NASA has revealed it intends to establish a permanent base on the Moon by the end of the decade as part of the upcoming Artemis missions.
Next year, the first woman to set foot on the Moon will mark a new stage in the space age. A similar idea first appeared 60 years ago.
The Apollo 11 mission was a memorable moment in the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. The Americans, however, planned a trip to the Moon much earlier. More importantly, they wanted to stay on the Silver Globe.
In 1957, the Soviets shocked the world with Sputnik 1, a grapefruit-sized satellite, with far-reaching consequences. Just two years later, the mysterious Horizon project was born. He assumed that an operating military base was needed on the Moon. It added that the construction of an outpost is required “as soon as possible” for national security.
“To be second after the Soviet Union to establish a facility on the Moon would be a disaster for the prestige of our nation. Therefore for our democratic philosophy. Once the lunar base is established, it will operate under the control of unified space command,” reads the Horizon project report.
After thoroughly justifying the scientific, political and military need for the base, the proposal outlined the steps to build the facility. It included graphs and mathematical formulas, considerations for low gravity and magnetic field, lack of water and air, ballistic dynamics on the lunar surface, design drawings for spacecraft, lunar bulldozers, and modular moon cabins, and special spacesuits.
The report included pictures of the Moon with the desired locations for the colony marked on them. The Horizon project (NASA Moon Base) included 10-20 crew members – enough to build a self-sustaining colony capable of producing its oxygen and water. Supply ships would provide everything needed, and the ultimate plan was to build lunar nuclear power plants.
The construction of the primary facility was to begin in 1964 and be completed five years later. Unfortunately, the Horizon project never passed the planning stage and was rejected by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. A few years later, the Apollo project was born.