Despite the fact that Moon is only three days away by rockets, NASA may be pondering about whether or not to establish a "long term" presence on the Moon via 6 month lunar missions.
(Physorg.com) The US space agency hopes to build moon bases that can house astronauts for stays of up to six months, with an intricate transportation and power system, Carl Walz, director of NASA's Advanced Capabilities Division, said Friday.
NASA is examining different designs for lunar outposts but that they could be inspired by the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), he said.
"We need to establish a long, extended presence on the moon, up to six months -- same as the time we spend at ISS," Walz, a veteran astronaut, told AFP during a forum on the future of NASA at the University of Miami.
"I would anticipate that we would build something similar as what we are building for the ISS, but maybe something different," he said.
Whether NASA pursues using inflatable space bases or nomadic ones, a six month stay on the Moon could ultimately open up the door for Mars 30 years from now.
While NASA's means of accomplishing this lunar goal may be subject to debate (hat tip: Space Transport News), at least the agency is at least heading in the right direction (as exploring these worlds in person is better than glimpsing at them from afar).
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