What is the fundamental reason why we explore space? What does the average taxpayer expect to get from the associated funding investment? Why are commercial companies now beginning to show an interest in getting into space? Should the U.S. be going back to the Moon, and if so, why? What can China and India anticipate in return for those countries’ increased activity in space? Is it just about science and geopolitical one-upmanship, or is there something more fundamental behind these activities? Be prepared for a change of reference, and of timescales, as we together explore the future of humankind in our astronomical home.
Instructor Derek Webber is the author of four non-fiction books concerned with the space business and space exploration. He is currently Co-Chair of a Working Group of a Vienna-based NGOs investigating international regulatory implications of possible commercial markets on the Moon. He is a former space engineer, commercial space executive, proponent of space tourism business initiatives, and acted as the Vice-Chair of the Judging Panel for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which offered $40 M in prizes for landing a non-governmental spacecraft on the Moon.
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