Most of the current and upcoming machines of the Moon are designed to prove survey, sample, map, mine and test systems and technologies for an eventual manned settlement of Earth’s nearest neighbor. Here, we take a look at the proponents and features of these planned moon basis. These are efforts by government space agencies, and do not include lunar project being undertaken by private aerospace companies.
1. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
In 2010, the government outline plans for humanoid robots to begin lunar service in 2015, and establish a robot base on the moon’s south pole by 2020 at the cost of $2 billion; these were later canceled due to budgetary constraints.
AXA is pushing through with it it’s lunar surface mission-SLIM (smart land for investigating moon) on an Epsilon lawn rocket by 2019.
Aside from SLIM, other future luna projects include the APPROACH lunar penetrator and the SELENE-2 moon landing mission. Long-term plans call for a manned lunar base by 2030.
2. China National Space Administration (CNSA)
The Chinese program is an ongoing series of robotic moon missions by the sea CNSA; it is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e.
The first spacecraft of the program, the Chang’e 1 lunar orbiter was launched October 2007 and has completed its mission of mapping the moon; a second orbiter, Chang’e 2, was launched october 2010.
Chang’e 3, which includes a lander and rover, was launched December 2013 and successful soft-landed on the Moon, Chang’e 5 scheduled for 2017 will be a sample written mission.
Target date very but from what has been reported they include the first Chinese on the moon by 2022, first moonwalk by 2024, and 1st manned lunar base by 2050.
3. European Space Agency (ESA)
ESA has announced that it wants to set up a lunar base by 2030 and will be sending astronauts back and forth for testing starting in 2020.
The agency envisions a series of manned missions that would see astronauts interact with robots on the lunar surface from orbit; robots will land first to pave the way for human explorers.
The mission will commence i 2020 when the ESA sends the Russian Lunar 27 to the moon’s south pole to collect soil samples for testing.
4. Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS)
Roscosmos aims to have a fully robotic lunar base called Lunny polygon; the project is set to start by 2020 with an expected completion date of 2037.
It is part of lunar-Glob, Russia’s moon exploration program which will involve a series of missions before the creation of a robotic lunar base.
The lunar base would have several components including a solar power station, telecommunication station, technological station, scientific station, long-range research rover, landing and launch area, and orbiting satellite.
5. National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
A 2015 study by NextGen space LLC and Partly funded by NASA concludes that the space agency could land humans on the Moon in the next 5 to 7 years and build a permanent base 10 to 12 years after that.
It suggest that NASA can cut costs by adopting the same practice it’s using for resupplying the International Space Station-public-private partnerships with companies like spaceX, Orbital ATK, or the United Launch Alliance.
Between 2018 to 2023, NASA will be embarking on moon missions to test its Orion spacecraft, search for water as deposits, and establish the first node of an international lunar network.