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US to return to moon


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#1    Drayno

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:46 AM

http://www.telegraph...rn-to-moon.html


Quote

America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.

Nasa is looking for private partners to participate in the project that will see a new generation of rovers wandering across the moon’s surface.

The American space agency has set up a programme called Catalyst to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the moon.

It believes that eventually there will be a market for commercial cargo trips to the lunar surface.

"As Nasa pursues an ambitious plan for humans to explore an asteroid and Mars, US industry will create opportunities for Nasa to advance new technologies on the moon," said Greg Williams, Nasa's deputy associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. 


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#2    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

Why?
Never let it be said "because the Chinese are doing it too".

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#3    Gary Meadows

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:20 PM

Spending tons of money on more photos of rocks...

Neat.

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#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:43 PM

Let's answer your second question first:

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 04 February 2014 - 12:17 PM, said:

Never let it be said "because the Chinese are doing it too".
Well it won't be said by anyone that has actually been following what NASA has been doing.

Lunar CATALYST is a logical follow on from programmes NASA is already involved with. NASA is already engaged in research into low cost, automated landers able to avoid dangerous terrain and make a safe landing on the Moon with no human impact (search for Xombie or Morpheus in the Space Exploration and Spaceflight as I have posted quite a lot of videos of these craft in action).

Let's not forget that NASA is currently involved in Lunar exploration (albeit from Lunar orbit) with both LRO and LADEE.

Now the second question:

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 04 February 2014 - 12:17 PM, said:

Why?
Why not?

Solar System exploration is part of NASA's mission. The Moon is still largely unexplored. In real terms the technology to do so is far cheaper than it was in the 1960's and hugely more capable. The time is right to once again explore the Moon. The emerging technologies will allow landers and rover to be placed in the most interesting regions of the Moon... the very regions which were too risk for the Apollo missions.

The cost of Lunar exploration has dropped to such a level that the Google Lunar X-Prize is likely to be won in the next year or two. This is a $30 million prize for a non-government group to land a rover on the Moon, send back images and navigate for 500 metres. 33 originally entered, with mergers and drop outs there are still 18 in contention.

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#5    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:45 PM

View PostJeffertonturner, on 04 February 2014 - 12:20 PM, said:

Spending tons of money on more photos of rocks...

Neat.
I will be impressed if anyone manages to make a less well informed post on the subject.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:56 PM

The title of this thread, "US to return to moon" and indeed the original title of the article quoted, "US ready to return to moon" are both a little misleading.

NASA is not ready to return to the Moon. This programme is not a NASA programme to land a rover. It is an initiative to encourage the commercial sector to develop craft that can land on the Moon. NASA has, in recent years, been encouraging the commercial sector to enter or expand their presence in space. The success of the original X-Prize has been NASA's driving force in this area. US cargo is transported to the ISS by commercial vehicles. Soon US astronauts will be transported likewise. NASA is simply expanding it's horizons further towards the Moon.

However this is not a NASA programme for Lunar exploration as such and indeed nothing may come of it. As for Jeffertonturner's comment (above):

Quote

NASA's new Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative calls for proposals from the U.S. private sector that would lead to one or more no-funds exchanged Space Act Agreements (SAA).
(My emphasis).

NASA's announcement about Lunar CATALYST can be found HERE.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#7    Eldorado

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:22 PM

And there was me thinking it might be to retrieve those golf balls.  (They are quite expensive)


#8    Drayno

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:12 AM

As far as the moon goes, it's prime real estate for private charters.

There are many commercial opportunities.

Edited by Drayno, 05 February 2014 - 05:12 AM.

"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings."
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#9    Avatar Samantha Ai

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:05 AM

Being married on the moon is going to be a big hit!


#10    Rolci

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:44 AM

Getting married on the Moon, maybe. Being married on the Moon, not so much, unless you believe John Lear's stories about the lunar atmosphere.


#11    Peter B

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:49 PM

View PostRolci, on 05 February 2014 - 11:44 AM, said:

Getting married on the Moon, maybe. Being married on the Moon, not so much, unless you believe John Lear's stories about the lunar atmosphere.
Let me see if I've got this right. The Moon has an atmosphere, and you think Venus doesn't?


#12    ancient astronaut

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:26 PM

View PostEldorado, on 04 February 2014 - 01:22 PM, said:

And there was me thinking it might be to retrieve those golf balls.  (They are quite expensive)
No , they want the rover and flag back. You can't just find those item's just anywhere. And also Wal-Mart want's to open a Lunar branch.

Edited by ancient astronaut, 05 February 2014 - 06:26 PM.

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#13    DecoNoir

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:50 PM

View Postancient astronaut, on 05 February 2014 - 06:26 PM, said:

No , they want the rover and flag back. You can't just find those item's just anywhere. And also Wal-Mart want's to open a Lunar branch.

Turns out those rock spiders work for a whole lot less than a human with a three hour shift! Low, low prices everybody!

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#14    ancient astronaut

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 08:49 PM

View PostDecoNoir, on 05 February 2014 - 06:50 PM, said:

Turns out those rock spiders work for a whole lot less than a human with a three hour shift! Low, low prices everybody!
Apollo 18 reference, sweet. That movie was better than what the "critics" made it out to be. I liked it.

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#15    coolguy

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:26 AM

Maybe, we can get people back on the moon





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