|MadSci Network: Other|
You could put a space station in orbit around the moon. For now such an idea is ahead a few decades. The ISS will help answer some questions of such a mission by virtues of experiences learned and gained from that endeavor. One obvious reason for putting a space station in orbit about the moon would be the benefit of launching from the moon back toward earth and utilizing the gravity of earth to assist in propelling the spacecraft to farther reaches of the solar system. This would cut fuel costs tremondously. Of course, we would need a permanent presence on such a station first and as you can imagine, the logistics of this is a fairly complicated economic investment. We will have to leave it to the bean counters at nasa for such answers regarding when such a move would be advantageous in a cost/benefit type of study. Also the gravity around the moon is much less than earths' and this would also help to reduce some of the fuel costs. Such a mission would have little chance of being pulled to the moon's surface, as happened to the Mir recently regarding the earth and its gravity. Look on the net or your local library regarding the subject of space exploration: solar system, for more on this interesting subject. The moons of Jupiter and Saturn could be utilized as well for exploration about those planetary systems. Saturn's moon, Triton, Has an atmoshpere very similar to earth's. Though colder, it is the best chance where we can discover some sort of ongoing biological life forms as we would find on our own planet in its infantcy. One highranking Nasa Official during the Apollo program believed it is the most likely place to find the civilization from which come the UFO's, if you believe such phenomona are the result of extraterrestrial intelligence. Thinks for the question. Hope this helps in some small way. Donald Duggan
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