The new director of the ESA wants to build a village on the Moon

'I propose a Moon village on the far side of the Moon'


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Professor Johann-Dietrich Woerner has only been Director General of the European Space Agency for a week, but he already has some pretty bold plans.

Asked by the BBC what his vision was for the future of space exploration is, he avoided hackneyed responses about the economic and social benefits of it and answered the question directly.

"We should look to the future beyond the International Space Station," he said. "We should look for a smaller spacecraft in low-Earth orbit for microgravity research and I propose a Moon village on the far side of the Moon."

Missions to the Moon have slid in recent years in favour of journeys deeper into space, but while there is an element of romance to the idea, Woerner insists a Moon colony could be very practical and useful.

"A Moon village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church and a town hall," he contuned. "This Moon village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites."

This Moon village would be situated on the far side of the Moon and serve as a testing base for future Mars missions.

The International Space Station recently got its first 3D printer, and Woerner has suggested the technology could be used on a larger scale to create lunar and Mars bases.

He believes total cooperation between nations would be necessary for the Moon village to function properly however, perhaps taking a dig at Nasa's refusal to work with the Chinese space programme.

"We have enough Earthly problems between different nations – space can bridge these Earthly problems and the Moon seems to be to be a good proposal," he added.

 “Isolating a country is not the right way, a much better solution is to find ways to cooperate in space to strengthen ties between humans on Earth.

"If you think about an alien visiting the Earth and seeing what we are doing here, I’m not sure whether they would land."

Last year, a bill was brought before the House of Representatives to establish a US national park on the Moon.