Space enthusiasts like me are wondering what the future of the space program is going to be like and especially with manned space flights and the chance of setting up base outside of our planet. Under the Obama administration, there really has not been much importance place on the space program and it has been dwindling.
In comes Newt Gingrich with his pledge to have a Moon Colony by the end of his second term in office in 2020. I am not a big fan of the former Speaker and most political analysts would agree that his campaign has been mostly negative, but this really feels like music to my ears. But is it really possible is the question on everyone’s minds.
The costs are going to be too much for NASA as it is estimated that even placing a four-person station would cost about $35 billion. Additionally, astronomer Phil Plait who came up with this figure states that it would cost just over $7 billion to keep things going on the Moon base. This will be a problem to convince taxpayers to come up with that kind of money and when looking at the private sector I don’t see any investor who might be willing take this on.
Basically, the cost is a barrier but as a businessman I also like to take into account what can be gained and whether any revenue can be generated or other type of assets procured. The Moon is a great place to start mining for resources with its iron source and it also has a lot Helium-3 that can utilized to fuel clean fusion reactors. In addition to these types of resources that are not easily found on Earth, there is also the chance to really learn more and innovate in various ways.
For one thing, a lunar base experiment could teach us a lot about self-sufficiency and to see what type of technology can be developed as a result to help in saving energy and improving solar panels, etc. I think we need to get serious about not relying so much on the Earth as it is pretty obvious that at the rate of population growth and the depletion of resources, we have to start somewhere.