Harman: Who’s Winning the Moon Race— and Why it Matters for Mars
Starship and Super Heavy are being readied for their first spaceflight, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is still pushing for Artemis on the Moon by 2024, in spite of delays and contract disputes. Meanwhile, China is in a breakneck race to the Moon, partly to control the ice-rich polar craters. They continue to startle those unfamiliar with how Beijing works by their sudden ‘breakout’ with an Apollo-scale infrastructure and new generations of spacecraft and rockets. Where is America standing in this very real race to the Moon? Does it really matter if China beats us? Could SpaceX pull it off alone if NASA or Congress lose interest? Would delays to the Moon affect going to Mars in the early 2030s? As we know, it makes more sense to scrap the Gateway and do a Moon-Direct flight once refueled in LEO. Scrapping the Gateway alone could free up funding for a lunar base, while reducing the complexity of lunar voyages. I’ll review and compare the status of the space programs of the U.S., commercial space and China; how Russia fits in, where each country may be in a few years and by the end of the decade, and how the Moon remains the essential proving ground for Mars.
The 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention is Thursday-Sunday, October 14-17, 2021. This convention presents a unique opportunity for those interested in the planet Mars to come together and discuss the science, technology, social implications, philosophy and a multitude of other aspects of Mars exploration.
You can register on the main website http://www.marssociety.org After you register, you can access the convention's main application Attendify at http://convention.marssociety.org using code "TakingFlight".
More info and session listings are in the hub world, code PDK958
This meeting is interactive. Most of the time the speakers and members are appearing on a Zoom screen. You will be able to grab the mike so you can talk to the people in Zoom.