If you haven’t already heard, the new director-general of the ESA, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, is planning to build a village on the Moon, likely after 2024 once the International Space Station has been decommissioned.
- “The expression is somewhat misleading, but I like it,” says Woerner. “People believe that I want to create some houses, a street, a church, and a town hall. It’s not like that. Village for me means different actors joining together in the same place…to establish an infrastructure on the moon that has the ability to do first-class fundamental research.”
- The village will likely have a telescope to study Moon science and cosmology and use the Moon’s resources to produce its structures. Woerner also believes that space tourism will develop in the future, making the moon a prime tourist location.
- Woerner wants to use the public’s expectations for the ESA to shape their future plans. When asked about what he wants to have accomplished in 20 years, he responds, “not the Moon village, but that I was part of the paradigm shift to open the space agency to be more interactive with the general public.”
NASA has also expressed interest in returning to the moon, suggesting that it will be possible to send humans there in five to seven years.