Jun 24, 2019 | Updated: 08:43 AM EDT

NASA's Transparency Could Win Race to the Moon

Jun 08, 2019 05:19 PM EDT

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Interviewing an astronaut
(Photo : Donna Burnett / US Air Force)
Col. (retired) Benjamin Alvin Drew, a NASA astronaut and retired United States Air Force officer, is interviewed during Gathering of Eagles in Wood Auditorium at Air Command and St

NASA -- The space agency, National Aeronautics, and Space Administration (NASA), has plans for another manned mission to the Moon within five years. This time, the team will even include a woman who is assigned to put a marker on the southern part of the moon.

Recently, NASA made this goal closer to reality by announcing the intent of the Trump government to include a $1.6 billion dollar amendment to their lunar budget. Although such would still need to be reviewed and approved by the US Congress, the agency is yet to release official estimates of how much this planned exploration by 2024 would cost.

Blue Origin has released its Blue Moon Lander in Washington, D.C. last week. The founder of this private corporation, Jeff Bezos, said that they were given hope that the lander will be used in the next mission to the moon.

"We remain hopeful that this new lunar craft of ours will be put to good use by NASA," said Jeff Bezos.

Even so, the success of such plans depends on the sustainability of the technology and the economics involved in it. The success of the space explorations conducted by the astronauts from the Soviet Union caught the world by surprise, yet an American historian, Douglas Brinkley, in his new book, the "American Moonshot," said that the secrecy in the practices of the Soviet culture might ultimately work against them. He further argues that it may be the honest and open manner of NASA's desire to reach the moon that allowed them to outrun their counterparts in the Soviet Union. In the race to the lunar surface, it looks like NASA is going to win.

Transparency has always been valued by NASA in their space exploration including missions to the moon. This is one of the practices that need to be fully embraced by commercial companies who want to take part in the mission. NASA has promoted transparency in its endeavors by openly presenting their intentions for another manned mission, together with a detailed costing.

To this day, NASA astronauts are still open to taking media interviews and answering questions about the preparations they are doing. The opposite of this usually happens when commercial space startups are asked. All too often, the rule to secrecy still applies. Although some reticence may be needed to keep some parts of the project safe from intellectual theft, an open discussion concerning the science and engineering involved in the process will open up ideas on a global scale. After all, only open communication will allow a decent exchange to benefit future programs.

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