Post link 08 June 2015, 2:32
By ALLAN HALL IN BERLIN FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 00:28, 8 June 2015

Lunarville! European Space Agency plans town on the moon to replace International Space Station with crops grown in greenhouses and water from hydrogen
- It has been proposed by Professor Jan Woerner, future head of the ESA
- Professor Woerner said its construction could start as early as 2024
- Back side of moon, not visible from earth, would provide best conditions
- But costs may prove more of an obstacle than the harsh climate of space


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The European Space Agency is planning a village on the moon to replace the International Space Station orbiting earth.Pictured, an illustration showing the base on the near side of the moon


Professor Jan Woerner, the future head of the ESA, said construction could start on 'Lunarville' to replace the station in 2024 and would spark huge innovations.

'The construction of a station on the moon would trigger a huge surge of technological innovation on earth.

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The back side of the moon, which we can't see from earth, would provide the best conditions for research where telescopes could be set up to have an undisturbed view into the depths of space.

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'At the start construction materials and food would take priortiy. Later it would be possible to produce water from hydrogen. Crops could be grown in greenhouses.
Researchers would remain for several months at a time. A permanent shuttle service needs to be established in the case of medical emergencies.'

Building on the moon: 3D-Printing a lunar base with the ESA

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Building the infrastructure for a permanent base on the moon (illustrated) could be helpful when it comes to designing a similar system for a future manned mission to Mars

But costs may prove more of an obstacle than the harsh climate of space. The space station cost more than 75 billion pounds and a moon village would cost even more.
But Professor Woerner is confident that countries will come together to build it and the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany is working on dwellings to be constructed there.

A flight from earth with today's technology would take around two days to cover the 230,000 miles to the moon.
Professor Woerner added: 'There is still so much about the moon we don't know. Like where irt came from?` And there are resources there which could prove valuable, like the gas Helium 3 which we do not have on earth.
'Helium 3 is considered as an energy source for the future which is vital for nuclear fusion.'

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Title D-Shape printer for ESA's 3D-printed lunar base study, with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 m frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material

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This 1.5 tonne building block was produced as a demonstration of 3D printing techniques using lunar soil


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