Is the lunar economy the future?
NASA’s successful Artemis I mission opens up new possibilities in unexplored space terrain. Extraterrestrial economic activity is one of the most relevant
In recent years, space exploration has become the mission of the world’s richest men: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are just some of the most famous names associated with space research.
This is driven by, among other interests, the search for another planet to live on as a solution to the growing climate crisis we are currently experiencing and which has fueled the technological advancement of agencies dedicated to the study of what exists beyond Earth. as well as the methods used in exploration.
The closest example to this is the historic Artemis I mission, which ended successfully on December 11 with the landing of the Orion capsule in Baja California. The first uncrewed mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Artemis program took 25 days, 10 hours and 53 minutes, and covered 1.4 million miles round trip to the moon.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that Artemis I is “the beginning of a new beginning” for stellar research.
This achievement alone opens many doors to new possibilities on the interstellar plane, however, and one of the recent conversations that this achievement benefits the most is definitely the lunar economy.
When the term cislunar is used, it refers to space outside Earth, either on the Moon or in the orbit of the Moon and Earth. For this reason, the lunar astronomical economy consists of activities that incorporate wealth and involve the same area, such as space mining, according to the nonprofit space organization.
Although it is still illegal, the appropriate technology does not exist to be fully implemented, however, many experts consider it only a matter of time before humans start digging extraterrestrial soils to extract unknown minerals.
Some of the challenges that humanity must face to reach this point are the seriousness and risks of frictions arising from competition over the exploitation of space resources that could lead to the militarization of space and geopolitical tensions, according to the Global Risks Report 2022 issued by the World Economic Forum.
The same study also explains that there is a risk of collision due to objects in orbit, as well as remnants of other artifacts and space equipment.
Despite this, it cannot be denied that there is great benefit in exploring other celestial bodies in the galaxy, especially from an environmental point of view.
However, not only this attracts those who have more money to study and master outer space.
This year, private space agencies from countries such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Russia and Mexico have carried out missions with the aim of exploring the moon.
According to Forbes, last year these same companies received special incentives for extraterrestrial research. The economy based on the exploration and exploitation of the moon as well as other places in space is growing every day, with many advantages for those who want to invest in it.
According to the book The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Thrive in Space Using the Moon’s Resources by American geologist and astronomer Paul D. Spudis, the politics surrounding lunar exploration will expand as humanity grows. Keep exploring.
The author also argues around the idea that having “space assets” will politically and economically benefit terrestrial nations with extraterrestrial assets, as they will be able to exercise power over those that do not.
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