this time we stare to the moon. It has gotten a lot of attention in the last few days. Not only is moon dust the object of desire and was sold for 1.8$million but also the solid-gold model of a lunar module which has been stolen from the Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Nevertheless, these are objects with less monetary value if you compare the futuristic ambitions of states (Russia, Europe, China, USA, India, Japan) or companies (Space X, Google – GLXP, Blue Origin, PartTimeScientists, Astrobotic, Bigelow Aerospace) that are planning to visit the moon in the near future. What do they desire and what is their plan? A few answers gives this well researched and summarized article by Ersialia Vaudo Scarpetta, astrophysicist at ESA. Another article from TheConversation.com discusses the moon as a gas station and how we could use it. Wow, a lot of input in the beginning today …
Now let´s have a look on past moon related news.
NewSpace in Europe
The futuristic ambitions I have mentioned above need well tested techniques and technologies you have to rely on. That is why moonlike testbeds for robots are so important. ESA is testing a few robot iterations on Tenerifian soil. The Rover Autonomy Testbed (RAT) is part of ESA’s Lunar Scenario Concept Validation and Demonstration (LUCID) project and is led by the Spanish aerospace company GMV.
To place a lander and two rovers on the moon and establish a communication and transport infrastructure is the long term focus of the Berlin based PT Scientists. Robert Böhme and his team are now seeking for partners in the Middle East.