from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It’s been a while since Apollo 17. Getting to Mars sounds like a worthy follow-up mission, but just figuring out how to live inside a metal tube for longer than a year outside of low Earth orbit is also a pretty challenging project. NASA hasn’t been very focused on going back to the moon recently, but that could change depending on who becomes the next US president. But in the meantime, here are a few other efforts working on missions to get to the moon.
- The Part Time Scientists team is working on a lunar rover with funding from Audi — and this project might be able to get a few million bucks from Google and the X Prize foundation someday. The Google Lunar X Prize requirements are looking for a private team to soft-land a robot on the moon, have that robot travel 500 meters on the surface and send back some high-def video and photos. Only a couple of teams (and the Part Time Scientists isn’t one of them) have already secured launch contracts to get to the moon, but these German space geeks have their own ambitious plans to go to the moon and do some cool stuff — without needing to win the X Prize. (And it’s not a crazy space conspiracy.) [url]
- So far, only NASA has sent people to the moon, but it’s not the only space program to go to our largest natural satellite. We know ice exists on the moon, and some private space companies could mine the moon for its resources to extend other space exploration missions. [url]
- SinterHab is a proposal to turn lunar dust into a moonbase by melting the metals in the moon’s ‘topsoil’ to create ceramic building materials. A robot could potentially build a moonbase structure without transporting heavy materials to the moon, so it could be made relatively cheaply. [url]
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