The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmo) are conducting investigations for possible human settlement on the moon’s surface to begin new explorations of the Solar System.

On the five-year mission, Luna 27, that is made up of a series of lunar explorations conducted on the moon’s South Pole, know as Aitken, scientists will be looking for possible materials like water, oxygen and ice that may exist due to the cold and dark environment on this pole. These finding might indicate future life-support systems.

An artist’s illustration of a Bigelow Aerospace lunar base Credits: Bigelow Aerospace/International Business Times

An onboard laboratory, ProSPA, will be provided by the ESA. This mission will start out with robots in 2020 but scientists plan to eventually develop several human bases. To determine the best landing areas, spacecrafts will be equipped with a camera and laser direction system.

“We have to go to the moon. The 21st century will be the century when it will be the permanent outpost of human civilization, and our country has to participate in this process”, Professor Igor Mitrofanov, of the Space Research Institute in Moscow stated on a BBC report. He also argued that this new development would bring many benefits to astronomical investigation.

3D Images of the project’s base where published by the ESA and design firm Foster and Partners. Even though an estimated approval date has not been declared, investigators are hopeful that by 2016 the project will begin.

Source: Mashable