After much brainstorming by the ESA it was decided that a settlement on the moon was the way ahead for space exploration. The ISS would than be dysfunctional for all purposes.
Does a village on the moon seem like the stuff that dreams are made of? Well, think again since it could very well be an actuality within the next decade and a half.
That is if the bosses at the ESA are successful in persuading the rest of their peers. A plan exists (although currently it is only on paper) to replace the ISS with a village on the moon.
"I looked into the requirements I see for a project after ISS. As of today, I see the moon village as the ideal successor of the International Space Station for (space) exploration," Woerner said on Friday at a press conference in Paris.
Many robotic devices and 3D printers will get employed to construct the moon village out of moon dust. And the ISS will automatically be defunct and thus go into the dustbin of history.
This moon village will be a major project after the chapter of the ISS is closed. As a new venture after so many years of the ISS being in service, it is hoped that the moon village will be viable and the first step in the colonization of other worlds.
Eventually, the goal is the planet Mars. Many nations and agencies such as the ESA, NASA, Russia and China will participate in the construction and rehabilitation of the moon village.
Equipment as well as personnel will be lent for the project. This will all be possible thanks to the experiments being done in physics and biology aboard the ISS.
The head of the ESA has said that if any other better ideas were given they would definitely be considered. But currently there was no better idea than this one and so it would be implemented.
Countries like the US had wanted to continue the operations aboard the ISS. But as far as Russia is concerned, it wants to construct its very own space station from scratch.
Members of the ESA have queried whether the ISS would serve any useful purpose in the next half a decade or so. It seems to have served its purpose and its time is up as far as its usefulness is concerned.
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We have to move forward and look to further goals than the current ones. To get stuck in a rut is not the answer as far as space exploration is concerned.