With the recent passing of Neil Armstrong forty-three years after (supposedly) stepping foot on the moon; coupled with NASA’s successful venture to Mars by the Curiosity Rover, the question of why we haven’t begun to colonize our closest celestial neighbor has been raised. A simple, cost effective method of transporting people and equipment to the lunar surface, away from the Earth’s gravity would lead to untold possibilities in research and further space exploration.
One company, the U.S. based LiftPort Group is seeking to create such a method. They have created a Kickstarter account in an attempt to crowd-source a tether which would reach 55,000km above the moon’s surface. Of course, any vehicle would first have to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and rendezvous with the tether, but it would certainly make lunar travel a far less expensive and troublesome process. From LiftPort Group’s official website:
Once the Lunar Elevator is fully functioning, astronauts and equipment will be able to soft-land cargo on the Lunar surface. Compared to flying the Space Shuttle, humankind will be able to travel 1000 times farther for 1/10th the price. Using our models, we believe we can build a LSEI that can transport three dozen people to the Moon per year “…before this decade is out.”
While NASA collects invaluable data from the other planets in the solar system, it appears private interests will play a huge role in forging humanity’s future beyond the Earth’s surface.