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US moon plan will need private money

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Significance

Orion is intended to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, a goal Pence set in March. This programme, Artemis, is presented as a step towards commercial exploitation of the moon’s resources and a permanent presence there by 2028.

Impacts

  • Some sense of the still-speculative market potential of lunar and private, crewed spaceflight will emerge in the coming years.
  • Foreign institutions may get opportunities to partner with NASA, but will be wary of US plans that seem so volatile.
  • A successful landing in 2024 would give Pence a well-timed boost should he run for president that year.
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