ESA Is Planning an International Lunar Village

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 - 4:33PM
ESA
Moon
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 - 4:33PM
ESA Is Planning an International Lunar Village
Could humans live in a multi-cultural moon village in the near future? ESA recently revealed that they are moving forward with their intention to build a "moon village," which would bring different spacefaring nations together to build a collaborative community on Earth's satellite.

The proposed outpost, for which ESA is currently looking at plans, would serve as a base for scientific, commercial, and even tourist operations. ESA also envisions the village as a stepping stone to visit other space locations, particularly Mars.
Opening quote
"I think we should go first to the moon and then further on," director general Johann-Dietrich Wörner said at the 32nd Space Symposium earlier this month (via LiveScience). "But for me, it's also a stepping-stone, a test bed ... to go further, for instance, to Mars and beyond...

"I would not call Mars the ultimate goal. I am quite sure humans will go further."
Closing quote

Wörner said that the moon is the next logical step for both scientific and commercial space endeavors, and that the moon village would bring the private and public sectors in order to assess for long-term habitability and potential resource mining.

Opening quote
"One driver of this renewed interest in the moon is to assess the economic feasibility of using lunar resources for sustaining human surface-exploration activities," ESA states in a new brochure.
Closing quote

NASA's Mission to Mars has been getting the most attention recently, which will likely continue now that SpaceX is planning a Mars mission. However, many have stated that the Moon is a more feasible and practical target, particularly when it comes to budget. Moreover, a potential moon mission could also shed light on the early formation of Earth, and possibly even the circumstances surrounding the advent of life 4 billion years ago. 

Opening quote
"[Data from moon-orbiting missions and analyses of lunar material] show that the moon is the closest place to Earth where we can find clues to the history of the solar system, including that of the early Earth and of the formation of the Earth-moon system."
Closing quote
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