In about 10 years, a small colony of humans may already be living on the moon. Then in the following decade, around a hundred more will join them, says Bernard Foing, a scientist at the European Space Agency.
Scientists, technicians and engineers will be the first lunar occupants, he said. By 2040, the population might reach 100, Newsweek reports. Foing said, “In 2050, you could have a thousand and then…naturally you could envisage to have family.” He even imagined,
There may be the possibility to have children born on the Moon.
At the European Planetary Science Congress this week, Foing discussed the ESA’s plan to develop a permanent habitat called the “moon village.” The plan was announced at the 32nd Space Symposium last year. The village is intended to be a base for science, mining, business and tourism, according to Jan Woerner, director general of ESA.
The idea is for the lunar communities to use local materials to survive and build shelter. Volcanic rock may be utilized, along with technologies such as 3D-printing, said physicist Vidvuds Beldavs of the University of Latvia. As for water, ice from the moon’s poles can be melted.
But before any of this can happen, there is a need for more support, especially since the International Space Station is due for decommissioning in 2024. Beldavs, who runs a campaign pushing for joint exploration of the moon, said, “It is highly frustrating…We still don’t have the top leaders interested.”
Scientists and commercial prospectors alike are excited about the proposal of a moon village. Michelle Hanlon, co-founder of For All Moonkind – a nonprofit that seeks to protect and preserve the lunar landing sites – stated, “We love the idea that there could be a human settlement on the Moon by 2030 and ‘moonkind’ numbering in the hundreds by 2040. But with technology and this awe-inspiring capability to not just return, but create a Moon community comes deep responsibility. We cannot allow ourselves to forsake the past in the name of the future.”