Thursday, April 23, 2009

NASA's moon landing now out past 2020

Reading in the Guardian today concerning NASA's next planed Moon landing had been moved back to beyond 2020 from an internal date of 2018. Citing severe budget cutback from the previous administration for development of the Aries V heavy lifter, NASA administers say that ongoing and future research can not continue.

From my standpoint at least is is really starting to look like the next person to step on the Moon's surface will not be a NASA astronaut, but one of the other countries competing for the honor. There is every likelihood that it might even be a "private" consortium or company that might pull that hat trick. The Google Prize is still in play - so like the X prize, who is to say that the time for big government funded launches are at an end and the "for profit" business model may be heir apparent.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I'd welcome business as the senior space partner. Ideally (cynical snort goes here), government's purpose is to provide the services that business can't or won't (or maybe here). If business interests can give us a permanent and self-sustaining presence in space, I'll take it.

"Self-sustaining" might be the sticking point, though. If I were an entrepreneur, I'd probably want my space colony to be dependent to a large degree on the mother planet. A "Lunar Revolution" would tend to mess with the bottom line.