Ready to move to the Moon?
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This month marks 50 years since man first stepped on the Moon. A giant leap for mankind, and one which today scientists and astronauts are hoping will be followed in the near future by many more. Work is already underway to build a Moon village, a permanent dwelling for humans almost 400,000 kilometres from Earth. Claudie Haigneré, France's first woman in space, is part of the team working on the project. She joined us for Perspective.
France's Claudie Haigneré first went to space in 1996 and says the reality far exceeded her dreams. A dream that began when she was 12 years old and watched the live images of Neil Armstrong. "It was a dream becoming a reality. It was very important for my imagination and then to be bold, to take the opportunity to become an astronaut", she told us.
That opportunity came when Haigneré was working as a rheumatologist in a hospital in France (she also has a doctorate in neurosciences) and spotted a flier calling for applications. She decided she had to try and says it opened up new worlds to her on Earth as well as beyond it. "I lived for ten years in Russia, near Moscow, for training and discovered a multicultural environment working together for the International Space Station," she explained.
Today, Haigneré is an advisor to the director of the European Space Agency. The idea of the Moon village, she says, is about scientific discovery but also about humanity working together towards expansion.
"The Moon is a hostile environment for human beings. There is no atmosphere, there is the variation in temperature, radiation, it’s far away and that means to build a village we will have to overcome a lot of difficulties," Haigneré admits. But she tells us progress is being made using the resources at hand, such as the dust on the Moon which can be scooped up and used to print a 3D building.