A leading astronaut who is now retired has revealed that humans are more likely to settle on the Moon before Mars. He claims that the lunar move will be something of a “semi-permanent then permanent” one.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who had been a dedicated commander of the International Space Station for many years, has referred to the likelihood of man settling on the Moon before Mars as a “regular human experience.”
According to Hadfield, we still have a long way to go before fully understanding the Moon in terms of its potential as an alternative home for humans. Having been the first Canadian to walk in space, Hadfield is convinced in his predictions.
“We’re going to go to the Moon first,” he said. “When you say going back to the Moon, I think it’s a great misnomer in that we’ve only had 12 human beings that have ever been there, and they were just there as like Sir Edmund Hillary, the very first few steps.”
Hadfield went on to explain that there is still so much to learn about the Moon. “We hardly know anything about the Moon, it’s got the same surface area as Africa, it’s enormous,” he said.
“We’ve just had the tiniest scratch of the little corners of it, so I think before we can do what Helen and I long-term dream of, and that is to eventually get as far as Mars, we will settle on the Moon.”
“And start living there on a semi-permanent then permanent basis. And all of that excites me. We can not only explore the Moon but actually make it part of the regular human experience. To me that’s a natural and interesting progression.”
It’s not just Hadfield who believes in this idea. The New Horizons probe has been exploring vast regions of space, having reached the “third zone” in the Kuiper Belt. “Anything’s possible out there in this very unknown region,” New Horizons deputy project scientist John Spencer said.