Terraformed Moon
© Rolffimages

Anyone who’s seen Apollo 13 – either the Tom Hanks movie, or the four days of news footage that followed the real crew’s safe return to Earth after an oxygen tank exploded – may question the economics behind founding human colonies on the planet’s biggest satellite.

By the time of the third manned mission to the moon, TV ratings had plummeted, with only the subsequent accident reigniting public interest. But Amazon boss Jeff Bezos appears unperturbed by this antipathy towards lunar travel and has sought to convince NASA and the Trump administration to back plans to build colonies, and create incentives for the private sector to develop commercial lunar cargo delivery services. According to a white paper obtained by The Washington Post, Mr Bezos has even identified a landing site near Shackleton Crater, which boasts near continuous sunlight, providing solar energy, as well as plentiful water and ice.

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