Projects with an eye on the Moon

On July 20, 50 years after the arrival of man on the moon. Apollo 11 marked a before and after in the history of the world. Today, five decades later, what projects have the Earth’s natural satellite as its protagonist?

Donald Trump has set a goal for his country: to step on the Moon again in 2024. Although he has done it via Twitter and, as usual, his statements are often confusing. However, experts say that it is very difficult for someone to step on the satellite again in such a short space of time, since it is a very expensive and risky challenge.

Also, at this time, there is less motivation to do so. Haym Benaroya, aerospace engineer at Rutgers University, notes that “There is less political motivation. Today, like 50 years ago, people have many other problems. But today there is no John Fitzgerald Kenney able to motivate people ». «The atmosphere is very different. Young people don’t remember how the cold war terrified us. The fear factor was a huge incentive. None of that exists today. No one would decide to go to the Moon for geostrategic reasons, ”reaffirms Roger Launius, former chief historian of NASA.

Even with all this, projects with a focus on the Moon still have a great presence.
In mid-April, NASA asked the US space industry for new real projects to land payloads on the Moon. Over the next decade, there are expected to be multiple actions to achieve this goal. In principle, the first mission will take place in December 2021. In parallel to the United States is China, which, in early 2019, sent a robot to the dark side of the Moon, called Chang’e 4. This showed its great interest in the return to the satellite. Although there is still no confirmed date, it seems that they would reach the Moon in 2036.

The emergence of private companies such as Space X or Virgin Galactic has meant a great change in space advancement. Both have demonstrated a good capacity for human transport. However, its space business would only focus on commercial satellites. At the moment, it seems that they do not aim at human transport to Earth’s satellite.

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