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Return to the Moon by 2015?

Posted by Lydia on November 4th, 2008

In 2004, the Bush administration set a goal of 2015 as the year we would return to the Moon. We do know that exploration of the Moon would provide insights into lunar history as well contribute to what we know about Earth and of the history of the solar system. So, seriously contemplating the subject, I ponder several questions which remain to be answered before Scientific Lunar Colonies can be established:

  1. Is it a priority? With the world economic situation as it is at this point in time, is funding a science-based Lunar Colony worth the expense?
  2. Where does Space Exploration stand in the bigger picture?
  3. Do the world leaders have the resolve to fund and contribute jointly to the establishment of a Lunar Base Camp?

Obviously the establishment of a Lunar colony should be a multinational effort. Can we all work together to make it happen? Taking the Space Station as an example of joint international camaraderie, we would hope the answer to these questions would be an affirmative. What do you think?

… Lunar eclipse photo taken by Mr. R. Nugent of Houston, TX.

3 people have commented

Bill Fischer said,

Prioritizing human occupation of a celestial body out there begs an argument I made over 30 years ago:
Space exploration will take a necessary priority in our culture when the business/industrial sector sees celestial bodies, e.g., the Moon and Mars, as capital resources, not abstract, ‘scientific’ objects.
Example: Don’t sell Mars as a ‘terrestrial-class planet with two major satellites’; sell it as probable deposit of high-grade metal ores and possibly rare earths whose geographic size is 1.5 times the land area of the Earth.
I imagine however, that this will be viewed as blasphemy by the more purist members of the scientific community.


Marc said,

Not only the “purist members of the scientific community” but foreign ministries around the world might find such a plan to be contrary to the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Article 1:
“The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit … of all countries … and shall be the province of all mankind.”

http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/outerspt.html


Lydia said,

When I was a schoolgirl, Waaaaaaay back yonder in the 60’s, my 8th grade science teacher showed the class a deed for a “moon-acre” she had purchased. The class listened as she assured us that one day we ( humans- NOT exclusively Americans) would inhabit the moon. We discussed the importance of the Treaty that Marc mentions above.
I am sure we will soon see more debates on this subject from the two contradicting sides. -LL/


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