Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

Should the European Space Agency build a colony on the far side of the Moon?

Posted in Science on 14th Jul, 2015 12:04 AM by AlexMuller

Professor Johann-Dietrich Woerner has been in his new job as Director General of the European Space Agency (Esa) for a week. In charge of a €4.4 billion annual budget, the former Chair of the German space agency is ultimately responsible for everything at Esa.


Europe’s new observation, weather, communication and navigation satellites; astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS); missions to Mars, Mercury and Jupiter; and a sleepy lander on a duck-shaped comet all come under his remit.


When I ask him about his intentions for Esa, I expect a predictable and politically nuanced answer about the economic and social benefits of space or maybe the importance for science of exploring the unknown Universe. Instead, Woerner surprises me with a vision for a future of space exploration that is both ambitious and audacious.
“We should look to the future beyond the International Space Station,” he tells me. “We should look for a smaller spacecraft in low-Earth orbit for microgravity research and I propose a Moon village on the far side of the Moon.”
Just the sort of daring vision that took Nasa from a standing start to the Moon in the 1960s, but today, possibly constrained by its political masters, the US space agency appears to be lacking ambition.
“A Moon village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church and a town hall,” says Woerner. “This Moon village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites.” There are good reasons, he says, for going back to the Moon for science as well as using it a stepping-stone to further human exploration of the Solar System.
“The far side of the Moon is very interesting because we could have telescopes looking deep into the Universe, we could do lunar science on the Moon and the international aspect is very special,” he explains. “The Americans are looking to go to Mars very soon, and I don’t see how we can do that, before going to Mars we should test what we could do on Mars on the Moon.”
For example, Woerner suggests, the technology being investigated by Nasa to construct a Mars base using a giant 3D printer would be better tried out on the Moon first. Learning to live on an alien world is going to be tough, but the challenge would be a lot easier, particularly in an emergency, if the extraterrestrial community is only four days away from Earth rather than six months.

Tags: moonspaceESANASAMarsmoon basespace exploration

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-03-19 21:43:31
    Artificial Intelligence can spot signs of Alzheimer’ more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-19 21:36:26
    Bitcoin may not last, but blockchain could be the real more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-18 20:36:22
    Study suggests our biological ageing is slowing more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-18 20:25:57
    NASA's plan to bat away Earth-bound more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-18 20:21:05
    Nearly 7,000 New Craters Discovered On Moon By AI more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me