Moon habs! To make space exploration beyond low Earth orbit really take off, we need a way to settle and live on other worlds.
Above are 3 examples of what lunar settlements and colonies might look like:
1️⃣ SpaceX Moon base
2️⃣ ESA Moon Village concept
3️⃣ NASA Moon base concept
There's no point having much more affordable travel if you couldn't stay at your destination for any period of time. So the ability to build habs for living and working is extremely important.
As we saw with NASA's lunar orbital gateway, there's the option of living in orbit around the Moon. However, if we want to make use of the Moon's resources like helium 3 and water, we will need to be able to first explore, find it and mine for it. It's very difficult doing that if you have to commute back to a floating ship every few hours or day! 🌑☝️
A popular idea is to dig trenches and build habs underground, as seen above. This helps with radiation shielding and minimise air leakage. We could do this near the poles as well, to take advantage of the long summers (with movable panels when it's winter).
What would YOU like to do on the Moon?
Credit: SpaceX, ESA, NASA