High Moon

Satellite in front of the Moon

Who’s going loony this time?


(repeat) “The moon or bust” is now officially bust.  No private company was able to meet the Lunar X Prize challenge, and arrange for a launch by the 2018 deadline.  The $30 million award goes unclaimed, but the race to the moon is still on. Find out who wants to go and why this is not your parents’ – or grandparents’ – space race.

With or without a cash incentive, private companies are still eyeing our cratered companion, hoping to set hardware down on its dusty surface.  Meanwhile, while the U.S. waffles about a return to the moon, India and China are sending a second round of robots skyward.  And a proposed orbiting laboratory – the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway – may literally put scientists over, and around, the moon.

The moon continues to entice sci-fi writers, and Andy Weir’s new novel describes a vibrant lunar colony. Its premise of colonists launched from Kenya is not entirely fiction: the nation is one of many in Africa with space programs.


  • Andy Weir – Author of “The Martian” and, most recently, “Artemis
  • Allen Herbert – Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for NanoRacks, LLC and author of an article about emerging space programs in Africa. News site for African space news.
  • Greg Schmidt – Deputy director of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Jason Crusan – NASA Director of Advanced Exploration Systems for Human Space Flight

Originally aired April 23, 2018