Days after it was reported that China is likely to shake hands with European Space Agency for a project that sends humans to the lunar surface and allow them to settle there in a ‘Moon Village’, the development has now been confirmed. Both Chinese and European space agencies have reportedly started discussions on their collaborative projects for human settlement on Moon.
The development comes at a time when countries including the UAE are looking forward to build ‘City on Mars’ or ‘Human colonies on Mars’.
Coming back to the ‘Moon Village’ project, it has been reported that the space agencies of China and Europe held a meeting where discussions to build a human outpost on the lunar surface were top on agenda.
Johann-Dietrich Worner, the director general of European Space Agencies had proposed a construction of ‘Moon Village’ on Mars.
According to reports, the ‘Moon Village’ will serve as an international launching pad for future missions to Mars. It will also be used for the development of space tourism.
Apart from the construction of the moonbase, China and Europe will reportedly collaborate on several other joint endeavours.
Chinese state media has reported Tian Yulong, the secretary general of China’s space agency, about the ongoing talks between the space agencies of the two countries. Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesperson for the European space Agency further confirmed the claims of Yulong.
“The Chinese have a very ambitious moon programme already in place. Space has changed since the space race of the Sixties. We recognise that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do international cooperation,” news agencies quoted Hvistendahl.
About the Moon Village
Worner, who proposed the Moon Village, said the term “Moon Village” was wisely chosen in order to help people understand about the outpost. “A village is something where different people are gathering with different capabilities, different opportunities, and then they build a community,” he said.
The Moon Village proposal is along the lines of NASA’s aim of sending astronauts to Mars by the end of the 2030’s.
"Moon Village" will be a potential international launching pad for future missions to Mars, ESA had said earlier describing the project. But the head of the ESA had last year elaborated on plans to build a village on the moon.
Since its first manned spaceflight in 2003, China has ramped up its space program. The 2003 launch was more than 42 years after a Soviet cosmonaut became the first to reach orbit.
This month, an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to dock with currently unoccupied space station was launched by China. China has plans to launch the first mission to the far side of the moon next year.
“The future of space travel needs a new vision,” said Jan Woerner.
The concept is a base for lunar exploration by human beings as well as robots. It would act as a stopover for spacecraft, and become a 'village' with mining and even tourism.
“The future of space travel needs a new vision.Right now we have the Space Station as a common international project, but it won't last forever,” said Woerner.
“If I say Moon Village, it does not mean single houses, a church, a town hall and so on. No, that would be misleading.“
“My idea only deals with the core of the concept of a village: people working and living together in the same place. And this place would be on the Moon.”
“In the Moon Village we would like to combine the capabilities of different spacefaring nations, with the help of robots and astronauts. The participants can work in different fields, perhaps they will conduct pure science and perhaps there will even be business ventures like mining or tourism.”
According to Woerner, the Moon Village could even help humans get to Mars.
“The Moon Village would also act as a 'pit stop' for the further exploration of the Universe,” he said. “Esa is eager to fly to Mars as well.“
“For more than a decade, we have had a very successful spacecraft orbiting there. And now, with ExoMars, two unmanned missions are aiming at martian orbit and the surface. Yes, the Americans want to send astronauts to Mars one day, but today's technology isn't prepared for this trip yet."
“For example, we must develop countermeasures against the cosmic radiation that endangers the health of humans on long space trips. And we have to learn how to endure longer periods of time in space, not only in low orbit as on the Space Station.”
“This is where our Moon comes into play – it is the perfect stepping stone to Mars.”