Tag Archives: neil armstrong

US won’t be returning to moon, NASA chief


US won’t be returning to moon, NASA chief

America won’t be repeating that historic one small step anytime soon — not according to NASA chief Charlie Bolden, anyway.

“NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime,” Bolden told a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington last week, according to Jeff Foust of SpacePolitics.com. “And the reason is, we can only do so many things.”

Instead, he said the focus would remain on human missions to asteroids and to Mars. “We intend to do that, and we think it can be done.” Meanwhile, interest in the moon has been growing in both the private sector and in foreign countries.

Last week, Russia rekindled its plans for a robotic moon exploration program, unveiling its first new moon mission since the Soviet Union launched Luna 24 in 1976. Russian space scientists are scripting a new plan to reconnect with the moon, one scientist explained.

“Exploration of the moon is an important part of the program,” said Igor Mitrofanov of the Institute for Space Research during Microsymposium 54 on “Lunar Farside and Poles — New Destinations for Exploration,” held in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 16 and 17.

‘I just want to emphasize that Russia is a spacefaring country not only with the robotic but also manned flight,” he added.

And private interest in the moon as a resource is heating up. Several companies have announced plans to mine the moon, thought to contain a ransom in precious minerals including titanium, platinum, and helium 3, a rare isotope of helium that many feel could be the future of energy on Earth and in space.

Moon Express, one of the companies targeting the moon and competing in Google’s Lunar X Prize to reach our satellite, recently said it plans a mission to begin exploring the moon in 2015.

In his remarks last Thursday, NASA’s Bolden acknowledged the widespread interest in the moon from other nations, and said his agency would be willing to help.

“They all have dreams of putting humans on the Moon,” he said. “I have told every head of agency of every partner agency that if you assume the lead in a human lunar mission, NASA will be a part of that. NASA wants to be a participant.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/04/08/us-wont-be-returning-to-moon-nasa-chief-says/?intcmp=features#ixzz2PszH1DHe
SOURCE

How China may be the next to land on the moon

How China may be the next to land on the moon

AFPBy Sebastien Blanc

Chinese astronauts Liu Wang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Yang in the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft during a manned space mission which includes China’s first female astronaut on June 24. Neil Armstrong’s 1969 lunar landing marked a pinnacle of US technological achievement, defining what many saw as the American century, but the next person to set foot on the moon will likely be Chinese

US astronauts Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin deploy the US flag on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969. Armstrong’s 1969 lunar landing marked a pinnacle of US technological achievement, defining what many saw as the American century, but the next person to set foot on the moon will likely be Chinese

Neil Armstrong’s 1969 lunar landing marked a pinnacle of US technological achievement, defining what many saw as the American century, but the next person to set foot on the moon will likely be Chinese.

As the United States has scaled back its manned space programme to cut costs — a move strongly criticised by Armstrong, who died on Saturday — Asian nations have aggressively expanded into space exploration.

China, Japan and India all have their own space programmes. New Delhi, which envisages its first manned mission in 2016, recently unveiled ambitious plans to launch a space probe that would orbit Mars.

Japan participates in the International Space Station programme and launched its first lunar probe in 2007. It is planning a follow-up that it hopes will find “organic substances or minerals containing water” on an asteroid.

But experts say that China, which as recently as the 1980s was focused solely on developing satellites, is the closest to landing an astronaut on the moon.

Beijing launched its manned space programme in 1999 and has developed rapidly since, sending its first astronaut into space in 2003 and completing a space walk in 2008.

This year, it conducted its first manned space docking — the latest step towards setting up a space station — during a mission that included its first woman in space.

In its last white paper on space, China said it was working towards landing a man on the moon — a feat so far only achieved by the United States, most recently in 1972 — although it did not give a time frame.

It will attempt to land an exploratory craft on the moon for the first time in the second half of 2013 and transmit back a survey of the lunar surface.

“Nobody knows where the next astronauts on the moon will come from. But I expect there is a good chance that they will be Chinese,” said Morris Jones, an Australian space expert.

“China’s space programme is moving steadily forward. If they continue at this pace, they will develop the capability to reach the moon around 2030.”

China’s space programme remains far behind that of the United States — as evidenced by the fact that the recent manual space docking trumpeted by Beijing was mastered by the United States in the 1960s.

US President Barack Obama said in 2010 he would drop the costly Constellation space programme, killing off future moon exploration.

But the United States is developing a new rocket, and this month landed a rover the size of a car on Mars for a two-year mission to explore the Red Planet for signs it could support life.

Beijing has spent about 39 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) on its manned space programme since it began 20 years ago, state media have said.

It sees the programme as a symbol of its rising global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party’s success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

Experts, however, say national pride is just one of the motivating factors in China’s ambitious space programme.

“Trips to the moon have always involved prestige, but there is also science,” said Jones. “A new trend could involve mining the moon for nuclear fuel. China has made no secret of their interest in this possibility.”

SOURCE

Russia to finally send man to the Moon

Russia to finally send man to the Moon

Custom Search

By Tom Parfitt, Moscow

A spacecraft will “conduct a demonstrative manned circumlunar test flight with the subsequent landing of cosmonauts on [the Moon’s] surface and their return to Earth” by 2030, according to a leaked strategy document from Russia’s space agency, Roskosmos.

Moscow has periodically announced ambitious plans for space exploration in recent years, but this is the first time a firm deadline has been set for a manned lunar mission.

Russia won the first round of the space race when it launched the first man to orbit the Earth, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Jr, however, fulfilled John F Kennedy’s promise to reach the Moon by the end of the decade, landing there on July 20, 1969, with Nasa’s Apollo 11. The Soviet Union subsequently cancelled its lunar programmes.

Plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon could help revive Russia’s space programme after a troubled period. A series of satellites crashed last year and in January the Mars probe, Fobos Grunt, fell to Earth after a faulty launch two months earlier. Last week, Roskosmos suffered another humiliation after reports that the head of the agency, Vladimir Popovkin, had sustained head injuries after an alleged brawl at work.

Yury Karash, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, said that prestige would not be restored with a symbolic flight to the Moon. “Back in the 1960s the Soviet Union was competing head-to-head with the United States,” he said.
Related Articles

Factfile: Russia in space
12 Apr 2011

Russia vow to build Moon base
07 Apr 2011

The cult of Yuri Gagarin rules
12 Apr 2011

Mars 500: how realistic is the ‘Mission to Mars’?
03 Feb 2011

Russia’s space programme
13 Mar 2012

“But it is hard to find a better way to hurt Russian prestige and emphasise Russian technological backwardness than by sending cosmonauts to the Moon around 2030, 60 years after Apollo.”

Mr Karash said resources would be better spent on funding a manned flight to Mars, which would stimulate science because of the demand for new technology to serve a 450-day round trip to the Red Planet.

The Soviet Union had two Moon programmes which it closed in the 1970s after the success of Apollo 11. The US knew about them, but their existence was not admitted publicly until 1990.

In the post-Soviet era, Russia has co-operated with other countries on Mir and the International Space Station (ISS). It currently shoulders the burden of shuttling supplies to the ISS in Soyuz capsules. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister and president-elect, wants to restore Russia’s space programme to its former glory.

Speaking last year on the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight, he said: “Russia should not limit itself to the role of an international space ferryman.”

Mr Putin said piloted space missions should be revived by 2018, when the first flights are expected from Vostochny, a $13.5?billion (£8.6?billion) spaceport being built in Russia’s far east.

The Soviet Union, the United States and China are the only countries so far to have launched manned space flights. India’s space agency declared in 2010 that it wanted to launch a human mission to the Moon by 2020, and scientists have indicated that China could do the same by 2025.

Barack Obama, the US president, said in 2010 that he hoped to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s, but he cut funding for robotic missions to the planet last month. He also cancelled George W Bush’s plan to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

Scientists believe that precious metals and Helium-3, a rare isotope that has potential for power generation, could be extracted from the Moon’s surface. Roskosmos has also suggested that a base built on the Moon could be used as a launch pad for a flight to Mars.

Share:

inShare7
Space

News »
World News »
Europe »
Russia »
Tom Parfitt »

In Space
Yuri Gagarin prepares for lift-off in April 1961
Russia’s space programme
A brilliant aurora borealis display is seen over a road near Yellowknife, North West Territories, Canada
Aurora borealis displays
The northern lights or aurora borealis fill the sky above Soldotna, Alaska, early on March 7, 2012,. The display lasted much of the night. Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are predicting an active aurora again tonight.
Northern lights shine in Solar storm
The sun erupts with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle in this NASA handout photo taken on March 6, 2012
Huge solar flare to hit Earth
A mysterious, slow-moving bright light appeared in the night sky above northern Britain on Saturday, trailing bewilderment and wonder in its wake.
Meteor filmed burning across UK sky

SOURCE