After a 13-month journey, an experimental spacecraft will begin to orbit around the moon on Monday night.
In the course of the next year, Smart-1 will take a new look at the moon to investigate lunar history.
But the spacecraft could be a scouting party for more ambitious attempts. European scientists are contemplating a “robot village” on the moon: a collection of shelters, instruments and exploration vehicles, perhaps on a ridge at the lunar south pole which is in sunlight all year round.
“It’s a place with a very compatible environment,” said Bernard Foing, chief scientist for the European Space Agency. “If you go to the equator, you have a temperature from day to night going from 120C to minus 170C. On the pole you have a very comfortable minus 20C.”
Via The Guardian.