NASA is expecting to shortly announce plans to return to the moon. However, this time, the agency will be just paying for a ride in other spacecraft. Most likely, it will be naming the private companies that it will pay in exchange for carrying science experiments on small robotic landers to the moon. Scientists are lining up, hoping to demonstrate that their experiments are worthwhile to take along. The program is called the Commercial Lunar Payload Services. It looks like NASA is purchasing space on aircraft for missions. It could be that, in the future, organizations like NASA and SpaceX will be selling space on aircraft for tours to Mars.
Scientists Lining up for Commercial Lunar Payload Services
Scientists are lining up to show their experiments and demonstrate why their experiments are worth the ride to the moon. The researchers gathered at the yearly Lunar Exploration Analysis Group meeting in Maryland last week, which was established in 2004 to support NASA in analyzing lunar exploration.
Why Has NASA Not Gone Back to the Moon?
One of the reasons why NASA has not gone back to the moon again is that going to the moon is very expensive. This is likely why NASA is buying space in private spacecraft to bring science experiments to the Earth’s moon. Many are saying that the biggest challenge, for NASA, is money.
NASA and SpaceX Mars Tours
NASA and SpaceX are both planning to send astronauts to Mars. While SpaceX’s timeline is dynamic, NASA might be spending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. In fact, NASA’s InSight spacecraft just landed on Mars’ surface.
At some point, NASA and SpaceX might be selling space aboard aircraft to Mars; and, instead of scientific experiments, the two organizations might reach the point where they will be pitching tours. In fact, excited architects are already designing Mars’ home concepts, where humans will have underground facilities to protect themselves from radiation. We think that there can even be underground “luxury” hotels for Mars tours.