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Just six months of NASA's budget would pay for a lunar base?

25 Mar 2016, 14:08 UTC
Just six months of NASA's budget would pay for a lunar base?
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There seems to be a lot of deep thought going on about the Moon recently, and the latest is that the New Space journal has published a special edition (edited by Christopher P. McKay and Alexandra Hall of NASA) looking at how much it would cost, and how long it would take, to set up a International Space Station style base on the Moon. Above: An astronaut working on the exterior of the ISS. Courtesy of NASA.Their conclusions are..... fairly surprising: Rather than the many tens (often hundreds) of billions often quoted for a Moonbase, the workshop has concluded it might be possible for a total cost in region of $10 billion. What's more, it could be done for that cost as soon as 2022. If this analysis pans out it could have a serious impact on the (seemingly never ending) arguments over NASA's exploration priority's*. As professor Chris McKay put it  ‘‘Wouldn’t there be much less argument over Moon versus Mars if the lunar exploration piece was much cheaper?’’ The papers are free to read, and go into the costs, the site and construction methods, and aims of such a base. One noteworthy conclusion they come to is that the aim of the $10 billion ...

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