OK, you know what the problem with this is? (I sound like Andy Rooney….) But, there is a problem! It perpetuates the illusion that we can just go and settle somewhere else when we finish trashing the planet we are on. I believe that people are numb to warnings about environmental destruction not because they don’t believe them, but because they think we’ll just get another planet when this one wears out. Just like you do with your sneakers or your television…
US space agency Nasa has said it plans to start work on a permanently-occupied base on the Moon after astronauts begin flying back there in 2020.The base is likely to be built on one of the Moon’s poles and will serve as a science centre and possible stepping stone for manned missions to Mars.
The US has already said it plans to build a new lunar spacecraft to succeed the last Apollo mission in 1972.
Funds will be moved from space shuttle flights, due to be scrapped in 2010.
The structure of the base and the exact duties of the astronauts stationed there have not been decided.
Nor is it clear when the base will begin functioning.