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Moon First: X-Prize And Bigelow Aerospace Explain Why

13 Jan 2011, 21:17 UTC
Moon First: X-Prize And Bigelow Aerospace Explain Why
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When it comes to planetary destinations within our star system, the two loudest voices within the space community are the Moon first crowd and the Mars Direct group.While both groups often lay out strong opinions as to why their white or red world should take priority, lunar lovers will rejoice in the fact that a notable billionaire is advocating Earth’s nearest neighbor first, along with another influential figure.“The moon is the perfect ground to get our feet wet for Mars,” said space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, which is aiming to put private space station modules in Earth orbit.In fact, our chances of making it to Mars could ride on whether we go back to the moon first, proponents say.“The moon is the only logical first destination,” said William Pomerantz, senior director of space prizes at the X Prize Foundation. “It only makes sense to use the moon as a testing ground and proving ground and staging ground for missions to Mars and other parts of the solar system.” (Space.com)Other advocates mentioned the Moon as a priority due to not only its proximity (as it’s 3 days away via rockets vs 6 months for Mars), but also due ...

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