Op-ed by Giuseppe Reibaldi on SpaceNews.com
The International Space Station has been a tremendous political and technical success. However, the ISS program is coming to an end in the next few years, although government players such as the NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, China and others will continue their activities. Major new business ventures are planned in low Earth orbit (LEO) assuring a constant utilization of the opportunities offered there to provide a range of new services. We have now to look to our next stop beyond LEO.
In many countries, both governments and companies have plans to go to the moon to expand scientific knowledge and to assess the extent to which the moon’s natural resources may generate new wealth for humanity. Much has been written about the advantages of the moon as a technical and programmatic proving ground for humanity to expand toward Mars and beyond.
The only real question left to answer is this: how we shall go to the moon in a coordinated manner?