In his Feb. 3 SpaceNews opinion piece, Louis Friedman argues that the NASA authorization bill that recently cleared a House space subcommittee is best direction for America in space. The bill, H.R. 5666, would require the United States to abandon the moon after a flags and footprints lunar landing (while effectively preventing commercial firms from participating). We could not disagree more.
In a recent SpaceNews Op-ed, Louis Friedman, co-founder and executive director emeritus of The Planetary Society, argues that the U.S. should pursue “a policy more directed to Mars and away from commercial participation. With all due respect to Friedman, I totally disagree. Focusing NASA programs on distant (in space, time, and money) goals can only ensure that U.S. space policy remains empty talk with no action.
The end of the year, and especially the end of a decade, prompts reflections on what’s taken place over the last 12 or 120 months. But it’s also an opportunity to look ahead and try to predict what will happen in the year or decade to come.
The moon has formed the isolated backdrop for a new era of space exploration. As you read this, there are teams of exploration advocates around the world striving to reach its surface. This new age is one that is being led not by spacefaring superpowers seeking to fly flags and footprints but instead by numerous private companies.
Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said the Ariane 6 rideshare mission will be able to deliver 8,500 kilograms into a lunar transfer orbit.
The argument that supporters of space nuclear power make is that the technology is essential for NASA’s long-term exploration effort. Advocates have tried to make that case for decades, but only now seem to be gaining traction.
Countries to consider science payload contributions to respective Luna-26 and Chang’e-7 spacecraft and establish a joint data center for lunar and deep space exploration.
India will attempt to become the fourth country to soft land on the Moon Friday after successful separation of the Chandrayaan-2 lander and orbiter early Monday.
Five decades after Apollo, NASA — burdened with an old-school management culture — originally offered a linear, programmatic solution to its most recent White House mandate to return Americans sustainably to the moon. That was a mistake, but it need not be a fatal one.
NASA’s renewed effort to return humans to the moon draws inescapable parallels to Apollo a half-century ago.
As in Apollo, that public support may not be critical to winning sustained funding for Artemis, although the political and geopolitical conditions today are very different from those in the 1960s.
Indeed, we were witnessing “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Nevertheless, my maternal grandmother who lived with us and was born in Eastern Europe in 1890, exclaimed, “I don’t believe it and will never believe it.”