Lunar Exploration

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Personally I feel the Moon should come first.

However, before a base is established, an ISS type station in orbit around the moon would be a smart idea. Offloading supplies from a station in orbit would make more sense then launching a lander with every single trip. This way you could reuse two landers that are always on call at the station. They can ferry cargo from orbit to the surface.

Once the station is in orbit, we could then mass ship modules and supplies from LEO to LLO.

Since the moon has no atmosphere it would be the same risk either way as far as meteor or comet damage due to impacts.

Plus an orbiting station has the advantage of being easily moved vs ground base.

Either way its a sensible stepping stone. IMO, ALL interplanetary exploration should start with probes followed by a manned orbiting space station.



Good idea. You could have low-cost cpommercial firms handle the bulk of the transporting. Have some big module twice the size of the HTV dock with the station hand have a crew there load it onto a specialized cargo lander that will then fly down to the surface. Then the HTV will fly back to a supply station around earth to pick up more supplies. The cargo lander will be fueled at the base -where fuel production facilites should be- then ferry some extra fuel to the station for the cargo moduels.

The HTV-like cargo pods would make many trips in a lifetime. The job of gettnig neccesary cargo fromt he earth would be of large private spaceplanes or cheap reusable rockets.

The station doesn't even have to be the size of the ISS. Something like skylab or mir.


I was thinking of something too along these lines. I agree that it does not have to be something nearly as big as the ISS. It just needs to be large enough to support a crew of maybe 4 astronauts for two or three months at a time. Rotate out the crews on a regular basis, and have reusable landers. At least with an orbiting station you can have missions land at places all over the surface without having to launch a mega heavy lift vehicle for every mission.
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