A colony on the Moon is no longer Science Fiction
An international team of scientists has developed a detailed plan to colonize the Moon. This project is achievable in the next 5-7 years and the costs are not considered so high given the size of the project -- only $ 10 billion, according to material published by Yahoo! #Science In a recently published report the researchers state that the time has come to return to the Moon and this time to stay there. They also said that the funding is no longer the biggest problem they are facing.
Researchers within NASA are also part of this team of scientists. However, the US #Space agency has made it clear that the return to the Moon is not part of their plans for the near future because the resources are reserved for the first human mission to Mars. Even so, NASA may reconsider their position given the fact that the budget for this project is not so expensive.
Costs are not considered very high
Lower costs are related to the evolution of 3D printing technology that can transform the minerals from the Moon into raw material and it can produce different objects on the Moon, without the need to be transported from Earth. More, the equipment with solar cell will reduce the energy demand and the reusable rockets built by SpaceX company will reduce the launch costs for the equipment and the supplies.
Thus, a Moon base built with inflatable chambers and gardens and equipped with robotic technology can support up to ten colonists on the Moon for many years in a row. These colonists can continue to expand the lunar base, and in ten years the colony could accommodate 100 people permanently. In addition, the settlers could assure themselves at least some of the costs of maintaining and expanding the colony by extracting water ice that they can convert into rocket fuel and they can sell it to space flight companies.
Other space agencies have also studied the possibility of building a permanent base on the Moon. European Space Agency (ESA) examined this issue seriously in the past 2 years. For ESA, the Moon is the perfect test polygon for many technologies required for the conquest of Mars and for the exploration with human crew of other worlds in our solar system.