Category Technology Challenges

Technology Challenges

The trip to the Moon can nowadays be considered as a standard human spaced ac­tivity, provided that a spacecraft big enough to carry the team and payload can be built within the financial constraint all space agencies have to tackle. That is if the mission is restricted to be completed within a lunar day. To survive a lunar night, which is on areas most interesting for exploration up to 14 earth days long, sig­nificant energy resources are required, basically eliminating batteries as electro­chemical energy storage right away, but clearly point towards fuel cells or nuclear sources, which maybe excluded for cost or political reasons. Another challenge is the amount of radiation bombarding humans and sensitive equipment. And the en­vironmental temperatures are very low...

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Apollo Background

It began on July 1960 as a continuation of Mercury Program and its maximum goal was to send manned missions to the Moon and return back safety to the Earth, this efforts strongly supported by a powerful speech given to congress by US President Kennedy on 25th May 1961. Within the program 15 successful mis­sions took place and sadly 2 setbacks, Apollo 1 suffered a fire during a pre-flight test killing 3 astronauts and Apollo 13 where an explosion in one oxygen tank re­quired abortion of the mission but fortunately the crew returned safely back to Earth. Apollo 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 had as main goal test flight systems in automatic launches. Apollo 7 and 9 were manned missions orbiting the Earth and Apollo 8 and 10 were manned missions that orbited the Moon...

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Moon

Lunar Exploration and Utilization: Why and How?

Jules Verne was the first one who wrote a fascinating book on his dream to conquer the Moon, but certainly before and after there have been many enthusias­tic people dreaming about that. Only a bit more than a decade after the first man orbited earth, NASA started an extensive moon programme culminating in putting men on the moon, but other nations like Russia (UdSSR), Japan, China and India managed at least to put robotic probes on or around the moon.

There are a number of rationales to explore the Moon, emplace a robotic village and then an international lunar base (see International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) – http://sci. esa. int/ilewg/) – a global civilisation imperative, and scientific, political, socio-economical, techno...

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