I have spent many nights just looking at the starry night sky and admiring the moon, wondering what it must be like to be shooting up in a rocket for a closer inspection. This would truly be a life-changing experience…
For the lucky billionaire Yusaku Maezawa this will soon be a reality. Yusaku and several artists along with one or two crew members from SpaceX will board SpaceX’s BFR spacecraft in 2023 to complete a circumlunar trajectory around the moon. The journey should take 6 days to complete and will be an excellent test of BFR which will later be used for missions to Mars.
This mission will be the first lunar journey since 1972. If successful this hopefully will give humanity a kick up the behind to keep its eyes focused on the stars. Private companies could promote space tourism and the competition would boost space flight technology.
Setting up a moon base, which could then also add a mining facility to send resources back to Earth. Once this is completed bases on Mars could then be looked at. Another advantage of setting a base on the moon first is travel time. It takes around 3 days to get to the moon from the Earth, whereas Mars (dependent on approach) takes between 39-300 days. If the base ran into trouble on the moon we would be able to assist far faster from Earth than we ever could if we had to send help all the way to Mars.
But maybe we should be dreaming big like SpaceX and aim for a Mars base to begin with, which would enable humanity to expand a great deal faster into the galaxy.
These are exciting times that we are living in and we should continue to support the space exploration programs.