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Hovering moon base may be on NASAs horizon

RATE THIS! +6
Posted in Science on 16th Nov, 2012 05:47 PM by AlexMuller

There, the combined gravity of Earth and the moon would tug on a spacecraft with exactly the force needed for it to hover near the moon without spending fuel. This might assist human missions to an asteroid or to Mars — both on the list of NASA goals.

 

Asked about the spaceport, NASA officials would only say the agency is working towards sending a capsule to loop around the moon in 2017 and a manned mission to lunar orbit in 2021.

 

An EML-2 spaceport could also allow astronauts on the base to explore the moon using robots controlled in real time. The three-second delay for radio signals to travel round-trip between Earth and the moon makes directly controlling a lunar rover from our home planet impractical. “It’s as if you were driving drunk,” says Lester. But EML-2 is close enough to the moon to erase that obstacle.

 

Last week NASA completed a test of such technology when an astronaut on the International Space Station drove a toy rover on Earth via the agency’s interplanetary internet.

 

Similar strategies could be used on Mars, as either a prelude to or a substitute for landing humans on the surface. Having a telepresence in space could also take human minds to places where our bodies can’t go.



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