Lunar and Cislunar missions are forms of space journeys, lunar referencing landing on the moon and cislunar referring to the travel existing in the space between the Earth and the moon. Various companies perform business operations, missions, and more in cislunar space, and many are making strides to land rovers and humans on the lunar surface for further space exploration and scientific discovery.
The Artemis project is a US-government funded international human spaceflight program focused on landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface in 2024. The program is headed by NASA but has received partnership and participation from various international space programs and private space companies. The program also aims to develop a sustainable long term lunar presence in an effort to create a foundation for private companies to develop a lunar economy and potential for human travel to Mars.
Cislunar travel and exploration references travel or explorations occurring in the spaces between the Earth and the Moon. Cislunar travel is becoming more popularized by the private and public sectors due to the rising demand to commercialize space travel. The commercialization of space travel is aimed at making low-orbit space a premier destination for vacationing, cargo transport, and expansion in space capable technologies. Pushing for commercialization allows private companies to develop technologies that further deep-space exploration while creating economies in low-orbit for the general public. NASA states that turning over low-orbit travel to the private industry allows federally-funded space programs to focus on the larger push- landing humans on Mars.
The International Space station was launched on November 20, 1998, and is the sole space station owned by federal governments. It has remained in orbit since its initial launch. It is consistently manned by astronauts and is never left unattended. Five government space organizations are responsible for the International Space Station operations.
In 2019, NASA selected various companies to join a study called the Space Relay Partnership and Services as a part of the Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) program. The study was developed to establish public-private relationships with United States commercial communications companies to further NASA’s existing communications technology network.
Surveillance of space is necessary because of the vast amount of satellites and other artificial debris that is orbiting the Earth. Inactive satellites need monitoring to ensure they don’t collide with functional satellites, unexpectedly reenter the atmosphere, prevent returning objects from being identified as missiles, and more. Surveillance of space objects is primarily conducted by the United States Air Force, the United States Space Force, and its private-public partnerships with other companies. Many private companies also monitor space objects in an effort to collect, market, and sell space data to the U.S. government.
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- SpaceFrom the perspective of earth, (outer) space is a zone that occurs about 100 kilometers (60 miles) above the ground where there is no appreciable air to breathe or to scatter light.
- Lunar explorationExploration of Earth's moon.
- Cislunar space explorationExploration of the space between Earth and the Moon.
- AerospaceEngineering effort to fly in the atmosphere of earth (aeronautics) and surrounding space (astronautics)
- Space industryActivities related to manufacturing components that go into earth's orbit or beyond