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NASA will launch a mission Wednesday to gather information about how humans might someday colonize the moon, the Los Angeles Times reports. A robotic orbiter will provide detailed maps of the topography and first-of-their kind peeks inside craters where ice might be hiding. “We're going to provide NASA with what is needed to get human beings back to the moon and to stay there for an extended duration,” said one mission official.
This time, we're not just going for a walkabout or to hit golf balls and cruise around in a $10-million moon buggy, as the Apollo astronauts did. Ultimately, we hope to pack up the kids and the dog and move in.
"We're going to provide NASA with what is needed to get human beings back to the moon and to stay there for an extended duration," said Craig Tooley, project manager for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, one part of the two-pronged mission.
Both of the spacecraft will be launched together with a two-stage rocket, and nearly four months from now, the agency will use the spent second stage of the rocket as a battering ram to create a crater 66 feet wide by 13 feet deep and send a 6-mile-high plume wafting into space that should provide a show for hobbyists on Earth with decent-sized telescopes.
And a bit farther away, down on terra firma, hobbyists by the thousands will be training their telescopes on the moon's underbelly.
NASA still hasn't decided which crater to pummel. It must be shallow enough that the material blasted out can rise above the rim so the spacecraft can fly through it to take measurements, Colaprete said.
Originally posted by bismarcksea
NASA? Moon colony? HAHAHAHAHAOHAHHAHA!!!!!
Yeah right folks, we will be lucky if our country holds together in the next 10 years and they are talking about colonies on the moon!
Originally posted by mpriebe81
Colonizing the moon seems very feasible to me, what with our current technologies and the exponential rate at which they have been advancing. The previous posters all have good points though: we already know that water is present, for what reason exactly are we punching this hole considering that we pretty much already know what the moon is comprised of(not to mention it's basic topographical layout), and where the heck are we going to come up with the money for such an ambitious venture?
A clever cover story to annihilate the moon's current inhabitants???
I guess we'll find out in the coming years.