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Galileo's Pendulum

Over the Moon with China and Luxembourg

26 Oct 2014, 18:53 UTC
Over the Moon with China and Luxembourg
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Predicting the future, especially of something subject to the winds of political misfortune as space exploration, is problematic. However, it’s a safe bet it won’t look like it did during the first few decades. More nations than ever are interested in sending spacecraft into orbit and beyond (including crewed spaceships), and privately-owned companies are taking […]

A model of the Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M), a communications experiment built by a privately-owned company in Luxembourg. [Credit: LuxSpace]Predicting the future, especially of something subject to the winds of political misfortune as space exploration, is problematic. However, it’s a safe bet it won’t look like it did during the first few decades. More nations than ever are interested in sending spacecraft into orbit and beyond (including crewed spaceships), and privately-owned companies are taking a larger stake. As I noted recently, India sent its first space probe to Mars, and the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) went to the Moon aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur V rocket (itself a converted ballistic missile). And last week, a private company based in Luxembourg sent a small probe (really a communications experiment) to the Moon aboard a Chinese rocket.
Private companies have been involved ...

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