We are perhaps taking the first step in colonizing our Moon. The last time a human visited the Moon was in 1972, since then only unmanned spacecraft have visited the Moon. Wired.com recently reported that two companies are working together to create a scientific and commercial base on the moon, International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA ) is heading off the project with help from Moon Express are aiming to start construction as soon as 2016.
The two companies will start off by placing two telescopes as well as a 2-meter radio antenna atop a lunar mountain located on the moon’s south pole. This location would give optimal viewing of the center of the Milky Way galaxy giving us perhaps the clearest view possible .
One main concern will be how to design equipment to sustain the harsh temperatures of the moon, reaching highs over 120 degrees Celsius in the sun, and lows below -170 degrees Celsius. Electricity shouldn’t be much of an issue, as they will be able to collect plenty of energy from solar panels.
Moon Express, which aims to become the FedEx of the stars has yet to land a lunar lander on the moon as of yet, but they aim to land their first payload in 2015 in order to win 20 million dollars from the Google Lunar X-Prize. As well as delivering ILO-X, a small telescope in order to test ILOA’s hardware as well as software.
We have so much that we have yet to discover on Earth, I can’t help but wonder why all of this interest in the Moon, and Mars, why not build factories under the ocean.
Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Wired.