A few days back I was watching in real time as India tried to put a lander on the moon. They have a very capable orbiter in place, with a very nice camera, and all that was very successful. Their lander detached properly, and was making what looked like a fine decent. Then, in the last 100 m or so they lost contact.
The computer generated track looked like it was a failed landing and likely a “spontaneous rapid disassembly” on contact at excess speed during “rapid decent into terrain”…
But this video says that they have found the orbiter on the surface and it looks like it is intact. India is attempting to re-establish communications with it.
So, OK… It looks like India may well now be able to land on the Moon. But perhaps needs to make more sturdy radio / antenna gear…
It then goes on to describe 2 new companies making an interesting approach to space gear. One is 3-D printing the whole rocket. Not the engine cluster like SpaceX, we’re talking the whole big thing. The other is going into the space taxi business. They have contracted together to provide combined services.
What this means is that you do not need a big 2nd stage to get your payload to geosync. Just buy a ride from the Space Taxi… A LOT more folks can now afford to put a small package in geosync. There’s video of the 3-D print happening and it’s fun to watch. About 2:30 in the video.
I do have to wonder with geosync already crowded, more junk accumulating in disposal orbits, and more then enough failed in place: Is is REALLY that good an idea to have college kids sending their little bits of future flotsam into geosync? Yet it will allow places like 3rd World bits in Africa, Asia, South America to put their own small satellites over their own countries, if desired.
Growing algae in space at about 4 minutes.
China has a 500 m radio telescope now. (7 minutes).
Looks like a coronal hole disrupted radio service during Hurricane Dorian (9 minutes) 20m and 40m nearly useless.
At about 12 minutes some discussion of collision in space risks, especially as we add 20,000+ more satellites in the next few years.
So with China running around on the moon, India almost there, Japan taking laps,… That just leaves the USA to play catch-up-with-your-past and get back there. (Not sure what Russia and the EU are up to). I’m pretty sure China will run off to collect some platinum asteroid and solve their catalyst resource needs for the next 50 years…
So our hopes seem to be riding on SpaceX. NASA is way too busy navel gazing on CO2 to bother with things like space… /sarc; So with luck, Elon will get us back to the Moon before it’s a Chinese Sea…