The moon is the best backup plan for humankind and should be the only plan for NASA

In Opinion
(Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Humankind has always had an obsession with the moon. Now, there’s a chance that it can actually be inhabited. But only if people from different countries work together. The result would end in a permanent base on the moon, called the “moon village,” according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

Possible stakeholders in this venture include the ESA, NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos, according to Sputnik News. Different space communities need to come together for projects of this magnitude in order to ensure a plausible and tangible home for future generations.

Although the idea of a moon base for humans is still just a concept, it is being called a “permanent concept,” said Johann-dietrich Woerner, the director general of the European Space Agency, in a press conference.

While the moon rests a mere 400,000 kilometers away, NASA has its eyes set on finding a questionable habitat on Mars, 401 million kilometers away.

NASA was working on a moon base in 2006, but a project called the Constellation Program was shut down in 2011 due to budget cuts, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

“It’s really expensive to get to the moon. It’s way more expensive to get to Mars,” said Dustin Johnson, a physics teaching associate and a graduate student conducting research on astronomy and astrophysics at Cal State Fullerton.

Johnson, a fan of both projects, said in an email that both the moon and Mars would either set up human space exploration for the future or at least put humans onto another planet. Mars, however, is a far riskier factor to play.

On top of that, technology isn’t advanced enough to terraform Mars and make it habitable like Earth. Johnson said that the space agencies of the world absolutely need to work together to make manned exploration a feasible endeavor.

A project that’s co-produced by such a diverse group could prove to have better results than when each space agency works alone. Chances to share knowledge and learn from others will further the human race’s survival rate.

“I think all the agencies agree that they would like to work together more often,” said Geoffrey Lovelace, an assistant professor of physics at CSUF. Lovelace, who studies gravitational waves and black holes, said that the lack of funding for NASA is part of what impacts big projects like this.

Exploration involving humans in space are not only costly, but they are a point of national pride, which can make it harder for the agencies to work together.

It’s also hard to commit to long-term projects that will take decades to complete, said Lovelace. This is due to the fact that in America, the government administration changes every four to eight years.

Going to the moon is a not only a passionate step forward for science, but a necessity for humanity. Denying the pollution of our planet is causing the proactiveness of its residents to become stagnant.

The way the Earth is being sucked of all it’s nonrenewable resources, like the materials needed for stainless steel being depleted from overpopulation, is a telltale sign that it might be too late to fix the only planet we have, at the moment.

There’s no way to reverse the damage that’s been done with countless oil spills, fracking that induces earthquakes and constant wars abroad using dangerous chemicals.

Humans have also wiped out a massive amount of animal species from the planet and there are indications that the Earth may have problems with the rise in extreme catastrophic weather. Just another sign that it might be time for the human race to start figuring a way to gracefully bow out.

Woerner believes that small steps will benefit humankind, and the American government needs to follow suit. Mars is certainly not a “small step.”

Americans need a backup plan, considering they cannot even say the endeavor will even work in the first place. NASA, be a pal and extend an official hand to Europe. This is far bigger than a group science project; this is the next step in the chapter of the book of mankind.

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