There are major national players in space exploration and exploitation such as the U.S., Russia, China and the European Union. There are minor national players such as India, Japan, Israel and others. And there are new players who want to get into the game such as New Zealand.
I started this blog with a series of articles about the ambitions of China in space exploration and exploitation. They are currently working on an Earth orbit space station and returning men to the Moon to staff a permanent lunar base. One part of their preparations is having people live in a simulated Moon base on Earth.
There is a big debate in the U.S. and across the globe in other space-faring nations and organizations. The question being debated is whether the focus for the next phase of the exploration of space should be the Moon or Mars. At the moment, NASA is planning to stage a manned mission to Mars by the early 2030s while other groups are calling for a return to the Moon.
Recently I blogged about six companies who were awarded grants by NASA for research on space habitats under the NASA NextSTEP program. Today I am going to write about the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NAIC) program.