Moon 2.0 – Space Race 2.0
The Cold War was a tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. It led to the Space Race with both nations striving to be the first in Space and on the Moon. While the United States lost the race into space, it won the race to the moon; and since then it is still the only nation to land a human on the moon.
However, what’s before landing on the moon with humans? Robots/Rovers. During the 1970s to 1976, the USSR was exploring the Moon with Lunokhod-1 and -2. In 2007 and 2008, China and India respectively joined the lunar race.
Now is Moon 2.0. Moon 2.0 is the race of private enterprises, some for-profit and some nonprofit, vying to be the next ones in space. SpaceX (http://spacex.com) just became the first private company to launch a rocket into space and dock its capsule to the International Space Station. Next, Astrobotic Technology (http://astrobotic.net), which recently bought a ride on SpaceX’s rocket, is constructing its 2nd (it finished its first) rover to the moon. Its lander has been finished for a while and the lander works with both rovers. Its launch date is 2013.
An amazing thing about Astrobotic, however, is that the average age of their employees is between 20 to 30, and its employees have no experience. This would make most people doubt that Astrobotic could achieve their goal, but they have shown progress, and it looks like Astrobotic will be the first one there. As a private company, they are racing for $20 million USD from Google that stipulates that Astrobotic must get to the moon before anyone else, government, nonprofit or company, to receive it. Additionally as Stanislav Mishin said in his article, “Americans are sore losers,” and Astrobotic has a many Americans, plus an Indian and Russian.
Their company page states, “Astrobotic Technology Inc. is a Pittsburgh [PA, USA] based company that delivers affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions. Amidst the burgeoning commercial space industry, Astrobotic is pioneering affordable planetary access that promises to spark a new era of exploration, science, tourism, resource utilization and mining…”
Sounds like science fiction, but it is not. So why is it also called Cold War Space Race 2.0? Because Putin has announced that Russia will strengthen its space programs by putting cosmonauts on the Moon by 2030. Furthermore, although Moon 2.0 is supposed to be about companies and nonprofits, NASA has financially supported businesses like SpaceX and Astrobotic. Let’s see who will get to the moon first.