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欧洲航天局预测,月球旅游将很快成为现实

2020-1-18 14:14

由22个国家组成的欧洲航天局(European Space Agency,简称ESA)宣布,将大幅增加未来五年的太空探索和发现预算。欧洲航天局局长表示,太空成为旅游目的地的前景“肯定会到来”。


对欧洲航天局来说,去年并不是一个成功的一年,它的ExoMars着陆探测器计划在今年夏天进行开发,但由于两次失败的降落降落伞着陆系统测试,该计划被大大推迟。


由于火星着陆的机会窗口每26个月才出现一次,所以它需要美国喷气推进实验室的帮助来及时解决这个问题。


在周三于巴黎举行的年度新闻发布会上,欧洲航天局局长Jan Woerner宣布未来几年增加145亿欧元(162亿美元)的预算。这一数字几乎比2016年达成的预算高出21%。


“在一年的开始,重要的是要意识到这不是一个普通的年份。这是非常特殊的一年,”他说。“每个人都在谈论气候变化是主要的挑战。是的,它占据主导地位,但我们也面临其他挑战。”


近年来,关于太空旅行的很多讨论都围绕着旅行者付费进入太空的前景,除了英国商人理查德•布兰森(Richard Branson)的提议外,南非企业家埃隆•马斯克(Elon Musk)的太空探索技术公司(SpaceX)是其中的领头羊。


太空探索技术公司(SpaceX)希望不久就能将“龙”号(Dragon)载人飞船送上太空,这是该公司首次执行载人任务。虽然欧空局不会加入这些企业的商业太空竞赛,但维尔纳承认他们的做法是正确的,并表示欧空局将发挥自己的作用。


“我们是一个公共组织,”他说。“我们不是在扰乱商业市场,而是在支持它开发新领域。太空旅游一定会到来,不仅是在低轨道上,而且是在月球上。”


德国是欧洲太空计划的最大投资者,出资33亿欧元,超过法国(27亿欧元)和意大利(23亿欧元)。紧随其后的是英国,共投入17亿欧元。尽管英国即将在明年1月底退出欧盟,但欧盟承诺的资金数额仍高达17亿欧元。


本周早些时候,蒂姆·皮克,第一个英国宇航员前往国际空间站,种植苹果的种子,他带着他到零重力作为一个实验的一部分,英国科学家牛顿的家里,据说发现了万有引力定律,当一个苹果从树上掉落。

 

Europe's 22-nation European Space Agency, also known as the ESA, has announced a huge budget increase for its next five years of space exploration and discovery, and its director general has said the prospect of space as a tourist destination "will certainly come".

Last year was not a successful one for the ESA, with development of its ExoMars lander-rover mission, scheduled to take place this summer, significantly delayed after two failed tests of the craft's descent parachute landing system.

As windows of opportunity for Mars landings only come around once every 26 months, it has needed help from the United States' Jet Propulsion Laboratories to try and fix the problem in time.

At its annual news conference in Paris on Wednesday, ESA Director General Jan Woerner announced an increased budget of 14.5 billion euros ($16.2 billion) for the years ahead. That figure is almost 21 percent bigger than the budget agreed in 2016.

" (It) is important at the beginning of a year to think about that it's not just another year. It's a very special year," he said. "Everybody is talking about climate change as the predominant challenge. Yes, it is predominant, but we have also other challenges."

Much talk of space travel in recent times has been around the prospect of travelers paying to go into space, with South African entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX project leading the way, in addition to proposals from British businessman Richard Branson.

SpaceX hopes to send its Crew Dragon spaceship on its first crewed mission soon, and has already released a computer simulation of how it expects the experience to look. And while the ESA is not going to join these businesses in a new commercial space race, Woerner acknowledged the validity of what they were doing and said the ESA would be playing its part.

"We are a public organization," he said. "We are not disturbing the commercial market but we are supporting it to develop new fields. Space tourism will certainly come, not just in lower orbit but also to the moon."

Germany, with a contribution of 3.3 billion euros, is the biggest investor in the European space program, ahead of France (2.7 billion euros) and Italy (2.3 billion euros). The next biggest stake is from the United Kingdom, with 1.7 billion euros, a figure that has been pledged despite the country's imminent exit from the European Union at the end of January.

Earlier this week, Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station, planted apple seeds that he took with him into zero gravity as part of an experiment, at the home of British scientist Isaac Newton, who reportedly discovered the law of gravity when an apple fell from a tree onto his head.

原作者: JULIAN SHEA 来自: china daily