Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

A Village on the Moon

By Dave Reneke

The ESA wants to build a Moon base, and the search for ET scales up

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

It’s been almost 50 years since humans have set foot on the Moon. Now, the European Space Agency is planning to go back and move in.

“Why not have a Moon village?” asked Johann-Dietrich Woerner, the new director general of the ESA. “I don’t mean a few houses, the town hall and a church – the Moon village would consist of a settlement using the capabilities of different space-faring nations in the fields of robotic as well as human activities.”

Woerner believes it’s time to start planning the next phase of humanity’s foothold in space. Technological advancements since the last man left the Moon in 1972 make a Moon settlement less of science fiction setting and more of a design and logistical problem.

Settlements could be built inside the deep craters that litter the Moon’s surface, which would protect residents from dangers like cosmic radiation, micro-meteors and severe temperatures. Indeed, most of the hardest work could be done before any Moon settlers got there with the help of drones and robots.

The first Moon settlers in the ESA’s complex would likely be scientists and researchers. Entrepreneurs are already developing ways to take advantage of the Moon’s natural resources. Earlier this year, NASA teamed up with several companies to come up with ways to mine the Moon for precious elements and materials, including gold, cobalt, iron,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.