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NASA has announced a schedule and plan for the creation of a lunar base within 16 years as a precursor to establishing a base on Mars. Space agencies from Europe, Japan, India and China have ...
NASA has announced a schedule and plan for the creation of a lunar base within 16 years as a precursor to establishing a base on Mars. Space agencies from Europe, Japan, India and China have expressed support for the NASA plan and/or their separate plans for a lunar base. This plan to explore and inhabit the Moon and then Mars is driven by the triple goals of scientific research, lunar/asteroid resource extraction and saving the earthbound human species from eventual extinction by asteroid/comet impact or super-volcano eruption. This paper proposes the application, on the Moon, of equipment and mining methods already well proven on Earth in very cold and dusty environments. The authors present an innovative combination of existing technologies for exploration and mining, including: mobile equipment, spare parts, sample analysis, remote controls, semi-autonomous controls, remote equipment "health" monitoring, real-time precision location and guidance, and the use of broadband WiMAX for communication to and from the proposed lunar base and Earth's Internet.
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