Taking a Chance on Pioneering Space
So, why did Dynetics decide to take a chance on pioneering space?
If you had asked me a couple of months ago if Dynetics would be putting robots on the Moon, I would have said that was something out of a science fiction movie. When the announcement was first made that Dynetics was going to put together a team for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, I really didn’t understand the reasoning behind the competition. Why do we want to go to the Moon? But after talking to Tim Pickens, Rocket City Space Pioneers team leader, and doing a little research of my own, I was converted into a believer, and maybe even into a space enthusiast.
What does it really mean to take this chance on pioneering space?
The first thing Tim mentioned to me was the importance of Helium 3. So, I did a Google search on it, of course. What I found was that some scientists consider Helium 3 the perfect fuel source because it is extremely potent, nonpolluting, and has virtually no radioactive by-product. In today’s media, all you hear about is “going green,” so this would be a possibility for a “greener” and more energy efficient fuel source. If we used Helium 3 for fuel, we could become less dependent on fossil fuels and stop killing our ozone layer. The only problem is that there is barely any found on Earth - but there are large amounts on the Moon. Scientists have estimated there are about one million tons of Helium 3 on the Moon, and this is enough to power the world for thousands of years.(1) To me, this is a great reason to start exploring the Moon’s surface. We should invest the time and money into trying to find alternative fuel sources.
Another reason why Dynetics wants to take this chance on pioneering space is that there are massive amounts of water already discovered on the Moon. In October 2010, NASA announced that its LCROSS lunar-impact probe mission found up to a billion gallons of water ice in the floor of a crater near the Moon’s South Pole. Researchers say that is enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-size swimming pools. This means that if astronauts land near ice they could essentially “live off the land.”(2) If Earth ever did get hit by a meteoroid, there is hope for the human race because we could live on the Moon.
We are going to take corporate money and privately fund a mission to the Moon.
Even though NASA made this amazing discovery, the Obama administration canceled the Constellation project; that is why the Google Lunar X PRIZE is so exciting. We are going to take corporate money and privately fund a mission to the Moon. We are going to build our own lunar lander and lunar rover. We are going take pictures of the Moon’s surface. That is amazing! We are not giving up on our dreams of pioneering space; we are going to continue the American dream of returning to the Moon!
Sara Price, Dynetics