23:28 GMT +325 February 2017
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    Moon Village, computer render by European Space Agency

    European Space Chief Claims Moon Villages to Be Established ‘Rather Soon’

    © Photo: European Space Agency, ESA
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    The European Space Agency (ESA) director called a human colony on the Moon ‘more or less fact’ in a Wednesday press conference in Paris due to the enormous amount of work being poured into a Moon village by numerous space agencies.

    Johann-Dietrich Wörner, who became the ESA director-general in 2015, foresees that a Moon base is inevitable after the International Space Station (ISS) is allowed to plummet from the sky and into the Pacific Ocean in 2024. 

    While the ISS is only accessible to the five public space agencies that built it (ESA, NASA, and the space agencies of Canada, Russia, and Japan), Wörner foresees that a Moon village to be available to anyone. 

    "It's not like the International Space Station, which is more or less restricted to the club [of public agencies]. The Moon village idea is an open idea, free and open access," he said in the Paris press conference.

    Some have proposed building the lunar colony underground, as large tunnels where lava once flowed decorate the interior of our planet's only natural satellite.

    The privatization of space exploration has seen primarily American and British companies move spaceflight away from the nation states which drove it throughout the 20th century. At present, numerous teams are competing for Google's $30-million prize to be the first to land a privately-owned spacecraft on the moon. The current frontrunner is Moon Express, which has raised $45 million to meet the Google challenge.

    Notably absent from the ISS agencies is China, but one of Wörner's key initiatives as director-general is to promote international cooperation between space agencies. In a 2016 visit to China, he said that "space is beyond all borders so let's also have the cooperation beyond borders."

    As for the United States, incoming President Donald Trump has promised to "refocus [NASA]'s mission on space exploration." He may take a cue from his supporter Newt Gingrich, who famously pushed for a moon colony during his failed 2012 presidential bid.

    In 2015, the United States congress passed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, meant to support and regulate private space companies working on goals such as passenger space travel and asteroid mining.

    Many believe that an off-Earth colony would be beneficial, as terrestrial catastrophe looms ever-closer. In a 2010 interview with Big Think, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet."

    Although the ISS has just seven years left in its lifespan, work behind a functional lunar colony would require a massive investment of both time and capital. It is unclear when such a project could be accomplished.

    No human has walked on the Moon since the final manned Apollo mission in 1972.

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    Tags:
    space exploration, moon, moon base, International Space Station (ISS), European Space Agency (ESA), Donald Trump, Johann-Dietrich Wörner
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    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      Nice dream here! Come on

      """"No human has walked on the Moon since the final manned Apollo mission in 1972.""""

      If not at all..
    • avatar
      karlof1
      A pipe dream to be sure: "free and open access"! Free!? How's that going to work? I once did heavy research on how much such an endeavor would cost and what might be done to make it economical, such as mining; same with a base on Mars. It would be far cheaper to solve our terrestrial problems than try to attempt constructing such bases.
    • avatar
      Andrew J
      Quit the deception and get real.
    • Alan Reid
      What a a load of dung. Us human persons are sick and tired of all the lofty projects and the cost to us for the entire sham. Apollo cost us huge. That stupid ISS cost even more. What use is it if the whole program of operation in space is secret and for only the precious few who guard those secrets. Man cannot live on the moon. Man cannot farm the moon. Mining on the moon is lunacy in economic terms. The moon is devoid of all the requirements for life so what is the game other than a gargantuan SCAM to rob you of your treasure and life. The silliness of this report is extreme on so many levels it boggles the mind. Radiation is forever going to limit what humans can do in space, Breaking these limits is not going to happen too easily using lies and deceit.
    • avatar
      karlof1in reply toAlan Reid(Show commentHide comment)
      Alan Reid, Bravo! I'd give you many more thumbs up than the program allows!
    • RedBanner
      "No human has walked on the Moon since the final manned Apollo mission in 1972."

      And no human will ever again walk on the Moon or anywhere else in this solar system, as long as Mankind won't grow up and learn to live in Peace with each other!

      They never returned because they have been warned that a primitive species is not welcome!
      So either we as a species Evolve and learn to respect each other and live in Peace, or until then we are grounded and we are not going anywhere!

      I suppose NASA (Never A Straight Answer) never told ESA the real reason why they never returned to the Moon, and these dreamers have no idea what's going on there and in Mars and elsewhere!
      What a bunch of idiots!
    • avatar
      cast235
      Of course, they already electing a president to take over Russian bases to. A coup d etat on the moon, to railroad them into E.U and NATO. With U.S support and minions.
      NULAND said , not PORKY or YATS.. Porky too FAT, and YATS may get dizzy
    • avatar
      michael
      so one would have to check out the esa website as the director has said absolutely nothing about the how and when...some director.
    • Abinico Arts
      Stupid to the nth degree. Moon is a deadly place - very deadly.
    • lowertonesin reply toAbinico Arts(Show commentHide comment)
      Abinico Arts, Yes. Deadly, and dead.
    • avatar
      enrique_costas
      A Moon Hotel, Astronomical Observatory and Base for space exploration.

      There are millions of consumers in the World ready to pay up to $ 25,000 for a travel to the Moon, staying a couple of weeks in the Hotel.

      In fact, there will be not just one but several Moon Hotels.
    • Adrienne Adonis
      Since 1972 no one has walked the moon ? That's kinda strange ? I guess the aliens controlling the moon calls the shots ! It wasn't too long ago that we nuked the moon for some weird reason ? Don't believe they were testing a nuclear bomb ? Something else was going on !
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