The Western Lines

April 17, 2009

The Moon Our Stepping Stone in Creating a Spacefaring Civilization

Filed under: Alex Michael Bonnici,Lunar Exploration,Lunar X-Prize,Return to the Moon — ralphbuttigieg @ 6:24 pm

“If God wanted man to become a spacefaring species, He would have given man a moon.” – Krafft Ehricke, space visionary

The Moon will play an important role in humanity’s future expansion into space. A return to the Moon is the only logical step if our planetary culture is to evolve into a spacefaring civilization.

In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a historic superpower Moon race, which culminated in 12 men exploring the surface of the Moon. The first era of lunar exploration reached a dramatic conclusion in December of 1972 as Apollo 17 Astronauts Captain Gene Cernan and Dr. Harrison Schmitt became the last men on the Moon.

Moon 2.0, is the second era of lunar exploration involving the partnership of the governments of many nations and private enterprise. It will not be a quest for “flags and footprints.” This time we will go to the Moon to stay. The Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system and a source of solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on Earth – energy independence and climate change. Already, governments from around the world recognize the importance of lunar exploration, and national space agencies from the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, and the nations of Europe have sent probes to the Moon to pave the way for humanity’s return there.

This second era of lunar exploration will be much more exciting and inspiring for it will help to create a new branch of human civilization out amongst the stars.

Today’s video selection takes a closer look at this brave new era of lunar exploration.

Moon 2.0: Join the Revolution

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that will challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The X PRIZE Foundation, best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private suborbital spaceflight, is an educational nonprofit prize organization whose goal is to bring about radical breakthroughs to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today.

“The Google Lunar X PRIZE calls on entrepreneurs, engineers and visionaries from around the world to return us to the lunar surface and explore this environment for the benefit of all humanity,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “We are confident that teams from around the world will help develop new robotic and virtual presence technology, which will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.”

“Having Google fund the purse and title the competition punctuates our desire for breakthrough approaches and global participation,” continued Diamandis. “By working with the Google team, we look forward to bringing this historic private space race into every home and classroom. We hope to ignite the imagination of children around the world.”

http://www.youtube.com/v/9K4zosGUMBw&hl=en&fs=1
Base Camp Moon

The fruits of the previous moon expeditions have provided scientists with astounding information and insights. Over the years, this information has helped shape technological advancements in fields as diverse as biology, geology, astrophysics and chemistry. In 2018, astronauts will once again set foot on the lunar surface, with the goal being to ultimately establish a presence on Mars and beyond. Astronauts, scientists and engineers will use the moon as a training ground to develop and refine the technologies that such an ambitious vision demands.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=4183312546665305742&hl=en&fs=true

NASA’s Plans to Return to the Moon

This is an exciting and inspirational video highlighting some of the hardware that will return humanity to the Moon within the next decade.

http://www.youtube.com/v/IZTGlknAtGc&hl=en&fs=1

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1 Comment »

  1. Good overview of the high-end expectations, both for the Google X-Prize and Constellation. “We set sail on this new sea…” John Kennedy

    Comment by Joel Raupe — April 17, 2009 @ 9:23 pm | Reply


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