BiPiSci: High Moon (3-9-2019)

Playlist for Show: Big Picture Science

Hosts: Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley

“The moon or bust” is now officially bust.  No private company was able to meet the Lunar X Prize challenge, and arrange for a launch by the 2018 deadline.  The $30 million award goes unclaimed, but the race to the moon is still on. Find out who wants to go and why this is not your parents’ – or grandparents’ – space race.

With or without a cash incentive, private companies are still eyeing our cratered companion, hoping to set hardware down on its dusty surface.  Meanwhile, while the U.S. waffles about a return to the moon, India and China are sending a second round of robots skyward.  And a proposed orbiting laboratory – the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway – may literally put scientists over, and around, the moon.

The moon continues to entice sci-fi writers, and Andy Weir’s new novel describes a vibrant lunar colony. Its premise of colonists launched from Kenya is not entirely fiction: the nation is one of many in Africa with space programs.


  • Andy Weir – Author of “The Martian” and, most recently, “Artemis”
  • Allen Herbert – Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for NanoRacks, LLC and author of an article about emerging space programs in Africa
  • Greg Schmidt – Deputy director of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Jason Crusan – NASA Director of Advanced Exploration Systems for Human Space Flight
No entries for this Playlist

← All Playlists for Show: Big Picture Science