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什么时候能在月亮上度蜜月?

Don Reisinger 2016年12月08日

也许不久以后大家就能在月球上喝酒赏地球了。

太空探索公司Moon Express创始人纳文•杰恩上周四(12月1日)接受CNBC采访时说,他相信十年后就能实现月球旅行。同时,作为首家获美国政府批准的私营登月旅行公司,Moon Express希望在帮助人们登上月球方面发挥作用。

杰恩在采访中表示:“我相信十年内,就会有位单膝跪地的绅士问他的爱人是否愿意跟自己到月亮上度蜜月。”

许多科技界人士都痴迷于太空探索。对科学和人类进步来说,太空代表着前所未有的众多机遇。大大小小的公司都在思索怎样创造出让人们进行太空探索、登月甚至登上火星的技术。还有些公司则着眼于在太空旅行乃至提供食宿方面发挥作用。

这股“淘金热”的关键在于降低太空旅行成本。杰恩告诉CNBC,虽然登月成本曾达到数十亿美元,但Moon Express明年进行的无人登月项目仅会耗资700万美元。随着成本不断下滑,他相信十年内登月成本就会降到只有1万美元。他还说,更妙的是,登上月球将只需要4个小时。

不过,登上火星才是“终极大奖”。尽管自己的公司以登月旅行为主,但吉恩在CNBC上说“火星绝对是恰当的最终目标。”对于是否愿意实施火星登陆项目的问题,吉恩的答案是“绝对愿意”。他还相信,Moon Express或许可以和伊隆•马斯克的SpaceX合作实现这个目标。

对于理论上的合作,吉恩说:“伊隆可以制造火箭,我们来制造火星车。大体上就是他负责铺设电缆,我们来管最后一个环节。”

马斯克也是电动汽车公司特斯拉的首席执行官。在推广火星旅行方面,他一直是态度最积极的公司高管之一。今年9月,他公布了火星旅行计划。马斯克说,他希望最快在2018年用“重型猎鹰”火箭把SpaceX的龙飞船送上火星。可回收火箭及其他节约成本的技术将让登陆火星的成本变得更易于承受。如果一切顺利,马斯克希望SpaceX在2024年首次实施载人火星项目,并于2025年在火星上登陆。到本世纪30年代,人类也许就能在火星上生活。

SpaceX和马斯克尚未说明是否愿意跟吉恩和Moon Express合作。

无论双方合作与否,从登陆月球到登陆火星(并返回)的飞跃,看来或许真的会成为我们生活的一部分。

译者:Charlie

审校:詹妮

Speaking to CNBC in an interview published on Thursday, Naveen Jain, founder of a space exploration company called Moon Express, said that he believes lunar travel is just a decade away. And his company, which is the first private firm to get approval from the U.S. government to secure moon travel, wants to play a role in helping folks get to the lunar surface.

“I believe in the next ten years, there is going to be a gentleman on their knees asking their sweetheart to say honey will you go to the moon with me for honeymoon,” Jain told CNBC in the interview.

Space exploration has become an obsession for many in the technology and scientific communities. Space presents an unprecedented number of opportunities for scientific and human advancement. Companies, big and small. are determining how they can create technologies that would allow people to explore space, the moon, and even Mars. Other companies are eyeing ways to play a role in space travel and even hospitality.

The linchpin for that gold rush has been the declining cost of actually getting to space. Jain told CNBC that while it once cost billions of dollars to go to the moon, his company’s unmanned mission next year will cost just $7 million. As costs continue to decline, he believes that within the next decade, getting to the moon will cost just $10,000. Better yet, it’ll take just four hours to get there, he told CNBC.

Still, Mars is the ultimate prize. And even Jain, whose company will focus on Moon travel, told CNBC that “Mars is absolutely the right place to be ultimately.” When asked if he’d like to stage missions to Mars, Jain said “absolutely,” adding that he believes Moon Express could partner with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to make that happen.

“Elon will build the rocket and we do the rover,” Jain said of a theoretical partnership. “Essentially, he lays the cables and we do the last mile.”

Musk has been the most outspoken of executives in promoting missions to Mars. In September, Musk, who also serves as chief executive at electric vehicle company Tesla, outlined his plans for traveling to Mars. He said he hopes to send his company’s Dragon cargo capsule to Mars as early as 2018 using its Falcon Heavy rocket. Using reusable rockets and other cost-effective technologies will make it more affordable to get to Mars. And if all goes well, Musk hopes to get the first human SpaceX mission off the ground in 2024 and arrive on the red planet in 2025. Humans might be living on Mars in the 2030s.

SpaceX and Musk have not said whether they would work alongside Jain and Moon Express.

Either way, it looks like hopping from the Moon to Mars (and back) might be just a part of our lives.

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