Since the 1960’s, when NASA successfully placed a man on the Moon, more ambitious plans have surfaced (and often died) in the so-called race to ensure humanity’s dominance of the cosmos.
Recently, NASA has experienced a chaotic amount of budget cuts, management shifts, mission alterations, and more. However, a new deep-space plan with some logic and sense behind it may prove to be the next big thing in space travel.
Once we returned from the Moon, the next project vision was that we should place a base on the Lunar surface for permanent colonization. It would also serve as a launch pad for deep-space missions to Mars and beyond.
Unfortunately, the budget for an endeavor of that magnitude has never been justified, and technology isn’t advanced enough for it to be made practical. So what’s the next best idea to placing a colony on the Moon? Constructing an orbiting base around the far side of our Lunar neighbor.
The space station would be parked in what’s known as a Lagrangian point. In simple terms, it is defined as one of five points in the plane of orbit of one body around another (e.g., the moon around the earth) at which a small third body can remain stationary with respect to both. This would allow smaller countries who perhaps can’t afford complex ventures into space to use this facility for joint purposes.
Contrary to Werner von Braun’s imagining of a futuristic space station that spins to produce gravity, the moon habitat likely will resemble the current space station’s design and functionality. Since this plan is relatively new, NASA said they won’t divulge more information until after the Nov. 6 Presidential Election.
For space enthusiasts who have long expected ambitious plans of this scale, the Moon station idea will both excite and inspire. This would be the farthest from Earth any human has traveled, much less lived. It will serve as a future base of operations for deep-space missions, and as a great starting point for human expansion.
Eventually, a permanent colony will be placed on the Moon, and we will be able to travel freely between our planet and the Lunar surface, just like in the movies.
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