Blake had heard we were going back to the moon, but he had not heard about the timing. The Covid19 Quarantine and the related economic and societal repercussions are making us reconsider everything. If you asked him two months ago about going back to the moon, he would be all for it. But considering the situation that we are in now, maybe our focus should be getting people back on our feet.
“Why are we going back?” There is a strategic reason go back. The poles of the moon contain water ice which will be a key resource as we branch out and explore more of the solar system. China knows it is a key resource and is working on exploring it. One school of thought is that we need to get there first to help secure it for ourselves and the free world. But this is like securing patches of oil in the 1700s before we started really using it. And it might be difficult to get people to truly appreciate how strategic of a resource it is.
Another reason for us to go back is to study the record of meteor impacts on the moon. Meteors are constantly impacting the earth. But most of them burn up in the atmosphere are land in the ocean. The ones that do impact dry areas get weathered over. What is the frequency of impacts? What are the sizes of these meteors? What are they generally made of? Being able to answer these questions will help us understand how likely it is that the earth might be hit by a civilization changing meteor. Also, knowing what they are made of will give us more ideas on how to protect the earth.
Rare earth metals are a resource that is very limited. Deposits are mainly in China. But they are not actually “earth” metals at all. They come from meteors. We potentially have a huge supply just waiting for us to use.
And there are many more reasons we are going back that Blake and I didn’t get into. The first woman on the moon. Radio astronomy on the far side of the moon. The human desire to explore and discover new things.
Would Blake have an interest in going into space if it were safe and affordable? You bet! How safe? Well, 100 people going first would be fine.