1986 artist concept The colonization of the Moon is the proposed establishment of permanent human communities or robot industries on the Moon. Recent indication that water might be present in noteworthy quantities at the lunar poles has renewed interest in the Moon. Polar colonies could also avoid the problem of long lunar nights – about 354 hours, a little more than two weeks – and take advantage of the sun continuously, at least during the local summer (there is no data for the winter yet). Permanent human habitation on a planetary body other than the Earth is one of science fiction's most prevalent themes. Proposals Concept art from NASA showing astronauts entering a lunar outpost The notion of siting a colony on the Moon originated before the Space Age. In 1954, science-fiction author Arthur C. In 1959, John S. Project Horizon Lunex Project Lunex Project was a US Air Force plan for a manned lunar landing prior to the Apollo Program in 1961.
Related: The Universe: Cosmology, Astronomy & Astrobiology
Extraterrestrial LifeThe official U.S. government position on extraterrestrial life and the three major efforts to search for it. Clockwise from top left: The development and testing of hypotheses on extraterrestrial life is known as "exobiology" or "astrobiology", although astrobiology also considers Earth-based life in its astronomical context. On 13 February 2015, scientists (including Geoffrey Marcy, Seth Shostak, Frank Drake, Elon Musk and David Brin) at a convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, discussed Active SETI and whether transmitting a message to possible intelligent extraterrestrials in the Cosmos was a good idea; one result was a statement, signed by many, that a "worldwide scientific, political and humanitarian discussion must occur before any message is sent". §Background §Possible basis §Biochemistry All life on Earth is based upon 26 chemical elements. Life on Earth requires water as its solvent in which biochemical reactions take place.
Bigelow Aerospace to Study Moon Base in Deal With NASABigelow Aerospace LLC, a maker of inflatable space habitats, will study the possible return of men to the moon as part of an agreement with NASA that may lead to more public-private partnerships for exploration. The company said it will identify options for government and private investments to advance human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, or more than 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) from Earth’s surface. Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace won’t be paid for work that is scheduled to be completed this year. A lunar base will be part of the study announced today by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, though the space agency isn’t planning to fund a moon mission. The deal “signals that NASA is open to working with the private sector on lunar activities even if the agency itself does not want to lead such an effort,” Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said in a phone interview.
Future Space-based HabitatsNASA's big decision: Build a moon base or lasso an asteroid?While NASA's proposed budget for 2014 unveiled this week reaffirms the space agency's ambitious plan to send astronauts to an asteroid, some members of Congress are pushing for a more familiar goal: a moon base by 2022. Skip to next paragraph Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS ofThe Christian Science MonitorWeekly Digital Edition President Barack Obama's federal budget request for 2014, released Wednesday (April 10), gives NASA $105 million to jump-start a bold plan to park an asteroid near the moon. But some lawmakers contend that the moon should still be NASA's immediate human spaceflight target. "The moon is our nearest celestial body, taking only a matter of days to reach," Rep. The bill would also give NASA's manned spaceflight efforts more direction, its sponsors say. "This legislation is not just about landing another human on the moon.
NOVA | Finding Life Beyond EarthPBS Airdate: October 19, 2011 NARRATOR: Is Earth the only planet of its kind in the universe, or is there somewhere else like this out there? Is there life beyond Earth? The search for alien life is one of humankind's greatest technological challenges. And scientists are seeking new ways to find answers. JIM GREEN (Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA): We're pushing the boundary of information of where life can exist, past the earth and out into the solar system. NARRATOR: Leading the search are sophisticated telescopes that scan the sky and an armada of robotic probes exploring the outer reaches of our solar system, all revealing the planets, moons, asteroids and comets like never before. AMY MAINZER: We can go places and see things that there's no other way we could've ever seen. JIM GREEN: The pace of discovery, just in the last couple of years, is just mindboggling. NARRATOR: Finding Life Beyond Earth, up now on NOVA. NARRATOR: But what exactly is this liquid?
Private Spaceflight Companies Eye Moon BasesHuman exploration of deep space is looking more and more like a tag-team affair, with NASA jetting off to asteroids and Mars while the private sector sets up shop on the moon. While NASA has no plans to return humans to the lunar surface anytime soon, private industry is eyeing Earth's nearest neighbor intently, said Bigelow Aerospace founder and president Robert Bigelow. "The brass ring for us is having a lunar base — as a company and in conjunction with other companies, and even other, possibly, foreign entities as well," Bigelow said during a teleconference with reporters today (May 23). Two months ago, NASA tapped Bigelow Aerospace to sound out the private sector's interest and intent in going beyond low-Earth orbit, in an attempt to help map out possible public-private partnerships in deep space. Space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow (left) discusses layout plans of the company's lunar base with Eric Haakonstad, one of the Bigelow Aerospace lead engineers.Credit: Bigelow Aerospace
NASA Astrobiology: Life in the UniverseSpace Station Astronauts Log One Million PhotosSpace Station Astronauts Log One Million Photographs April 4, 2012 -- Two Russian spacecraft -- a Soyuz and Progress cargo ship -- hang above the Earth, docked to the International Space Station (ISS) while green wisps of auroral activity complete the scene. On any average day, this photograph would be a beautiful reminder of the serenity of space and the ingenuity of mankind. But this isn't any "average" photograph.Why the USA and NASA need astrobiologyI am an astrobiologist, for 50 years an astronomer, and before that a physicist. With my colleague and friend Roger Angel, we started the process of learning how to detect Earth-like planets in 1985. I am a co-author of the NASA booklet The Terrestrial Planet Finder. I have served with scientific and technical teams to develop that mission since 1995. I have been a professor of astronomy at U. Arizona for the last 30 years, and I became P.I. for the Arizona team (LAPLACE, Life And PLanets Astrobiology CEnter) in 2003. As a professional who has moved my research area around many times, I have both been depressed and concerned about the difficulty my colleagues have in pulling together material that crosses many fields. There are many complex issues that face our country and our world today. The first activity of my Astrobiology team was to hold a graduate student conference. Neville J. Professor of Astronomy Director LAPLACE