You know the cool future we all thought was coming is finally getting closer when it’s not just your drunken roommate babbling about putting a colony on the moon. Yes, to the delight of geeks, nerds, sci-fi buffs and scientists across the country, this week a team of senior staff members from NASA’s Space Portal Office published a paper imploring NASA to create a Lunar base.
They say it could be done soon, costing around $2 billion a year for five years. Incredibly, this would be less than that magical wall that Donald Trump says he would have the Mexicans pay for to build on our border. To our ears, a lunar base is about a billion times cooler than Senor Trump’s wall, which is about as likely to be built as the chance of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men putting Humpty Dumpty together again after he falls off such a wall.
The scientists claim it’s both affordable and technologically doable, stating that “using best practices extracted from its build and operation, and combined with the current and emerging capabilities from the traditional and emerging aerospace industry, the Lunar Station is the logical next step in space development.”
The fact various European, Chinese and Russian space agencies are already exploring such things is another element as well. “A clear, achievable, and highly engaging near-term next step is also essential for NASA to maintain its relevance to the US public, its leadership in the international community, and its technical cutting edge.” Which is another way of saying “In your face, Putin!”
Another key reason they say such a base should be built is to encourage businesses to figure out a way to make commercial enterprises in space. “In order for lunar development to become a reality in the near term, there is a clear need for the government to make key investments to lower technical and financial risks. Once this occurs, then the private sector can step forward and make the investments necessary to grow and expand the lunar economy.”
Ready for the best part? They go on to say “As transportation to and from the Moon becomes more frequent and cheaper, the lunar tourism mark should begin to emerge and could become a significant source of income in the future.”
Lunar tourism? Hello – next to free beer, hot chicks, or no school, we doubt there’s a better couplet of words you’ll encounter this week.
Source: Factor Magazine