Those of you who are regulars to my blog know that I love a bit of space news. Some of it is a bit far off, some of it isn’t. When I stumbled across this piece about a human outpst near the moon I wasn’t sure where to put this. On the one had we keep talking about going back to the moon and dont, but considering the rising interest in manned space missions and it’s eventual inevitablity it makes sense.
Launching space missions is increadibly expensive, forgetting the cost of the hardware and training the people launching a rocket from the Earth costs a fortune. This is becasue of the cost of getting an object out of the sticky fingers of Earth’s gravity. Lauching somehting from the moon or off the moon will be far cheaper as the is a bit less gravity to consider. What this meanreally looking into my version of the furture is that before we can launch a manned mission to Mars we need to have some kind of moon base.
This kind of project would also be a necessary dry run for many of the systems and processes that would be needed for a Mars mission. The outpost is intended to be fairly self sufficient with minimal ground support. So what this also means is that finding ways that can be used to produce spare parts could be tested and with the intention of operating robots on the moon perhaps autonomous processing and manufacturing on the moon with extraction of oxygen and fuel being tried out as well? The universe is the limit here and while this is intended to be simple and less complex that ISS what is achieved here is the first step to humanity living in space permanently. This is the first small and shaky step towards the planets and eventually the stars.
I hope it happens, I think it needs to happen.
No ownership claimed on work or images – Credit: Space.com