(Mirror Daily, United States) – NASA will be alone in future missions, as the ESA is looking at the Moon instead of Mars for the next decade. That means that the U.S. might very well be undertaking the journey to the Red Planet without any help. Whether that would hinder the project or not, it remains to be seen.
In 2010, President Barack Obama stated that a future manned mission to the Moon is off the table because “we’ve been there before”. That halted any progress toward such an excursion. Instead, NASA turned its ambitious target toward Mars. It has been funding projects, research, testing, and condoned studies on potential effects on the human body. In spite of it being planned for 2030, research is well underway.
However, the European Space Agency (ESA) along with other countries such as Russia and China have the Moon in their visor. Why? The most commonly offered reason is that it’s potentially filled with resources and has the distinct advantage of actually being close. Estimations and studies claim that there are precious minerals and water ice laying across the surface of the Moon.
Thus, the ESA will instead direct its attention toward our planet’s natural satellite, releasing a new video called “The Moon Awakens” to properly display its intentions. The mission is set to launch in the late 2020s, with the aim to construct a “Moon Village” akin to a human settlement on the Moon. It will be possible through international collaboration and efforts for the purpose of creating an outer-Earth research facility.
It has been deemed as something similar to what scientists are already doing in Antarctica.
From there, scientists could conduct experiments on the Moon’s unique surface. According to the ESA, their focus will turn on its ‘dark side’ where the lack of light has allowed it to form water ice. However, they will not neglect the Moon’s side that come in contact with the Sun’s rays, where there’s ample amounts of potential for solar energy. The ESA considers that the Earth’s natural satellite is, thus, a significant part of future explorations.
Even more, it could be a “place where we can learn to move onward into the Solar System”. Given proximity and current technology, it does seem more feasible than a manned mission to Mars. However, perhaps that is where NASA will show its true prowess. There have been doubts, including from their main advisor that a 2030 mission to the Red Planet is even possible.
It remains to be seen if NASA will shift their opinion on an involvement in the mission to the Moon. It’s especially significant due to the upcoming presidential elections. With a new president, the U.S. could have a new NASA administrator which might not necessarily support Obama’s decision on avoiding the Moon.
However, Europe’s attention seemed firmly set, and it’s not on Mars.
Image source: stgist.com
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