Pre Launch Status (July 2011)
COM = Cross on the moon.
We see many “lasts” this month. Sadly the Space Shuttle had its last flight. We remember the last men to visit the moon by celebrating the anniversary of man’s first steps on July 20th, 1969. Kennedy Space Center had over 6,000 workers see their last day building, refurbishing, and launching Space Shuttles.
Now is the time for “firsts”. We look forward to the first privately funded lunar rover and the return to science missions on the moon. Lava tubes anyone? Exotic metals and water in pure form? Google’s Lunar X Prize is the catalyst and teams are building space hardware today to meet the deadline’s prize in 2014.
Other Space missions plan to visit an asteroid and return with samples. These giant rocks in space make the task tricky because they do not have gravity.
Another “first” was installing a half-humanoid robot on the ISS (International Space Station). A collaboration of NASA and GM, Robonaut is an experiment with many options for firsts.
Catch you next month…
Michael Clark, 2011 President
Cross on the Moon