NASA to work with nine other countries (UK, Canada, India, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Germany) on lunar exploration

Monday, August 04, 2008

This is good news as I've been writing for some time now about how emerging spacefaring nations such as Korea should be given a part in space development in order to bring them into the international community as soon as possible, giving them key roles that they can sometimes play when other nations are too busy with other projects. Canada for example needs much more funding for its space agency (it's not only much smaller than NASA but also much less well funded per capita, even taking into account Canada's slightly lower income per capita than the United States) but still manages to contribute in key roles, such as its robotic arm and hand, the MOST space telescope, and the one going up in 2010 (NEOSat) that will search for asteroids.

The UK, Canada, India, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Germany will work with NASA on building and operating a network of sensor-stuffed robotic lunar probes that will monitor, measure and analyse the moon's surface and subsurface geology in unprecedented detail (New Scientist, 12 July, p 34).

Japan is expected to launch the first of the spacecraft, a rover, by 2012, with two American landers, called the NASA Anchor Nodes, following soon after.


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