The space agency has confirmed the presence of water on the surface of the moon and is now in the planning stages to utilize it in the creation of a lunar resort for both tourists and astronauts. The resort, named Moonbase Alpha, is set to offer a wide array of amenities and activities, including golfing, skiing, spa treatments, and moonwalks. NASA’s intention behind the resort is to attract increased funding and interest for its space exploration programs.
According to NASA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747 aircraft equipped with a 2.7-meter telescope, detected water molecules in Clavius Crater. This crater, located in the moon’s southern hemisphere, is one of the largest and oldest on the moon. NASA’s assessment suggests that the lunar soil contains approximately 100 to 400 parts per million of water, equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water in a cubic meter of soil.
The discovery of water on the moon marks a significant turning point for NASA’s future missions, as this resource could be vital for sustaining human life and facilitating exploration. Water’s potential uses range from drinking and plant cultivation to oxygen production and even rocket fuel generation. Exploiting this discovery, NASA envisions a lunar resort that would not only cater to tourists but also provide astronauts with the opportunity to experience the moon’s unique environment and scenery.
Moonbase Alpha, the proposed lunar resort, is envisioned as a dome-shaped structure housing a variety of facilities and attractions, including hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, and entertainment centers. The resort is also set to offer diverse sports and recreational activities, such as golfing, skiing, spa treatments, and guided moonwalks. Power will be generated using solar panels and nuclear reactors, while water and waste recycling systems will be implemented to minimize the resort’s environmental impact.
NASA’s aspiration for the lunar resort is to not only generate revenue and support for its space exploration programs but also to inspire a greater number of individuals to pursue careers in science and technology. The agency plans to initiate the first phase of the resort by 2030, with an estimated cost of $1 million per person for a one-week stay. Furthermore, NASA intends to collaborate with other countries and private enterprises in the development and operation of the lunar resort.
Public and expert reactions to the discovery of lunar water and the lunar resort plan have been diverse. While some applaud NASA for its innovative vision, others criticize the project for its perceived extravagance and potential impracticality. Concerns have also been raised about the ethical and environmental implications of exploiting the moon’s resources and altering its natural landscape.
Acknowledging these challenges and risks, NASA asserts its confidence in overcoming them through its expertise and experience. The agency emphasizes its commitment to respecting the moon’s natural and cultural heritage and pledges to adhere to international laws and regulations governing activities in outer space. NASA ultimately hopes that this project will not only benefit humanity but also advance scientific knowledge in the process.