Let’s play Twister, let’s play Risk, let’s land on the moon and live there for 10 to 12 years! NASA gave it a go and there are high chances for people to soon build homes directly on the moon. Humans could return to the mesmerizing, mysterious moon in the next decade and live there for a decade after. NASA has made the announcement on the 46th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11 on the lunar surface. 46 years since the first human step has been made on the moon deserved a worthy present. We could be able to wrap up everything dear, put it in a backpack and go climbing on the moon, somewhere in the future.
NASA has all it needs to land humans on the moon in the next 7 years. The guys could do us a giant favor and build a permanent base 12 years after the landing and do it all for relatively little money. In fact, they don’t need a higher budget than the one used for human spaceflight. They will be able to build “homes” on the moon by adopting the same practice they use to resupply the International Space Station. NASA is set to develop partnerships with SpaceX, the United Launch Alliance or Orbital ATK, in a public-private initiative to get humans going on the moon and wave goodbye to the people staying “down to earth”.
The cost estimates are decent to say the least, as according to the latest study references, SpaceX’s resupply costs charge NASA approximately $5000 for every kilo sent to orbit abroad its Falcon 9 rocket. Compared to the past, when the Apollo-era Saturn V used to leak $46.000 per kilo, this is pocket money.
NASA already laid out a detailed roadmap for the exact moment and the exact method needed to take the next step in performing a lunar landing. A robotic return to the moon could happen no later than 2017, if NASA embarks on adopting the plan as soon as possible.
Rovers could scout the lunar poles in search of hydrogen in 2018 and prospecting is planned to begin by 2019 or 2020. The robotic construction of a permanent base is expected to start in 2021, anticipating human landing on the mesmerizing celestial body later, that year.
ROI is out of question for the moment. The cost and risks of developing a lunar base are far beyond what would be considered profitable for business so all the investment goes into the development direction, without following a ROI business plan. We expect to hear about the man on the moon, wave from a distance and dream for the moment when we ourselves will be able to say hello to the little round light that makes nighttime more bearable.
Image Source: nationalgeographic.com