Everybody seems to want to go the moon these days. Russia does, China does, Europe, as usual, "says" it does (if someone else provides the ferry ship ;)) and the US, of course, will, too.
Today, India has launched a moon mission, just to tell us they, too, are serious about this topic. A rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-1 probe rocketed into the skies at India's spaceport Sriharikota. Chandrayaan-1's mission will last two years. It is tasked to create a detailed map of minerals and chemical properties of the moon surfaces, as well as general surface structures.
The moon seems to promise big business. It is also politically quite important. With the US right in front of a very important election, it will be very interesting to see which direction the new administration will take. NASA's constellation program is underfunded and has unrealistic goals if being worked on at the current (finance-dictated) pace.
Will the US be among the last folks to go back to the moon? The Russians are on a good path already and seem to have funding and a commercial vision. Or will a new moon race start, where the US demonstrates technical leadership? Interesting question, time will tell. At least we have a new player who seems to be serious inside this game...
Do you like what you read? Then subscribe to my blog by Email!