A recently concluded panel discussion that involved 15 of the world top space agency saw the owners agreed upon the fact that initial missions to the moon can help in making progress for initiating voyage to Mars. The panel discussion session was held at the 33rd Space Symposium.
According to Space News, Jan Woener, director general of the European Space Agency, says that though a journey to the moon can be considered as an intermittent step on the way to Mars, it also has many special opportunities to offer. He also says that a lunar facility dubbed "Moon Village" is in prospect to be built in the coming years. He elaborates that the "Moon Village" is a part of the overall strategy undertaken at the Space Symposium.
Reportedly, the China National Space Administration has also endorsed the "Moon Village" concept. This will include plans for a series of robotic missions to the moon in the forthcoming years. China's first sample return mission known as "Chang'e-5", scheduled to launch in November, will also be a part of the concept, declared the organization.
According to Futurism, International Spacecraft Working Group (ISWG), the agency behind the International Space Station (ISS) is already looking for a viable option to replace the ISS, which will be decommissioned in 2024. The agency called for a meeting in order to discuss the possibility of building a space outpost in the Moon orbit. The meeting also saw the participants agreeing to have a tentative orbit trajectory by 2018.
As per experts, a space station in the lunar orbit might contain a number of difficulties. However, it is considered to hold much more opportunities for testing technologies to facilitate deep space missions and significant scientific potential. Besides, it might also help in studying the natural satellite in a better way. Experts also opine that a Moon space station can also be considered important for the initiation of a mission to Mars.
A space station in the lunar orbit can also facilitate benefits like good communication with earth, ample sunlight for solar panels, and the usage of lesser amount of fuels for departing spacecrafts. Despite certain drawbacks, there are plans already made to construct a Moon space station by 2020. This might also help in conducting mission to Mars by 2030.