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Here at the FAA/AST Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, Robert Bigelow, CEO of Bigelow Aerospace, didn’t get much argument when he suggested that the Chinese government has the motivation and the wherewithal to land people on the moon within 12 years.
His suggestion that China could claim actual ownership of the moon, rather than just conduct an Apollo-style footprints-and-flags campaign, seemed a little more radical, but he made some compelling arguments.
Why is the builder of what will probably be the first commercial space habitat so interested in this topic? Bigelow anticipates that in the future, his company’s clients may well have to get Chinese permission to land Bigelow Aerospace habitats on the moon.
I recorded a pencast of Bigelow’s complete keynote talk. Click anywhere on my notes to replay that portion of the talk. You’ll have to wait until the audio portion of the pencast downloads before it plays. It might take a while, especially on a slow connection, so pretend it’s 1995 and go make yourself a cup of coffee while you wait.
Thanks for posting the audio. It’s really great quality.
You’re welcome, Trent. I’m glad it worked out. Interesting post on fusion-powered rockets, by the way!
Totally unintentional.. interesting comment system 🙂
The sad thing is in the Apollo era, it took them 8 years to get to the moon from the beginning of the program. It’s like they took a decade out of the future… bulll
Too true. Trouble was, it was done in an unsustainable manner—a hail Mary pass, cost be damned. The mission succeeded, end of story, with no plan for building on that success. Today’s commercial space flight industry is going back, but this time with sustainable business plans that will fund ongoing developments. It will start with the Google Lunar X PRIZE and Space Adventures’ manned moonshot, and go from there. And, yes, I think they’ll get to the moon before the Chinese (albeit with Russian hardware, in the case of SA’s moonshot).