Almost 50 years since man first walked on the lunar surface, the head of the European Space Agency explains his vision for living and working on the Moon.
Johann-Dietrich Woerner believes the next giant leap for humankind could be an international collaboration of space faring nations in the form of a Moon village. This village would be a permanent lunar base for science, business, tourism or even mining.
Woerner explains how using the Moon’s own natural resources could help build and sustain a base by 3D printing a structure or building element.
Robotic rovers could inflate protective domes for astronauts. He also discusses the potential hazards of living on the Moon as well as the possible locations of he lunar base and the advantages of a new global space project.
From a scientific perspective, the Moon is truly fascinating, firstly as an archive of Earth’s early history, but also because you could site a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon and stare deep into the Universe without any interference from humanmade signals.
For future space missions, you could develop and test methods based on new technologies, such as additive manufacturing, that could potentially make use of locally available resources.It is clear that in the future, humans will take part in crewed flights farther into the Solar System, so the Moon Village could also act as the perfect springboard and testing ground with that objective in mind.