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Space Blog

Nature's race for the Moon

If you're reading Space Blog then there's a good chance you're going to be interested in joining some lively debate about the new race for the Moon. Nick Campbell, Managing Editor of Nature magazine will host Nature's evening debate "Racing to the Moon" in King's Place, London on the 11th May. The discussion will be chaired by BBC News Science Correspondent Christine McGourty.
Four decades after the first Moon landings, the original space-racers have been joined by China, India, South Korea, even Nigeria. Why do we still need manned missions? Does space exploration need countries to cooperate, or does it benefit from the oxygen of international conflict and mistrust?
Sir Martin Sweeting will speak as the Director of the Surrey Space Centre and chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. SSTL was founded at a time when the satellite business was a duopoly between NASA and the Soviet Union and experienced - and influenced - the seismic changes within the industry. During this time his original staff of four has since grown to 300. He says that the new space-rush can be compared to the gold rush in 1880s America.
Chandrayaan-1 Mini SAR image of the Moon
Only last year SSTL's onboard computer (OBC) was spurred into action to control the Mini-SAR onboard the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter in the search for water-ice on the Moon. The MoonLITE and MoonRAKER concepts are also under development in a British consortium that includes SSTL and other UK space companies and research facilities. What has focussed the "gold rush" in space more than the race to the Moon? If this sounds like old news to you, then Space Blog would like to point you towards London for this event to find out about the new race for the Moon that is fast building speed. This is the first of two King's Place summer events organized by the weekly science journal Nature - you can find out more from this link.





01 May 20090 Comments1 Comment

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