(Click Image to Download)
Should we return to the Moon? While Elon Musk, Mars One, and even NASA have their sights set on the Red planet, many think that the Moon is a better option for space exploration .
The European Space Agency (ESA) is one - they just released a new video stating that the Moon is an important and crucial step in mankind's future.
"In the future, the Moon can become a place where the nations of the world can come together to understand our common origins, to build a common future, and to share a common journey beyond. A place where we can learn to move onwards into the solar system," ESA explains in the video "Destination: Moon" .
ESA envisions future manned missions to the far side of the Moon - also known as the dark side of the Moon because it never faces the Earth (though it isn't shrouded in darkness at all). This alien landscape is a rugged terrain, scarred with billions of years worth of impact craters, including one of the largest impact craters in the solar system, the South Pole-Aitken basin.
Photograph of the far side of the moon taken by a crew member on Apollo 16.
Scientists think the crater formed around 4 billion years ago. Inside of this 8.1-mile-deep crater, certain parts are shrouded in perpetual, freezing darkness, but at the crater's rim, shown below, are high, mountainous peaks that bathe in almost-constant sunlight. It's here, on these lunar mountains that ESA plans to send robots and eventually humans.
By sending future missions to the Moon we will be able to answer questions like:
- Is there water elsewhere on the Moon?
- If so, how much?
- Where did it come from?
- And what can it teach us about the origins of water and life on Earth?
If the Moon proves to have an abundant store of water under it surface, then future human generations can use the hydrogen and oxygen atoms for rocket fuel.
To Check out the full video Goto to Business Insider