美國可望重返月球!副總統執掌國家太空委員會,要讓美國成近地軌道霸主

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Csilla Orgel, a geologist with Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission, collects geologic samples for study at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) outside Hanksville in the Utah desert March 2, 2013. The MDRS aims to investigate the feasibility of a human exploration of Mars and uses the Utah desert's Mars-like terrain to simulate working conditions on the red planet. Scientists, students and enthusiasts work together developing field tactics and studying the terrain. All outdoor exploration is done wearing simulated spacesuits and carrying air supply packs and crews live together in a small communication base with limited amounts of electricity, food, oxygen and water. Everything needed to survive must be produced, fixed and replaced on site. Picture taken March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT)

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Csilla Orgel, a geologist with Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission, collects geologic samples for study at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) outside Hanksville in the Utah desert March 2, 2013. The MDRS aims to investigate the feasibility of a human exploration of Mars and uses the Utah desert's Mars-like terrain to simulate working conditions on the red planet. Scientists, students and enthusiasts work together developing field tactics and studying the terrain. All outdoor exploration is done wearing simulated spacesuits and carrying air supply packs and crews live together in a small communication base with limited amounts of electricity, food, oxygen and water. Everything needed to survive must be produced, fixed and replaced on site. Picture taken March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 22 OF 31 FOR PACKAGE 'MARS IN THE DESERT' SEARCH 'JIM MARS' FOR ALL IMAGES - GM1E93B1AF701
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繼 NASA 宣布,在登陸火星前有意先回歸月球,加上美國總統川普重建美國國家太空委員會後,美國副總統麥克・彭斯在華爾街日報報導中提到他將領導國家太空委員會,並且藉由重返月球建立近地軌道商業活動的主導權。

美國副總統彭斯在 華爾街日報 10/4 的一篇評論中提到他將會領導重建後的國家太空委員會,並認為目前美國太空政策不連貫且原地踏步,與此同時中國和俄羅斯卻 合作簽訂了新的太空探索計劃 。他談到美國需要在太空中建設自己的科技設備,來保護監控、通訊和導航系統安全。

要達成目標,彭斯認為關鍵第一步得先登上最近的月球,作為進一步探索太陽系的基礎,同時證明美國仍有能力登上月球。不過他所提的宇宙探索似乎更聚焦於商業開發,而非科學研究。

「接下來幾年,美國產業必須在近地軌道的人類商業活動中保持領先,好讓經濟圈突破這顆藍色彈珠之外。」彭斯說道。

後面幾週,主管機關會成立諮詢小組,並召集商用太空工業的領導者加入,可能包含為了學術或商業目的,把人類運送到太空的各式硬體開發者。儘管彭斯沒有詳述名單,不過外界猜測應該 2024 年要殖民火星的 SpaceX 執行長伊隆・馬斯克,以及多次測試近地觀光用火箭的 Blue Origin 執行長傑夫・貝佐斯。

不過這份談話中獨漏了重點機關 NASA。洛克希德馬丁前工程師繼評論家 Robert Zubrin 認為,登陸月球和近地軌道任務主要目標其實是增加任務多樣性,並為空閒的蚊子單位找資金。他提到如果登上火星是最終目標,畢竟「從 A 到 B 牽直線,賣繩子的商人就沒生意了。」

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