Trump wants astronauts there but the NA.

Here we have a special love of space, we cannot deny it, and we strive to remember almost every time what our determination and thirst for knowledge is capable of achieving. But then news comes and makes us the story of the milkmaid (or rather of the Milky Way): NASA cancels the development of the only rover destined for the Moon.

And we say NASA because this time it is not due to any of the cuts by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who have previously made us talk about cuts and even the decline of the International Space Station. What has happened since that great step for humanity? Wasn’t the moon the fashion goal between space agencies? Let’s see what happened to the Selenic star and the US agency.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA

What we’re doing

Yes, a while ago we were talking about our neighboring satellite becoming a fad among space agencies and on Magnet they said it that clearly already in 2017: there is a new space race to the Moon. Not only NASA understands space exploration and agencies from countries such as Japan, India, Russia and China They have also shown interest in reconquering it and revisiting it.

The Principal reasons: the discoveries that each mission always brings, the proximity and that is already perceived as how governments smell the possible exploitation of resources on the satellite. What resources? Well, although it seems barren, the fact is that helium-3 (an isotope of helium) abounds in the Moon (and quite the opposite in our planet) and is an almost unlimited and non-polluting source of energy as it is a potential fuel for fusion. nuclear.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA

Interest in the Moon is, among other reasons, due to the possible exploitation of resources

However, excavators have not been planted in it at the moment. What was launched is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which from a satellite view allows us to better understand the surface of the Moon thanks to its high resolution cameras. In fact, we recently showed you here a spectacular 4K video made from its resources.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA

What we will not do

No, the United States is not going to ignore the Moon (we could not, no matter how hard we tried, although you never know if there are flat Earthers), but it seems that NASA does not have a priority for the first rover to step on the Moon or to put the foot in it again in it after more than 35 years (since Apollo 17 in 1972). There wasn’t much explanation as to why, but the fact is that the Resource Prospector (RP) mission was canceled much to our surprise and that of the scientists themselves, as noted on

The purpose of RP was to go where other ships do not go: to the lunar surface and to know its composition well. The mission focused on examining the water in the form of ice that forms on the satellite over a period of time to learn more about its consistency and how much it is, since not much is known about lunar ice.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA

This is especially important with regard to everything that has been raised on the satellite: going to it without a return ticket. We saw that we are not yet prepared for something like this, but that does not diminish the desire and plans to settle permanently on the MoonAn intention expressed by other agencies in addition to NASA, as we mentioned in the previous point.

Despite this, at the moment the NASA mission is stopped, despite the fact that the Trump included in the new directive for the space agency the goal of getting back on the moon (and with the feet, those of an astronaut, not with the specialized wheels of a rover). And also despite the fact that a group of scientists, including the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), which advises NASA itself on lunar exploration, wrote to James Bridenstine (NASA administrator) to have the decision reversed about the mission.

This was echoed in The Verge, who had the opinion of Phil Metzger, a planetary physicist who is part of the project team (and confirmed the cancellation to the medium). For this, the problems began when the project changed its directive and with it the source of funds, decreasing in priority, thus emphasizing that it seems an economic issue.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA

Why should we do it

Metzger explains that the mission would have accompanied human exploration by reporting on everything that happened in it. Exploration that arises (ba) around to the geological study of the satellite, as well as the development of new technologies to take advantage of its resources, so that useable water or ice reservoirs can be created for launches and future missions.

Hence, the RP is a possible engine for that lunar economy that we have already seen raised even at the level of advertising on the satellite, but at the level of mining and energy. In The Verge we read that there are many companies interested in exploiting the satellite in this way with the idea of ​​being able to supply fuel to rockets and ships (with helium-3), reducing costs and facilitating trips to Mars, but for that first you have to know it closely, and not rover, not party.

It is also interesting to know well the geology for those possible lunar bases that we mentioned before, and also taking into account that “the spin-off of the ISS” will be on the Moon, with a new Lunar space station that will orbit the satellite from 2025 (if not nothing happens). Either for knowledge or to take what we know so well to do to our neighboring star (the exploitation of natural resources), it seems that JAXA will be the one that will put its explorer vehicle on the Moon first (in 2019), so in a year we will leave doubts about who takes the rover to the water.

Trump wants astronauts there but the NA