The moon has always been a fascinating focus for humanity, and almost every space company in the limelight is interested in moon exploration. Ever since Neil Armstrong first went up there, an array of spacecraft has studied our celestial neighbour. Even after six decades of exploration, people are continuing to try to send humans to its surface. Companies today have big plans for new moon exploration missions.
Increases in investment
It’s clear to say that practically any moon exploration program is receiving ample funding and interest. $1.7 billion was invested in space exploration companies within only the first quarter of 2019. This is nearly double what it was a year before! As long as there’s funding, companies are going to launch up there.
The space race used to focus on countries, but now it’s largely focused on billionaires. Multi Billionaires have huge plans to explore the moon and space in general, with ambitious goals to build space stations and move heavy industry off our planet. Some entrepreneurs like Elon Musk have even discussed colonising Mars. These billionaires are deadly serious and are slowly building the pieces to bring their far-out ideas into reality. They all have highly aspirational goals, backed up by solid investment funding.
Commercial space travel
Make no mistake that man’s interest in seeing the moon has never diminished, and companies such as Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are inching ever closer towards making dreams a reality. The world’s moon exploration future is largely based on offering privately funded commercial space travel, and for a pricey sum, these companies plan to send anybody out there.
Companies such as NASA want to continue moon surface exploration. They are adding more than $1 billion to its enormous $21 billion budget to achieve new feats, such as putting the first woman on the moon. If this plan is executed by their target date of 2024, it would have been over half a century since anyone put their feet on the moon’s surface.
It’s goals like these that signify just how important moon exploration is in this day and age, and ever since the days of Apollo 11, society’s ambition to walk the surface has not dwindled. Humanitarian curiosity is fueling exploration efforts.
The first space missions revealed the lunar surface, but such missions were limited by technological and time constraints. However, Apollo 11 era samples have informed decades of scientific research. Moon exploration information gathered has revealed what the planet is made of, how it formed and how humans all got here in the first place.
Our curiosity and interest haven’t subsided since. Rare minerals could provide the key to scientific breakthroughs, and understanding our moon is key to understanding the whole solar system. Reaffirming science is interesting but also important, and companies are pushing to make new discoveries. And it’s not only a playground for geologists either. Gathering more data from the moon could help inform the work of astrophysicists, astronomers and even evolutionary biologists.
Moon exploration to find resources
Other than scientific exploration and gaining knowledge for knowledge’s sake, companies are looking at the moon for resources. Many different corporations are keen on mining for gases and fuel that can be highly beneficial both for astronauts and people on Earth. It would be a lot easier to explore the solar system if resources existed outside of the Earth’s gravity, as it takes so much fuel to lift even a kilogram up into space.
Resource exploration is a growing industry, given the Earth’s finite resources. Jeff Bezos has plans to form a Deep Space Gateway that will orbit the moon, and a new spacecraft is in the pipeline to help get astronauts up there.
It’s clear that moon exploration importance has never decreased since Armstrong’s first feat. Companies are driven to continue exploring, both from a business point of view and for making scientific discoveries. There is plenty to see and discover, and technology is equipping companies with new possibilities.
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