SCIENCE ALERT – MIKE MCRAE
Welcome to Lunar Park. You’ll find the ice melting and filtering plant to your left. Low-G tennis is up there on the crater rim. Oh, and here’s the passkey to your new robo-fab domicile.
Visions of lunar life are a perennial of science fiction fashion, but the European Space Agency (ESA) takes its “Moon Village” scheme very seriously as the next leap forward in space exploration. As time passes, however, there remains the question on just who will get the ball rolling.
Presenting at the 2017 European Planetary Science Congress in Riga, Latvia, ESA Moon Village ambassador Bernard Foing set the scene for community life on the surface of our planet’s largest natural satellite.
And we’re not talking stuffy white-walled laboratories and machines that go ping.
Starting from a colony of six to ten pioneering astronauts laying down the foundations, Foing suggested the numbers could boom.
If we get cracking, we could have a decent little colony of a hundred or so underway by 2040.
“In 2050, you could have a thousand,” Foing told AFP, explaining how families would naturally be joining long-term lunar researchers and developers.
Naturally you couldn’t have families without expecting the odd space baby to be conceived.