India’s space program wants to go where no nation has gone before – to the south side of the moon.
And once it gets there, it will study the potential for mining a source of waste-free nuclear energy that could be worth trillions of dollars.
The nation’s equivalent of NASA will launch a rover in October to explore virgin territory on the lunar surface and analyze crust samples for signs of water and helium-3. That isotope is limited on Earth yet so abundant on the moon that it theoretically could meet global energy demands for 250 years if harnessed.
“The countries which have the capacity to bring that source from the moon to Earth will dictate the process,’’ said K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. “I don’t want to be just a part of them, I want to lead them.’’
SpaceX won’t launch two space tourists on a mission around the moon in 2018 after all, according to media reports.
In February 2017, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced that the company aimed to fly two paying customers on a weeklong journey around the moon before the end of 2018, using its Dragon capsule and powerful Falcon Heavy rocket. (The customers, who have never been publicly identified, put down a deposit for the mission, SpaceX representatives said at the time.)
When China’s Chang’e-4 mission reaches the lunar surface in December 2018, it will become the first mission to make a soft landing on the far side of the moon. The combination lander-rover will explore the several aspects of the so-called “dark” side, as well as study the universe’s radio sky.
A key element of the mission was the May 2018 launch of the Queqiao relay satellite, which will pass information from Chang’e-4 (CE-4) back to Earth. Both missions are led by the China National Space Administration (CNSA)…lees verder
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has a vision: He wants to get humans to Mars as soon as possible. He already wowed the world this year, when the Falcon Heavy launched and flung a Tesla car toward the asteroid belt. And this heavy-lift rocket will be dwarfed by the boosters Musk plans for Mars exploration, which he says will carry colonists in fleets of ships to the Red Planet…lees verder