ACCOMMODATIONS for extended stays on the Moon are in the research and development phase.
Private space companies and government agencies are exploring plans for permanent housing in outer space and on the Moon.
Nasa is eyeing a large crater near the Moon’s south pole as a potential site for a lunar base[/caption]
Plans for the construction of a permanent lunar outpost were first conceptualized and proposed to the US government in the 1990s.
Though the plan was eventually shelved, space has become much more accessible in the years since.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully built a reusable rocket. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin just pulled off their fourth space tourism mission.
And Nasa’s Artemis space program is one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived, $35billion dollar budget and all.
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The frequency of launches, both manned and unmanned, have altered the expectations for permanent space outposts in the next decade.
SpaceX director Nicholas Cummings told reporters the company hopes to develop a lunar base “staffed by hundreds or thousands of scientists and explorers.”
Nasa supports the idea, and developed a lunar sustainability report that advocates for the establishment of a Moon base that can house researchers for up to 45 days.
Despite the already lofty ambitions, some think humans will outperform what’s already on the docket for private and government-sponsored space travel.
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Dr Gail Iles, a physics expert and science correspondent for 3AW said “In ten years time I believe we’re going to have a NASA moon base, a Chinese moon base, and we’re going to have at least two other commercial moon bases” for tourists.
The hype surrounding these projects is real – consider the supporting infrastructure being added to Earth’s orbit.
Blue Origin is racking up partnerships to build the Orbital Reef, a permanent space station open to space tourists and researchers.
Meanwhile, Nasa is working in tandem with SpaceX to construct Gateway, another permanent module that could act as a pitstop for missions to the Moon and/or Mars.
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But otherworldly projects are not being well received in all circles.
The use of public funding in these endeavors has some arguing against allocating resources to ultra-rich space tourists.
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