HUMANS BORN ON THE MOON 'IN A FEW DECADES'
Children will be born on the moon 'in a few decades', with whole families joining Europe's lunar colony by 2050, a top space scientist has claimed.
Professor Bernard Foing, ambassador of the European Space Agency-driven 'Moon Village' scheme, made the comments at a conference last week.
He said that by 2030, there could be an initial lunar settlement of six to 10 pioneers – scientists, technicians and engineers – which could grow to 100 by 2040.
'In 2050, you could have a thousand and then… naturally you could envisage to have family' joining crews there, he told AFP on Friday, September 22.
Speaking at this year's European Planetary Science Congress in Riga, Latvia, Professor Foing explained how humanity's moon colonies could quickly expand.
Children will be born on the moon 'in a few decades', with whole families joining Europe's lunar colony by 2050, a top space scientist has claimed. Professor Bernard Foing, ambassador of the Esa-driven 'Moon Village' scheme (concept art pictured), made the comments this week
He likened human expansion on the moon to the growth of the railways, when villages grew around train stations, followed by businesses.
Potential moon resources include basalt, a volcanic rock that could be used as a raw material for 3D-printing satellites.
These could be deployed from the moon at a fraction of the cost of a launch from high-gravity Earth.
The moon also houses helium-3, a rare isotope on our planet, that could theoretically be used to generate cleaner, safer nuclear energy for Earth.
One of the main targets for moon colonies is water, locked up in ice on the moon's poles.
Water can be separated into hydrogen and oxygen, two gases which explode when mixed – providing rocket fuel.