In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Discussions over the timing for a sustained human return to the Moon are unfolding this week in Russia as well as the U.S. At the same time, scientists gathered for the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the Houston area are announcing findings from two asteroid sample return missions, each marked by surprising discoveries as well as challenge.
Human Space Exploration
1st scientist on the Moon says NASA lacks urgency for lunar landing
Space.com (3/19): Apollo 17’s Harrison Schmitt, geologist and former NASA astronaut assigned to the final Apollo Moon landing mission in December 1972, expressed disappoint over what he termed a lack of urgency at the agency in returning to the Moon. He spoke at the Lunar Planetary and Science Conference underway this week in Houston. Schmitt is a member of the advisory group to the White House National Space Council. “I think the president and the vice president [Mike Pence] feel there’s a significant geopolitical urgency to do that, but we do not sense that NASA has that same sense of urgency,” said Schmitt. NASA is developing the hardware with commercial and global partners to assemble a human tended, lunar orbiting Gateway ...