One Day Man Will Return To The Moon , & Will Set Up Bases & Colonies AS We Expanding Out Into The Solar System & The Depths Of Space.

764781577

One Day Man Will Return To The Moon , & Will Set Up Bases & Colonies AS We Expanding Out Into The Solar System & The Depths Of Space.

Photo by: Mark Stevenson/UIG

Mark Stevenson/UIG

What Comes After the Moon and Mars?

Space hotels may be in our future.

October 07, 2022

The Moon is all the rage these days, with NASA gearing up for its (much delayed) Artemis I launch and planning for several more to follow. The mission objectives for the series of Artemis missions are clear: develop a sustainable presence on the Lunar surface and pave the way to develop the expertise to go to Mars.

And then what? What’s the next great leap in humanity’s quest to explore the cosmos?

When it comes to just general scientific exploration, there are a few areas of the solar system that will be receiving some special attention in the coming decades. First off there’s Venus, our twisted sister of a planet. Long ago, Venus was a relative paradise, with oceans and a pleasant atmosphere. Something went terribly wrong a few billion years ago, and NASA has slated a couple of missions to explore what exactly is going on beneath that planet’s oppressive atmosphere.

At the other end of the solar system are the gas giants. While we’ve sent plenty of missions and probes to those distant worlds, we haven’t yet sent any focused on their moons. And what treasures those moons contain! Several of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, like Europa and Enceladus, are covered in thick sheets of ice, and underneath that ice sit globe-spanning oceans of liquid water. Both NASA and the ESA have missions planned in the next couple of decades to investigate those mysterious little worlds, hunting for any signs of possible life hidden deep within the ice.

As for us humans, the future is a little murkier. Mars is certainly the grand prize in the coming decades, and whatever lucky astronaut gets to land the first step will have their name inscribed in the history books. After that, if we have the drive and money, we can establish a semi-permanent presence on the red planet, rotating crews out for stints of a couple of years, keeping them working and studying in person on the Martian surface.

The other planets of our solar system are…less than hospitable. Mercury is way too close to the Sun for comfort. Venus is a suffocating hell world. The giant planets are a) far away and b) not very solid, so expect so expeditions there. That leaves humanity two options for further expansion: low-Earth orbit, and the asteroids.

Over the coming decades expect to see a proliferation of “space hotels”, habitats placed in Earth orbit, set up for visiting tourists and scientific expeditions. Think International Space Station, but cheaper and more corporate. Most of the asteroids are too far away – beyond the orbit of Mars – to establish a sustainable presence. But NASA has developed plans in the past for asteroid redirect and capture missions, which would find a good-sized rock to gently nudge into a more accessible orbit.

Naturally, hollowing out barren space rock and turning it into a habitat for humanity is pretty far-fetched given our current level of technological sophistication, but in my best estimation, it’s the next easiest thing to accomplish…after the Moon and Mars, of course.

Next Up

NASA Has Announced Plans for the Next Decade of Space Missions, And It’s Awesome

Personally speaking, I feel like we’ve been focusing on Mars a little bit too much recently. Sure, the Red Planet is all sorts of awesome – so awesome it may have once been a home for life – but with more than half a dozen orbiters, landers, and rovers, it’s certainly got its due.

What We Learn from the Lunar Surface

Sure, the Moon is cool to look at, and fun to think about it. And it literally affects us here on the Earth: without the Moon, we’d be missing half our tides, and likely our planet’s rotation wouldn’t be as stable as it is.

Ingenuity Takes First Flight on Mars

In a historic first, Ingenuity successfully flew on the Red Planet. The Mars helicopter was in the air for about 40 seconds.

It’s Time to Study Space Sexology

Scientists say the time has come to study sex in space if humanity will ever stand a chance at surviving on other planets.

MOXIE: Carbon Dioxide Turns Into Oxygen on Mars

Recently, Perseverance produced 5.4 grams of oxygen on Mars through an instrument named MOXIE. Can humans live on Mars with the help of this device? Let’s find out.

Evidence for Water on Mars Might be Clay Instead (Bummer!)

What’s shiny and lives under the Martian ice? No, it’s not a joke. It’s clay. Just…clay.

Meet Ingenuity: NASA’s First Mars Helicopter

Perseverance with Ingenuity strapped to its belly launched on July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Mars Rover and Mars Helicopter safely landed on the dusty surface at 3:55P ET on February 18, 2021, after traveling nearly 292.5 million miles.

Countdown to the Mars Rover Landing

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover and Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, are closer to Mars than ever before as touch down at the Jezero crater is scheduled for February 18, 2021. Let’s take a look back at its launch and learn how it will land on the Red Planet.

Six Planets are Retrograde, What Does that Mean for You?

Spoiler alert: It's an optical illusion.

Watch the Super Flower Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse

Those located in the Americas, Europe, or Africa can see this rare total lunar eclipse during the night of May 15, 2022.

Related To: