September 25, 2002
Moon microsatellites for $15 million per mission

The article also makes an argument for returning to the moon. It could be done for a very small fraction of the cost of a Mars trip. Click thru to the second page of the article for details. While NASA wastes large amounts of money on other projects at least the military is working to get more information about the moon:

"The DoD is embarking on a rather major program to develop technologies for microsatellites and the ability to get them into space," said U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Simon Worden, deputy director of operations for the U.S. Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. Several small satellites could be directed to the Moon, to orbit well as land on it. Such an effort could be accomplished in a few years time, Worden said.

These ultra-small spacecraft would ride their way into geosynchronous transfer orbit as a secondary payload on some craft with another primary mission. The tiny probes would then make a propulsive beeline to the Moon. Trip time to the Moon: some 97 days.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 September 25 12:18 PM  Space Exploration

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