Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Will China Beat the United States Back to the Moon? - Associated Content

“I personally believe that China will be back on the Moon before we are. I think when that happens, Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China’s introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to other nations that appear to be at the top of the technical pyramid, and they want to do deals with those nations. It’s one of the things that made us the world’s greatest economic power. So I think we’ll be reinstructed in that lesson in the coming years and I hope that Americans will take that instruction positively and react to it by investing in those things that are the leading edge of what’s possible.”

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Moon 2.0 Is The Next Mission For X Prize Group, And Google

Google is going to the moon, and it will spend $30 million to get there.

Google GOOG will sponsor the newest contest by the X Prize Foundation, which three years ago handed $10 million to a team that sent SpaceShipOne into suborbit and back twice over a two-week period. The nonprofit foundation seeks to promote scientific breakthroughs that benefit humanity.

In the new contest, which officials referred to as Moon 2.0, teams will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the moon. It will have to roam at least 500 meters of the lunar surface and complete several missions, such as transmitting photos and videos back to Earth.

A grand prize of $20 million will be awarded to the first team to do this no later than Dec. 31, 2012.

A second place award of $5 million will go to a second team that can complete this by Dec. 31, 2014.

Bonuses of $5 million will be awarded for additional tasks.

Seems like it should be more :-) Maybe add a zero. ;-)

groovychk: (science)

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Nuclear rockets could cut cost of Moon base - space - 28 June 2007 - New Scientist Space
Howe envisions using a nuclear engine similar to one designed and tested in the 1960s called Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA). In the NASA-funded NERVA design, hydrogen gas is heated by nuclear reactions in a uranium reactor and expelled to produce thrust.

I am ALL for this. We are long past due on using nuclear rocket engines.

The higher efficiency of such an engine means almost 29 tonnes of cargo could be delivered to the Moon in a single Ares V launch, compared to 21 tonnes with the non-nuclear version. This would allow a 250-tonne lunar base to be constructed with only nine rather than 12 Ares V launches, Howe says.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

SPACE.com — Flight Log: The First Private Expedition to the Moon
ASPEN, Colorado - You don’t have to pack your bags quite yet, but
passenger travel to the Moon is on the flight manifest of a space tourist

The price per seat will slap your wallet or
purse for a swift $100 million - but you’ll have to get in line as the first
voyage is already booked.

Space Adventures, headquartered in Vienna,
Virginia, is in negotiations with the customers who will fly the first private
expedition to circumnavigate
the Moon.

“I hope to have those contracts signed by the
end of the year,” said Eric Anderson, Space Adventures’┬ápresident and CEO.

They are planning on using a Soyuz and doing a fly-by and return without entering orbit. Soyuz was designed for lunar travel so should be almost good to go!
Sounds very groovy.

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