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Moon Village Could Supersede Space Station for Space Travel, Mining Helium-3 for Human Energy Needs

Oct. 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—With the International Space Station scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024, space agencies are working on a possibility of having a human colony on the moon by 2040. Bernard Foing, ambassador of the European Space Agency, talked about the Moon Village at a European Planetary Science Congress in Riga this week. He likened the situation to the growth of railways. Railway tracks were laid down, villages and businesses grew around them. Foing implied that the same could happen with the Moon Village. Starting with an initial settlement of 6-10 persons by 2030, the settlement could grow to 100 by 2040. "In 2050, you could have a thousand and then ... naturally you could envisage to having family," Agence France Presse quoted Foing as saying.

There are certain advantages to having a colony on the Moon than another orbital station in space. It is 40 times cheaper to launch a spacecraft from the Moon than from Earth, because of its low gravitational pull. Then, there is an abundance of basalt, a volcanic raw material for 3D-printing of spacecraft, and Helium-3, a rare isotope in terrestrial resources which, once mined on the Moon and sent to Earth, could be used to generate cleaner, safer nuclear energy there. Moreover, the water at the poles could be harnessed to produce oxygen and hydrogen, two gases which are used as rocket fuel.

So, there is ample opportunity for the business community there. However, the futuristic idea isn’t being accepted by politicians. "It is highly frustrating.... We still don’t have the top leaders interested," said physicist Vidvuds Beldavs of the University of Latvia.