Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lunar outpost (NASA)
The Lunar outpost will be an inhabited facility on the surface of the Moon which NASA currently plans to construct over the five years between 2019 and 2024. On December 4, 2006, NASA announced the conclusion of its Global Exploration Strategy and Lunar Architecture Study. What resulted was a basic plan for a lunar outpost near one of the poles of the Moon, which would permanently house astronauts in six-month shifts, similar to the crew rotation aboard the International Space Station.

Reference architecture
NASA proposes six "Lunar exploration themes" to answer the question "Why should we return to the Moon?"

Human Civilization: Extend human presence to the Moon to enable eventual settlement
Scientific Knowledge: Pursue scientific activities that address fundamental questions about the history of Earth, the solar system and the universe - and about our place in them
Exploration Preparation: Test technologies, systems, flight operations and exploration techniques to reduce the risks and increase the productivity of future missions to Mars and beyond
Global Partnerships: Provide a challenging, shared and peaceful activity that unites nations in pursuit of common objectives
Economic Expansion: Expand Earth's economic sphere, and conduct lunar activities with benefits to life on the home planet
Public Engagement: Use a lively space exploration program to engage the public, encourage students and help develop the high-technology workforce that will be required to address the challenges of tomorrow.

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