We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay  

From DailyMail.com:

Settlement and colonization of the moon is a ‘must’ if the human race is to survive, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said.

‘We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay,’ Bezos said.

Bezos, the world’s richest man, told a space development conference in Los Angeles on Friday that he is ready to help pave the way for further lunar exploration and eventual settlement with his rocket startup, Blue Origin.

The way Bezos sees it, the Earth will be zoned for residential use as well as light industries, while heavy industries that are the biggest polluters will be conducting their operations extraterrestrially.

He spoke before a meeting of the National Space Society, a non-profit group that advocates for building human colonies in space.

Ideally, while he would like to venture out into space together with the cooperation of the US government and the European Union, Bezos says he is willing to go it alone, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Bezos insists that lunar settlement isn’t a matter of choice, but one of necessity.

Read the whole thing …

Life in a bubble: How we can fight hunger, loneliness, and radiation on Mars  

It’s becoming increasingly clear that sooner or later humanity will have to migrate to other planets in the universe — or face extinction when Earth’s resources run out as they inevitably will.

And experiments are underway in preparation for that eventuality.

From Business Insider:

One by one, four men and four women wearing dark coveralls stepped up to a lectern to deliver their final remarks.

“I take my last breaths of this atmosphere, knowing that I will take breaths from a different atmosphere from all of you,” said Jane Poynter, one of the crew members.

Then they lined up in front of a velvet rope, waved to the cameras, and stepped through an airlock crafted from submarine bulkheads. The doors were sealed. It was September 26, 1991. The group wouldn’t leave until 1993.

The airtight facility they entered, called Biosphere 2, is dug into a hillside of the Sonoran Desert near Oracle, Arizona. It’s a geodesic cocoon made of 6,500 triangular glass panes, and it looks something like a cross between a brilliant jewel and a sprawling terrarium. Inside are acres of lush green plants, millions of cubic feet of air, and an undulating 675,000-gallon saltwater ocean.

Poynter was walking into the largest, longest-running space colony simulation ever built. It would not only pioneer a system to regenerate all the food, air, and water needed to survive on Mars but also test the crew’s physical and mental limits. Poynter would also face a daunting emotional trial with another crew member, Taber MacCallum: a relationship they’d hidden for years from public view.

“It was an incredibly audacious and, in so many ways, incredibly successful attempt at building a prototype space base,” Poynter, who now co-runs the high-altitude-balloon company World View, told me nearly 25 years after she emerged from the biosphere.

People no longer get sealed inside Biosphere 2. Today it’s a scientific research facility run by the University of Arizona. Yet the original mission of the biospherians has taken on new relevance as threatening changes to the Earth’s climate, and ultimately to humanity, take alarming shape.

The outlook has grown so gloomy that, in the eyes of some, the idea of colonizing Mars as a backup drive for the human race now seems appropriate, if not inevitable. Joining Stephen Hawking and others is billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk, whose grand ambitions have made talk of inhabiting the red planet using his aerospace company, SpaceX, part of casual conversation.

The ultimate goal of his entrepreneurial existence, Musk has said, is to build a permanent, self-sustaining city of 1 million people on Mars — complete with pizza joints — as a sort of insurance policy against all-out catastrophe on Earth.

Read the whole thing …