Going back to stay, and the vision beyond

Human Exploration, Lunar Conferences Add comments

“We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.” These were the opening remarks at the NLSI Lunar Science Conference from Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames. In a time where the top NASA officials seems to be more interested in talking about politics, the statement from Pete Worden is refreshing. WIth two simple sentences he has set the long term course for US human space exploration, and clearly defined the ambitious and visionary goal that NASA Ames will work towards in the future.

By saying that we are “going back to stay,” Pete Worden not only confirms his support for the Vision for Space Exploration and beyond, but also presents a belief that the Moon is the Earths deep space harbour, the first stop on our trip to explore the habitable solar system with humans. Because staying does not only imply to go to the Moon to do science and research, staying means to create an efficient and reliable transportation link between Earth and Moon, to open up for private investments, to establish a legal regime for the Moon, and to create a local Moon infrastructure capable of producing its own resources, supporting the humans living there.

By saing “setteling the solar system” Pete Worden categorically removes any doubt about his long term goals. Settlement not only means that humans will use the Moon as a stepping stone to explore the solar system, it means that humans will live and thrive at the Moon. With this he signals that people will call Moon home in the not too distant future.

It is good to get a confirmation that the visionaries at NASA still exist, and that they are not afraid to voice their opinion.

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