Space exploration is far from burning out. In fact, the concept seems to be more attractive than ever. A record 18,300 people have applied for just fourteen spots in NASA’s upcoming astronaut class. This destroys the old record of 8,000 held in 1978. The increased interest certainly shows that NASA is ready is ready for the next era of exploration. With both them and Russia making impressive strides recently, it’s not wondering so many are eager to help.
NASA HAS 18 MONTHS TO CHOOSE ASTRONAUT TEAM
Over the next 18 months, NASA will seek to narrow down their 18,000 options into a worthy team of astronauts. Those who are ultimately chosen will be deployed to one of four possibilities: The International Space Station, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner, the Orion spacecraft or the Space X Crew Dragon. The Orion is particularly interesting. Set to launch around 2020, the craft will include habitat modules. The purpose being for the extended journey’s to Mars and beyond.
RUSSIA REJOINING THE SPACE RACE
The last decade has not exactly been kind to Russa in terms of space travel, but they are making some waves. NASA also hinted at cooperating with Russia in their training plan. They stated that the training process will include teamwork, Russian language and other requisite skills. Surely the need to learn Russian implies there will be some sort of teamwork between NASA and Russia in space. Just recently, Russia has put forth plans to visit Mars. Working with the ESA the Russian Proton will launch the first of two missions this year. Previously, this kind of Russian success would have been a threat to the U.S, but now the two forces look towards cooperation.
COOPERATION BETWEEN TWO OLD ENEMIES
With Russia’s latest advancements and the rapid increase of U.S interest, it will be exciting to see the two work towards exploration in the coming years. The two governments are already talking about life beyond Mars. In what was a delayed discussion recently resumed progress, with both governments speaking of a cooperative trip to Venus. Scientists have long been awaiting this opportunity and the accomplishment would be a great change from the Cold War moon race of years past.