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Moon Base

November 23, 2005

Experts and citizens are debating whether it’s worth it to return to the moon. One group says we have a lot to gain.


What’s the point of a moon base? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

NASA recently announced plans to return to the moon by 2018. An advocacy group called High Frontier recently convened a meeting of experts from science, industry, and government to discuss what to do when we get there.
Klaus Heiss is director of the group, and says a permanent, occupied moon base holds potential for science, communications, and, most importantly, energy.

KLAUS HEISS (NASA, High Frontier):
The disk that the moon describes is hit by solar energy over 10 days. The total amount that hits the lunar surface is equivalent to all the known fossil fuel reserves on Earth.

Critics argue that harnessing this energy will be too expensive, but Heiss believes energy companies can be convinced to help shoulder the burden.
I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.