TThe European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to start exploring the Moon by 2025. ESA has signed a 12-month contract with the ArianeGroup racer to study and prepare for a mission to extract reggolite or lunar rock.
Regolith covers the entire moon surface at a depth of at least 12 feet, consisting of a mixture of clays, glass pieces, minerals and chemical compounds such as iron oxide from which oxygen, water and fuel can be extracted.
Many space agencies believe that space extraction is crucial to creating permanent lunar bases or colonies.
Dr. David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Studies at ESA, said: "Using space resources can be the key to sustainable Moon exploration, and this study is part of ESA's overall plan to make Europe a partner in global research through the next decade. – a plan we will present to our ministers for a decision later this year at the Space19 + conference. "
ArianeGroup with Arianespace unites forces with German startup companies, PTScientists to design and build the moon, and Belgian Space Services Services to provide ground control equipment, communications and related service operations.