Sunday, January 18, 2009

Return to the Moon: Shaping a new exploration agenda

Some view the new Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station as an analog for an outpost on the Moon. Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest and windiest of the continents on Earth, and the lest hospitable to human life. U.S. Antarctic research is carried out under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (Credit: NSF)

From the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, "Return to the Moon, Shaping a new exploration agenda"

From Marshall Space Flight Center, an excellent, brief and very informed (pdf) overview of how the Moon stands squarely in the middle of any and all attempts to practically expand manned and unmanned space exploration.

Overcoming the difficulties and achieving the promise of permanent manned habitation of Earth's Moon is the essential cornerstone, like Low Earth Orbit, the essential second step we must take if humans are to survive mass extinction, a hazard we cannot avoid by keeping all our eggs in one planet's basket.

With that comes the technological development that will answer the basic questions presented by deep space exploration. An excellent read, and heads up to Barbara A. Cohen, a fellow lunatic at Marshall, for bringing this article to our attention.

Download the pdf HERE.

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