using CRISPR for some amazing genetic modifications. However, we haven't really been serious about getting people off the planet -- and onto another planet -- for quite some time. Here are just a few moonshot-like projects for getting stuff into space, and perhaps making baby steps toward becoming a Type II civilization. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.
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Filed Under: carbon nanotubes, cnt, manned missions, mars, moonshot, space, space elevator, space exploration
Companies: moon express, spacex


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  1. identicon
    Stephen, 16 Jun 2016 @ 3:08pm

    Moon Express

    I could got get the "archive.is" site you linked for the Moon Express article to load, but I was able to load the original article on bizjournals.com. That gave a few details worth noting.

    First the article was more upbeat than your summary (the article's title says it all "Actual moon shot mission from Mountain View startup set to be OK'd").

    That sounds as if the "daunting regulatory approval process" may not be quite so daunting after all.

    However, that said all may not be well be Moon Express.

    Why?

    Because: "The rocket that Moon Express wants to use hasn't flown yet, either"! It does say, somewhat optimistically, that "the actual mission wouldn't happen until the second half of next year".

    However, that may be just a wee bit optimistic. The bizjournal article explains that "[t]he Moon Express lander launch is planned from New Zealand using a 52-foot Electron rocket made by Auckland-based Rocket Lab Ltd."

    When I did a Google search I came across this article from May 2, 2015 from spaceflightinsider.com:

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/rocket-lab-electron-rut herford-peter-beck-started-first-place/

    "The first Electron rocket is supposed to launch this year, and though Beck didn’t have a specific date on hand, he gave 'mid-December' as the current target."

    It is now June of 2016. According to this May 2016 twitter posting from a SpaceflightNow journalist the Electron now has a new test date:

    https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/735173389103423488

    "Rocket Lab/Brad Schneider: 1st Electron launch in late summer, First commercial launch in Feb '17. NASA Venture-class mission in June ’17.".

    That is, of course, assuming that that "late summer" test actually happens. I point this out because the vagueness of both those dates ("mid-December" and "late summer") suggest that Rocket Lab is largely flying by the seat of its pants.

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