Taking the first steps a second time

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36 years have passed since we last saw humans walk on the Moon. Since then it has been quiet. What happened? How could we fly astronauts to the Moon in 1972, but not today? Why was the Apollo program cancelled? The tremendous costassociated with the Apollo program was certainly one major factor, and the focus within NASA shifted towards what they strongly believed would be the future: Reusable spacecraft. The massive Saturn 5 rockets were scrapped and the Space Shuttle took over.  To make a long story short: What followed was a complete focus on human access to low earth orbit for 30 years.

Artist impression of lunar base. Credits: NASA But the important thing to focus on today is that we are going back to the Moon again. In the US, NASA has already been working for several years to prepare a new transportation system capable of safely bringing astronauts into space and all the way to the surface of the Moon. NASA says they will be able to put humans on the Moon before 2020. Officially China denies that they have any plans to fly taikonauts to the Moon, but there are some that believes that China actually are capable of going there, even before the US in 2020. Europe and ESA has no immediate plans to go to the Moon with their own astronauts, but seeks to cooperate with NASA and whoever else will be able to provide them with reasonable access to the Moon through the Aurora programme.

Exiting times lies ahead, and themoonblog.com will follow the development from day to day!

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