Jan 02, 2017 06:41 AM EST
Predictions for the Space Industry In 2017 from Buzz Aldrin; NASA Plans For Space Exploration [Video]
Formerly, NASA had the monopoly of driving America's space exploration efforts, but a lot has changed in the past 15 years with a slew of private entities according to Buzz Aldrin who are slowly engaging in space exploration endeavors that will advertently change or enhance NASA's plans for space exploration.
SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin are just some of the notable names that have surfaced who all have space exploration ambitions as of late. Well-known entrepreneurs, who in their own right have become household names, will lead the space race from the private sector.
According to NBC News, Buzz Aldrin, the second human to walk on the moon, envisions a more unified approach in shaping and overhauling certain aspects of America's civil, military, and industrial space sectors. Not only will the focus be on low Earth orbit but may also constitute focus outwards beyond our home planet.
Aldrin said Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin group would see its New Shepherd reusable suborbital launch vehicle being pushed forward with its new Glenn booster. He adds that Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two will fast track its testing to create a suborbital passenger service.
Aldrin also expects Elon Musk's Space X rockets to fly their Falcon Heavy launcher from the refurbished Launch Complex 39 pad A in the Florida, Kennedy Space Center. China he says will also move to the front with a planned lunar sample return to Earth after 40 years.
The European Space Agency's ExoMars Gas Orbiter is orbiting Mars tracing out whether the methane detected on the Red Planet is a product of microbes on the Martian surface, according to Science Cavern.
A huge year for NASA
Though incoming president Trump's plans for NASA remains unclear, the space agency's activities already on the schedule are just as compelling and exciting, one of prime importance is Mars as the destination of the future. Not only is NASA at the forefront, but multiple space agencies, as well as private companies, are setting their sights on the Red Planet.
Accordingly, NASA has been busy building needed infrastructure as well as vehicles that would one day take us there. According to reports, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is being developed to replace the Saturn V, which was used to ferry astronauts to the moon.