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The race to sell the moon. (Private Space Voyages).



AFTER YEAR5 OF inattention in·at·ten·tion  
n.
Lack of attention, notice, or regard.

Noun 1. inattention - lack of attention
basic cognitive process - cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
, the moon will soon be deluged with mechanical visitors from Earth. Both Europe and Japan intend to send spacecraft to our largest natural satellite next year, and China is rumored to be preparing a moonshot as well. And in June 2003 a California company, TransOrbital, intends to launch the first private mission to the moon.

TransOrbital plans to send an unmanned probe, dubbed the Trailblazer, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Baikonur or Baykonur Cosmodrome (both: bī'kənr`), formerly secret aerospace launch complex, Qyzylorda prov. , a former Soviet launch site in Kazakhstan and the world's oldest spacepad. It took two years for the company to win the U.S. government's approval for its project, but the dream of exploring space without working for the feds goes back long before that, from serious efforts to raise capital to quixotic quix·ot·ic   also quix·ot·i·cal
adj.
1. Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.

2.
 projects like the Association of Autonomous Astronauts The Association of Autonomous Astronauts is a world-wide network of community based groups dedicated to building their own spaceships. The AAA was founded 23 April 1995. Although many of their activities were reported as serious participation in conferences or protests against the  a tongue-in-cheek effort in the '90s to create "a worldwide network of community-based groups dedicated to building their own spaceships" by the year 2000. TransOrbital may be the first private enterprise to get through the hoop, but it isn't the only one in the running: The Virginia-based LunaCorp, for example, hopes to put a craft into lunar orbit In astronomy, lunar orbit (also known as a Selenocentric orbit) refers just to the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. See Orbit of the Moon.

As used in the space program, this refers not to the orbit of Earth's Moon, but to orbits around that Moon by various manned
 next year as well.

How do you finance a company that explores the moon? In the past, futurist speculations have ranged from extraterrestrial mining to space tourism. TransOrbital and LunaCorp are setting their sights lower: They plan to photograph and videotape their voyages and to sell the results back on Earth. Among other uses, Trans Orbital hopes to turn those photos into a more low-key form of space tourism: a video game that simulates a space journey for moon- dreaming couch potatoes couch potato An Americanism for a sedentary person, usually ♂, whose predominant non-work activity consists in lying on a couch, watching TV. See Television intoxication 'syndrome.'. Cf Vigorous exercise. .
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Author:Walker, Jesse
Publication:Reason
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:273
Previous Article:No dollars or sense. (Edison's Bad Math).
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