In what many experts are calling the most amazing scientific announcement in the last 1000 years (and by experts I mean the guys in my D&D guild); a joint effort has been announced between Russia and The European Space Agency to explore the dark side of the moon, and eventually, to establish a permanent base on the moon’s surface.
According to a story published Monday morning in RT, “The European Space Agency (ESA) is set to join Russia’s ambitious plan to colonize the Moon, with an announcement that it will provide key tech for a planned exploration mission in 2020, and possibly help construct a permanent outpost.”
Just reading that sentence made my nerdy palms sweat, and it only gets better from there.
According to RT, Europe has been aware of Russia’s desire to land to colonize the moon by 2030 for some time. But in this most recent announcement it becomes clear that they are finally taking concrete steps to join in the cause.
The story goes on to describe the Luna 27 device that is intended to be the first step of Russia’s long-term plan to colonize the moon.
“Announced by Russia’s space agency Roscosmos last November, Luna 27 is a robotic lander that will land in the South Pole–Aitken basin, a giant crater on the dark side of the Moon, and prospect it for resources that could be utilized by future moon-dwellers,” the article said.
According to RT the plans are still in the design stage and Europe will not officially ratify its involvement in the project until 2016.
However, should Europe choose to become involved this will mark the most significant step into the science-fiction world of outer-earth colonization ever. And most of the current interest in the project seems to be driven by one man in particular: Johann-Dietrich Woerner.
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Woerner has been serving as ESA’s chief since July, but he is known as, “a passionate advocate of Moon colonization, and has himself outlined proposals for a international space village that echoes Russia’s vision,” according to the RT story.
“This whole series of missions feels like the beginning of the return to the Moon but it is also starting something new in terms of overall exploration of the Solar System," said lead ESA Luna 27 engineer Richard Fisackerly.
In my opinion 2030 can not come soon enough.
Banner image credit: @planetpartition on Twitter.