• Mahija Ratnoo

THE SPACE PULLS



Moon has always been tantalizing human brains since time immemorial, a reflection of which can be seen in folklore about faces and eclipses of the moon. Moon is perhaps the most featured celestial object be it in the haunted stories or fairy tales, elementary school poems, mythological and fictional stories of vampire/Dracula/ werewolf, etc. However the recent times showed no different pattern where every country has been showing an increased interest in exploring moon, the most recent being the Chandrayaan - 2.

WHY NATIONS ARE FASCINATED ABOUT MOON ?


There is a surprised resurgent of increasing interest in moon due to following reasons :

· arm’s length proximity to earth makes it easier to be explored.

· resource abundance is being seen as solution to earth’s over exploitation.

· pristine environment of moon is believed to hold the secrets to earth’s formation.

· a race for geopolitical hegemony.


The fascination is not just limited to the countries.


On January 12,1964 in Mexico Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born, perhaps having more curiosity than these nations and was gifted with a knack for figuring things out; presented the world with plans to colonize the space.


SPACE COLONIZATION ?


Jeff Bezos is of the view that humans can live in hospitable environments while creating colonies for heavy industries, hence preventing earth from any kind of pollution. This he terms as “coming back to the earth”. The idea materialized with the foundation of Blue Origin Federation, LLC in 2000 as an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company, which aims at developing technologies to enable private human access to space along with the goal to lower the costs and increasing reliability.


PUBLIC APPEARANCE OF BLUE ORIGIN


Blue Origin, unlike its rival companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, has been known the space industry as a very secretive entity, not revealing any information either about its flights or future plans.

The entity got registered as a company in the year 2000, only to draw public attention 6 years later, in 2006 when Jeff Bezos was involved in multiple land purchases in Texas.

It received funding from various customers and also from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. Earlier NASA signed a contract of worth $ 25 million, based upon milestones completed approach, for the Commercial Crew Development Program. The program aimed to develop privately funded space vehicles to commute people to the International Space Station. However, later on NASA chose to support Space X's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for the flights.

May 30,2020 Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off carrying a crew Dragon Spacecraft with 2 NASA astronauts onboard namely – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. With this launch Space X became the very first private company to launch astronauts for NASA.

Despite the fact that Space X became first such private company few plans for Blue Origin make it stand apart and worthy enough to be kept a tab on.


THE BLUE ORIGIN PLANS


The company is best known as the first in the world to successfully land a reusable rocket on a launching pad.

It plans to take space tourists aloft on its New Shepard rocket and to come up with orbital flights under New Glenn project.

It envisions a future wherein we preserve our home – the Earth for our coming generations, by tapping the unlimited potential of space by habituating and working there. What makes the plan stand apart is the focus on lower cost of access to space coupled with the use of reusable launch vehicles.

It is focused on building a road to space, which will act as a medium to futuristic growth not only for us but also for many generations to come.

It employs an incremental approach, going from suborbital to an orbital flight. Each successful step is built upon its prior work, standing true to the company’s motto – Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously”.


The New Shepard


· It is named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard - first American to travel into space,in 1961.

· A reusable rocket system to carry not just astronauts but also research payloads, past the Kármán line - the internationally recognized boundary of space.

· An 11 – minute flight promising you with an experience of a lifetime.


The New Glenn


· It is inspired by astronaut John Glenn – first American to orbit earth, circling it 3 times, in 1962.

· It is a single configuration heavy-lift launch vehicle, routinely carrying payloads and people not only to Earth’s orbit but also beyond it.

· This is going to be an essential element in building road to space.


The Blue Moon


· Built with technology derived from the New Shepard’s experience.

· As the name suggests, it is capable to deliver payloads to the lunar surface, host payloads and even deploy payloads during its journey to the Moon.


Despite of all the aforesaid fancy plans and others like Space X milestone achieved recently, one thing should be the priority that the Moon should be the common resource for humans. Such high end tech missions are significant for the mankind due to the promises it holds, hence it becomes all the more important for missions to be collaborative rather than cut-throat competitive so as to base them on sound rational reasons and not emotionally driven motives. The ultimate motive for all the explorations should be for the greater good of the entire human race, as also agreed upon by the world under the Goal – 17 of Sustainable Development Goals.

Crafted with love by The Heptade.