Build bases on the Moon, instead of going for a week

24 May 2024

NASA is dead set keen to return to the Moon. But their current plan, called Artemis, is dead set crazy, writes Polish-American entrepreneur and writer, Maciej Cegłowski:

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to wonder what’s going on here. If we can put a man on the moon, then why can’t we just go do it again? The moon hasn’t changed since the 1960’s, while every technology we used to get there has seen staggering advances. It took NASA eight years to go from nothing to a moon landing at the dawn of the Space Age. But today, twenty years and $93 billion after the space agency announced our return to the moon, the goal seems as far out of reach as ever.

I only know what I know about NASA’s proposed Artemis crewed flights to the Moon, from the occasional glance at headlines on the subject. Needless to say, that knowledge isn’t much to write home about. That’s because the prospect doesn’t really excite me. Artemis seems like little more than a re-run of the Apollo flights of over fifty years ago.

If we’re to return to the Moon again, I’ve always thought it should be more permanently, and on a grander scale. As in bases on (or under) the lunar surface. Sending a couple of flights back there for a week’s stay, seems pointless. On top of that, the cost of doing so today has ballooned. But why? Is no one stopping to think about this?

If humanity is ever to progress, yeah, hmm, we need to set ourselves some pretty ambitious goals. But we need to think a bit bigger. Re-hashing the Apollo missions isn’t thinking big. Combatting climate, disease, and poverty, for instance, make for better goals. After that, what about reaching for stars, literally. Not just the nearest celestial body to Earth.