I'm a little weirded out by this. Here are some excerpts from the article.
NASA said it will establish an international base camp on one of the moon's poles, permanently staffing it by 2024, four years after astronauts land there.
t is a sweeping departure from the Apollo moon missions of the 1960s and represents a new phase of space exploration after space shuttles are retired in 2010.
I didn't know they were retiring space shuttles, did you?
For four years, the lunar base won't be built up enough for long visits, so astronauts will only spend a week at a time. But after that, NASA envisions people living on the moon for six-month stints.
NASA also hopes that hydrogen, oxygen and other moon resources can be used as supplies for the lunar outpost. Eventually, getting oxygen there may be simple enough that it could be turned over to a commercial supplier, Horowitz said.
The bolded part just does not sound good to me, given what we've done with THIS planet.
NASA's vision for the moon is more than just American astronauts — it includes space travelers from other countries and even commercial interests, if possible.
For some reason the image of "Disney Moon" comes to mind.
The key decision for NASA in its planning was whether to have a permanent settlement, and that drove other decisions, Dale said. Going with a permanent base was an outcome of NASA asking itself and more than 1,000 experts from 14 nations the questions: "Why are we returning to the moon and what we plan to do when we get there?"
Two key themes, according to NASA, were to prepare for future exploration, with Mars the next stop, and expansion of human civilization. Both NASA's science and engineering communities agreed on a permanent outpost, an agreement rare for two conflicting sides of the agency, Horowitz said.
If you're not going to make your dreams epic, why bother to dream anything at all? -Scott Miller
I hope they set it up on the dark side of the moon. It would be horrible if it were on the side we can see. It probably couldn't be seen from Earth at that distance, but knowing that it's there would be upsetting.