How long will it be before we have lunar bases and/or hotels on the moon?

While reading a copy of the Graduating Engineer & Computer Careers magazine during a boring train ride home, I noticed a couple of neat little articles in the magazine.  As many of you are already probably aware, I post the majority of the space and science articles that are published here on DailyTech.  Aside from new discoveries and neat pictures from space, there is something else that really interests me -- Lunar colonies and space tourism.

Although the magazine is filled with pretty neat articles and literature, it was a half-page little blurb that caught my eye.  "Will There Be Hotels on the Moon?" was the headline that stood out the most to me.  Space tourism, a topic that I am reading about multiple times per week now, is a topic that I find interesting.  I posted a blog in September that noted that space tourism is the opportunity/trip of a lifetime -- one that the majority of us will never get to experience.  

While hotels on the moon won't be required in the foreseeable future, it is obviously something that people are already thinking about.  In fact, astronaut Kathy Thornton, a member on the Space Adventures advisory board, believes that engineers will be needed in a growing space tourism field.  "There will be a need for 'people-people' to market, and a need for technical types to build and operate the systems that make it all possible," according to Thornton.

As nations with quality space programs continue to send more supplies and people into space, look for more space tourists to also blast off into orbit.  Even though Space Adventures is the only company that has successfully launched private explorers into space, they aren't the only ones that are wanting to do so.

I guess it won't be long before those guys forking $20+ million for a trip into space want to shell out a couple more million for an extended stay in space.

Colonizing the moon is something that many people are considering to be the newest form of a space race.  NASA would like to have a permanent lunar base sometime in the future, with returning man to the moon as a mission by 2020.  JAXA and the Chinese space agency also have future plans involving people staying for longer durations on the moon.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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