A village on Moon after Rosetta
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoAfter Europe terminates its Rosetta mission, the world’s first-ever orbit and landing on a comet zipping through space, what can we look forward to next in the exploration of faraway frontiers?
Dismissed as “crazy” by some, the European Space Agency’s new boss hopes to pioneer a research village on the Moon, a multinational project to replace the International Space Station which is currently envisioned to operate until 2024. Jan Woerner has put his proposal, though still in its infancy, to the bosses of other space agencies, seeking a joining of forces to build a base for lunar exploration by humans and robots, and possibly even a mining site. Such a base could also serve as a stopover for spacecraft to and from destinations further afield, such as Mars. NASA has ambitious plans to capture a boulder from an asteroid and move it into orbit around the Earth’s Moon for close-up study. Once there, it plans to send two astronauts to collect samples from the boulder wearing spacesuits designed for deep space missions. This would help prepare for future missions to obtain, and return, samples from Mars, for example.
Further asteroid analysis may help piece together the origins and evolution of our planet and its neighbors