November 20, 2013
The Moon Will Be Crowded in 2020
image from Nature.com
Seems like everybody is going to the Moon (except the USA). South Korea has announced an ambitious plan to send an orbiter followed by a lander and rover. Originally the plan was for the first launch by 2025 but the new president has made lunar exploration a national priority (to develop the aerospace industry) and she moved the date up to 2020 - have you ever heard of a space mission getting moved up rather than being delayed? The very nice video explaining the Korean lunar program (above) does a good job of showing how the mission would work. If the rover looks small that is because it is - only 10-20 kg. Korea's first rocket was successfully launched only in January, so this is a little like John Kennedy saying after one 15 minute suborbital flight that the US would send a man to the Moon by the end of the decade. I welcome LPOD visitors from Korea!
An alternative perspective on lunar exploration (not by South Korea)
Yesterday's LPOD: Underarm View of Neper
Tomorrow's LPOD: Uninspiring, but an Active History