The Future of the Moon

By Matthew Juber With NASA’s recent LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission, and the fact that they finally found the water they were looking for on the Moon means that our loveable little natural satellite might finally have a purpose in the foreseeable future. Since the dawn of humanity, people have looked up

By Matthew Juber

With NASA’s recent LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission, and the fact that they finally found the water they were looking for on the Moon means that our loveable little natural satellite might finally have a purpose in the foreseeable future. Since the dawn of humanity, people have looked up at the Moon, but now it seems that it’s possible for people to be living on the Moon, and looking down at us here on Earth.
Now that water has been confirmed on the Moon it gives NASA an even greater cause to establish a permanent presence there. They say that they plan on building a moon base within the next 20 years, with the aid of the new Ares V rocket. Taking what seems to some to be a step backwards, the Ares V is more like the Apollo moon landers than the current shuttles. Of course there have been many massive improvements in the design, and fuel efficiency.
But why do we want to establish a base on the moon? There are of course many reasons; Mars, Water, and genuine curiosity. If we can make a launch pad on the moon for other spacecraft it would dramatically increase the distance we could travel through space. The reason for this is that the current spacecraft are very inefficient with fuel consumption, and easily more than half the weight of the ships themselves that fly into space are fuel, which means that they spend fuel to move fuel, and it’s just highly inefficient. But, if we could launch ships from the moon, we’d have a lot less gravity to fight and wouldn’t have to spend 88% of our fuel just getting our ships in orbit.
Of course there is a “dark side” of the moon… with China attempting to militarize the final frontier, the moon base may end up turning into a military stronghold. Even though both the United States and Russia both have an agreement of not militarizing space, China has never made any such claim. But none of this has been confirmed, and the moon may remain innocent for a short while longer. Hopefully.

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