Barely a day after the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11, reports claim that NASA might be going back to the moon for the second time. It might seem surprising to some that humans have not stepped on the moon since Neil Armstrong’s exploration mission back in 1969.
Back then, it was barely believed that such a feat was even possible, but we have advanced beyond it, now taking trips further into space, expanding the number of satellites and having our own International Space Station there for support that has seen great progress throughout the years.
Even if our space program has seen great technological and scientific advancement, the return to our natural satellite has been deemed as a moot point, due to the elevated cost of exploring something that could be observed from our own planet with high end telescopes or investigated by man-driven machines. NASA, along with many other organizations concerned with space exploration have focused more on black holes and Mars.
However, recent reports have NASA investigating the prospect of a new mission to have man step on the moon again, and quite possibly to make a permanent base which will further our efforts for deep space exploring. Due to efforts from NextGen Space, the estimated cost for another trip similar to Apollo 11’s would cost $10 billion, which could be achievable if two separate companies come together with $5 billion each.
Plans for a lunar base have also approximated the necessary funds to be around $40 billion, but the potential perks might be that costs could be cut for every other following mission. The permanent based is planned to be managed by four astronauts, possibly to be a main stop for fuel on the way to deep space exploration.
It will lower the risk for missions trusted with the task of further investigating our most similar planet, Mars, by eliminating fuel as one of the possible problems.
According to the study, taking man to the moon and back again might be possible in the next five to eight years, with plans of constructing the Evolvable Lunar Architecture (ELA) in between 2030 and 2035, which might provide substantial cost cutting services for future exploration.
In spite of the large sums required for such a feat to be achieved again, reports have given good news that it’s already in NASA’s budget and that the plan for the second moon landing might already be carved in stone.
Image source: armaghplanet.com