The Narrow Road to the Deep Space*
Wing-Huen Ip1*
1Institutes of Astronomy and Space Science, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan
* Presenter:Wing-Huen Ip,
In the SF novel entitled “LIMIT” by Frank Schatzing, there was an interesting character, namely, a super-rich Taiwanese tycoon by the name of Rebecca Hsu, who joined the sightseeing and recreation tour to the Moon. One can guess that such a trip won’t be long in coming. In fact, the Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, just signed up the first commercial loop-around of the Moon to be managed by SpaceX. Hopping on the lunar surface as a tourist attraction might be found frequently in advertisements 50 years from now for holiday seasons as described in the new book called “ARTEMIS” by Andrew Weir. What would Taiwan do at that time? We will assess some options in initiating a compact program of planetary exploration with microsatellites and nano-satellites at national and international level. But there is little point in talking about grandiose plans by depicting the many natural wonders and far-out things on the Moon, Mars and other planets without identifying the driving force in the society. What we need is not just scientific curiosity but also entrepreneurship in private industry to sustain a space program. I would take this opportunity to describe the recent development in this direction in Singapore for comparison.

* A paraphase of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan.

Keywords: space exploration, planetary science, space technology