Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner has outlined his plans for the future of space exploration.
Having only been in charge of the European Space Agency for a week, the former Chair of the German space agency has already outlined some of his more ambitious plans for the future.
Of particular interest is his idea of building a ‘village’ on the moon – a permanent manned outpost that would not only offer unparalleled opportunities for scientific research but that would also enable the development and testing of the technologies needed for a future mission to Mars.
“A Moon village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church and a town hall,” he said.
“This Moon village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites.”
As it stands humans have not set foot on the moon at all since 1976 and Woerner believes that establishing a base on the moon is a critical step towards sending humans to Mars.
“The Americans are looking to go to Mars very soon – and I don’t see how we can do that – before going to Mars we should test what we could do on Mars on the Moon,” he said.
The ESA head also believes that his proposed moon base should be an international endeavor.