Recent comments by a NASA official suggest the space agency is preparing to get back to the Moon, but with a little help from the private sector.
As NASA readies for deep space, it first needs to test equipment closer to home. Still without funding to do so, one official suggests inviting private companies to the table for robotic missions to the Moon.
However, Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan says talk is cheap.
“I want to see someone commit to a goal, commit this nation to a mission, but unfortunately I don't think that's going to happen at best for another generation,” Cernan tells KTRH News.
Industry analyst Keith Cowing of nasawatch.com agrees with Cernan, adding he believes the space agency is starting to feel left behind.
“If you don't do something for a while, the people who did it retire and suddenly you realize hey, we're a space agency and we don't have a lot of people who can draw a rocket ship on the back of an envelope and build it,” says Cowing.
Still, Cernan thinks NASA has a lot to offer even if the government funding isn't there.
“No matter what we do in space in the future, it should have some qualified NASA oversight,” he says.
Just last month, China launched a rover to the moon, and Japan has shown interest too.