Our future on the moon: What will the moon look like in 2069?
Our future on the moon: What will the moon look like in 2069?
8:35

Our future on the moon: What will the moon look like in 2069?

Science
This is the moon. Well, not the moon moon, this is a seven meter wide scale of the moon that's about half a million times smaller than the real thing. It's on display here at the [UNKNOWN] Museum in Sidney to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing Yes 50 years ago we landed on the surface this thing. But we haven't been back since 1972. However, in May 2019 NASA announced they were accelerating their plans to put humans back on the surface of the moon by 2024. And that begs the question what will the moon look like in say 10, 20 30 or even 50 years time, and when a human's gonna finally live there 543210 all engine running. We have 32 minutes past the hour on Apollo 11 [SOUND] Velocity 2195 feet per second. [MUSIC] First things first, we need to get back there. Now in the 50s and 60s, NASA created a whole suite of spacecraft and captures, like the mercury capsule behind me to put people into space. This time around they're building an incredibly powerful rocket, it's known as the Space Launch System. The rocket will carry a new crew capsule called Orion to an international space station that NASA is calling Gateway. It sounds [UNKNOWN] I know. Over the next decade, NASA will build the Gateway with international partners like the European Space agency and Canada's space agency. The station will act like an outpost and astronauts staying there will be able to move between the station and the surface of the moon in reusable lunar landers. [MUSIC] Now that we've got a plan to go back and it's full steam ahead for NASA's new rocket, we can start to think about how the moon might look in say five years time. We know NASA's new programme known as Artemis is set to include at least one milestone. NASA will put a woman on the moon for the very first time. And you can imagine the billions of people around the world that want to tune into these historic first female steps on the moon. And a fundamental part of that process will be NASA's Deep Space Network. The very same network that broadcast the first moon landings in 1969. [MUSIC] It's unheralded part of the moon's future, the dishes like this one at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Australia, are the reason we get to see the moon landings at all With these huge dishes listening in, the next decade, will provide us with some of the best live images of the moon, than we've ever seen. Next time we go to the moon, we'll have full High DEF 3D images coming back, and we'll be able to receive those images with no problem at all. The technology has moved along where we can, Get far more bandwidth these days. So ->> That's Glen Nagle. He's the outreach coordinator at Canberra's Deep Space Communication Complex. Which currently transmits signals back and forth between spacecraft all across our solar system. Now Glen and the complex are going to get a lot busier as we plan to put humans back on the moon and eventually settle there. [MUSIC] Certainly this space network will be supporting those missions. Were already in training. We have been for a year for the first Adam as one mission that first test flight around moon and back. And already planning for Adam is to to send humans around the moon back or once a lunar base perhaps is established in the future, maybe somewhere down near the southern polar region of the moon. By that stage probably have a network of communication satellites in orbit around the moon. Once our communications are well and truly up and running will be into probe and explore and hunt for resources on the moon, taking advantage of the stuff that's on the moon is known as Institute resource utilization. And over the next decade, a lot of lunar science will be dedicated to try and find the moon's resource. James Carpenter of the European Space Agency, believes that at the end of the decade we might even see something that starts to resemble an Antarctic base.Initially you'll see robotic missions, which... We'll make initial measurements, decent science and new locations. Explore things like the ice that we know now is it the lunar poles. And then over time, you'll see this building up the research capability eventually with humans tending that research infrastructure, so you may be something that looks like I'm targeting and perhaps coming in the future. A sustained and sustainable research capability at the lunar surface of The water ice that researchers have found that the moon's poles may prove to be a valuable resource for humans. If you want to go even further into the solar system, as because it could be harvested and used for rocket fuel. The cost of launching water or extra rocket fuel from Earth to Moon is astronomical. But if we find and use water that's already at the moon, it's going to be much, much cheaper and we could potentially even begin to see a new type of space manufacturing take off. There are all sorts of industries that would benefit from being on the moon. And In the twenty thirties and twenty forties, lunar mining, lunar manufacturing and even lunar radio astronomy could take off. And then there's the promise of lunar tourism. In 2023 SpaceX plans to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and a handful of artists into lunar orbit. But the promise of Luna tourism may even be greater than that. And it may inspire humans to settle on the surface of the moon. I really think that the first human settlement on the moon will exist because of tourism, because that's really the only excuse for humans be wandering around on the moon. That sounds fictional to Andy Weir who based his second book, Artemis on a human pony living and working on the moon in the 2017. You know, if there was a city on the moon that's the only place you can go to just look at Earth and its entirety and watch. Now people will travel all the way across the Pacific or whatever just to go to an island to just peacefully look at the ocean. The extremely optimistic would suggest that we'll have people living on the Moon within the next two decades, but a more realistic scenario will likely see humans temporarily stay on the Moon. We'll do science, we'll understand how space affects the human body, and we'll develop the tools that help us travel further into the Solar System. Yeah, the Moon is not habitable A place to live there's an atmosphere they may be a bit of water but I believe the temporary sits it's a it's a stepping stone to where we're really focusing on which is to have a financial habitation of opinion but finding. That next destination Mars. Space agencies like NASA and commercial organizations like SpaceX are already trying to take humans to Mars within the next decade. But for us to truly colonize the Red Planet, the Moon is going to be an incredibly important test bed. If you wanna go to Mars, the Moon is the next place you're going to go. With humans, and you're gonna go there to learn what it means to live and work off world. You're gonna learn how to use local resources, how to start building things like me usability, how to creators of the cost effective and solid approach to exploration. You can then forward. That's one problem. The truth is, it's really bloody hard to predict the future. I mean, who would have thought in 1969 after Apollo 11 that we'll basically not visit the moon for 50 years. However, with renewed international interest growing in the moon is getting bigger and bigger every single day. It seems our return to the moon is imminent [MUSIC] 10 years time this scale model of the moon is not likely to change all that much. Humans would have been back to the moon, including the first woman and we manage to set up a small base at the lunar South Pole. But in 50 years time, we would completely change the face of the moon would have given it a new smile. [MUSIC] There'll be a scientific outpost, a sprawling city in fact. Where humans will work, research and live. We'll be able to pick up rocks from the lunar surface, smelt them to make metals and rocket fuel. And eventually, the moon will be a stepping stone for our farthest reaches in to the cosmos and for that reason The future of the moon was incredibly bright.

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