Long held theories about the content of certain substances on the moon are being destroyed by the latest information brought back by satellite and spectroscopic analysis from Earth. It would appear that water, once considered miniscule in amount on the moon is found in much larger volumes than even the most enthusiastic supporter of moon colonization would have believed.
Because the moon is so close, and because other materials and minerals are known to exist there, it should be a first priority for a manned base, as a place of training and preparation for longer missions. Putting ourselves on a path to a mission to Mars without first establishing a base on the moon is folly, and I believe that most of the scientific community involved in any way with the space program would agree.
"The US Great Lakes have some competition: the moon. Yes, that old thing in the sky may hold more than all of the water contained in the Great Lakes, according to a NASA-funded study. From the article: ‘Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, along with other scientists across the nation, determined that the water was likely present very early in the moon’s formation history as hot magma started to cool and crystallize. This finding means water is native to the moon.’"
The positioning of a base on the moon would allow many things to occur in a gravity field, making them easier in many ways, but also because the field is one-sixth the strength of the Earth’s, the work could be undertaken under almost ideal conditions. It would allow much longer stays by workers, without the problems incurred by long stays in space, with near zero-gravity.
The Obama administration’s idea of making the next big push of a trip to Mars merely sets back the entire space program, and delays the real spending needed – a clever tactic for the budget watchers, but one that will put this nation far behind in space exploration, and one we can ill afford to undertake.
|I am desperately trying to figure out why Kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
With the shuttle program nearly over, having nothing to continue with shows how ill prepared we are, and how penny-wise and pound-foolish the government has been – all in the name of economy. Stack the cost of the space program against that of two ill conceived and poorly fought wars and see what comes out on top.