On October 5th, 2017, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA is going back to the Moon. He didn’t provide any other details, just some kind of moonward directed space exploration. And it turns out they won’t be the only ones. The Moon is going to be a busy busy place.
Return to the Moon Playlist:
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This probably didn’t come a surprise to anyone, but the US presidential administration announced that they were throwing out the plans of the previous administration, and forging forth in a new direction.
NASA won’t be visiting asteroids, retrieving samples, and working towards the human exploration of Mars, instead they’ll be targeting the Moon. Exactly how is still up in the air.
I’m sorry, I sound like a total killjoy here, but every time NASA has its plans wrenched in a new direction, I get a little more exhausted. But, this is the problem of giant, goals-based mission planning. I’m still holding out for some capabilities-driven missions.
However, there are a total of 5 different groups targeting the human exploration of the Moon. Nobody near the Moon for almost 50 years, and suddenly everyone wants to visit.