Human settlements in space are closer than we think. Here’s what it will look like

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From vast spaceships orbiting close to Earth to tunnels the size of Los Angeles under the surface of the moon

 European Space Agency’s plan for the Moon Village.

“We already have, or at least understand, the technology needed for a moon base,” says Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist from the University of Westminster in London. “The time frame could be in a matter of years,” he adds, “if money were no object and nations around the world were to decide that they needed to build a lunar base together.”

Prof. Dartnell is not alone in his optimism. Many scientists, space engineers and industrialists believe that humanity is on the brink of a breakthrough in settlement. Recent developments could advance the realization of this vision.

For example, a report published last month stated that the radar used by the Chinese spacecraft that was the first to reach the far side of the moon is particularly useful for locating subterranean ice layers. One day, that ice may make it possible for people to remain on the moon for lengthy periods.

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Scientists find first evidence of huge Mars underground water system

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The first evidence for a planet-wide underground water system will help aid future missions in our hunt for life on Mars.

Mars wasn’t always a dusty, barren planet.

Previous modeling has demonstrated the planet was once overflowing with water that eventually retreated under the surface. But new research details the first direct geological evidence for a “planet-wide groundwater system” explaining Mars’ watery history and providing new sites for future missions to hunt for signs of life.

The revelations come via some plucky Mars geologists and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Orbiter. The spacecraft, launched in 2003, circles the planet and is fitted with a number of high-resolution cameras constantly snapping images of the Martian surface. Researchers at the University of Utrecht, led by Francesco Salese, pored over these images, intently studying 24 deep craters in Mars’ northern hemisphere looking for signs that water once flowed there.

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European Space Agnecy wants a 3D printed building on the moon

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The European Space Agency wants to 3-D print a moon base.  But one of the biggest challenges would be the expense (in terms of energy) to get supplies off of Earth.  One way is to send as little as possible to the Moon.  Couldn’t we just make a moon base out of rock?  After all, the moon is already made of rocks. (Pics)

 

 

 

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