In this slightly dated article on Popular Science, Sarah Fecht believes that in just a few years humans could potentially set up a fully-functional and affordable moon base thanks to current technology most which has nothing at to do with space. Reportedly, self-driving cars and waste-recycling toilets are going to be "incredibly useful in space", making a moon-base an affordable reality.
"My interest is not the moon. To me the moon is as dull as a ball of concrete," says the astrobiologist. "But we're not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The moon provides a blueprint to Mars."
A lunar base would provide a valuable opportunity to test out new propulsion systems, habitats, communications, and life support systems before astronauts bring them to Mars--a 9-month trip away, versus just a few days to the moon.
The trouble is, NASA tends to think it can only afford to go to either the moon, or Mars. If McKay and his colleagues are right, we can afford to do both--it just takes a new way of thinking about it.
And speaking of space, NASA believes we will know about alien life within the next 20 years with a mission to Jupiter's moon, Europa:
To abide by international agreements, the lander would be fitted with a device designed to prevent any bacteria from Earth hitching a ride to Europa, potentially affecting the test results and perhaps even contaminating its own forms of life.
Dr John Rummel, a senior scientist at the Seti Institute in California, said it was important to “protect Europa for the Europans … not the Europeans”.
It would be "pretty easy" for bugs to survive space journeys as long as they were shielded from the sun's ultraviolet radiation, he said.
|"Kepler 186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star."|
|Colonising the Solar System|
|The Known Universe|
|The New Exoplanet We Found? Might Not Exist|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|
|“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Boardwalk Empire: Time Lapse Video|
|“Pack Behaviors in Autonomous Robots.”|
|“Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|