NASA has faced quite a setback as its partner in space exploration, the ESA, plans on a moon mission instead of a quest for Mars.
NASA wants to make Mars the next goal for its space missions. China and Russia prefer the moon instead as a valid exploration destination. But now it seems they have company in the form of ESA, which was previously NASA’s partner.
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The ESA has demonstrated in a recent video titled “The Moon Awakens”. The plan is to build a colony on the moon by the end of the decade. And the trips will start via the ISS.
This space quest will not be competitive. Instead it will keep the watchwords of cooperation, harmony and peaceful coexistence as its main objectives. An infrastructure will get built through which extensive R&D will occur.
Human beings will extend their reach beyond their grasp. The moon will be the ultimate destination where human beings will start to migrate in the future.
The only mention of Mars is in the form of a passing remark that the moon will serve as a base for further exploratory missions to the other planets of the solar system.
It is a crucial time for NASA since the presidential elections are coming up soon. The new president who occupies the White House will bring in a new NASA administrator in tow.
President Obama had put the moon on the back burner. But this new administrator may not think likewise. Many Republicans want to mine the moon for its precious resources.
President Obama said in his 2010 speech that as far as the moon was concerned “we have been there before.” But now that the ESA has got so many other partners such as Russia and China on its side in the moon mission, NASA is left high and dry.
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Ideas for a Moon Village like our Global Village seem a part of the ESA’s plans. The goal is self-sufficiency in the context of space. And mining the various regions of the moon for minerals and other valuable materials is also a major objective of the ESA. NASA is on its own from now on.