Would You Hop On A Train To The Moon? US Department Of Defense Wants To Build 'Lunar Railroad'

Zinger Key Points
  • DARPA selects Northrop Grumman to further develop the concept of building a moon-based railway.
  • The government agency aims to build a lunar railroad network that can transport humans, supplies and resources to the moon.

The U.S. Defense Department’s secretive advanced research agency wants to figure out how to transport people to the moon via train.

What To Know: DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research and development agency of the Department of Defense, selected Northrop Grumman Corp NOC on Tuesday to further develop the concept of building a moon-based railway.

The new developments are part of DARPA’s 10-year Lunar Architecture Capability Study, which aims to establish an analytical framework for lunar infrastructure that provides commercial services in the future, while minimizing lunar footprint.

“The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, supplies and resources for commercial ventures across the lunar surface — contributing to a space economy for the United States and international partners,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement on Tuesday.

The defense contractor will study the resources required to build a lunar railway, establish a list of costs and risks, identify prototypes and analyses of a fully operating lunar rail system concept and explore other concepts for constructing and operating the system with robotics.

See Also: Elon Musk’s SpaceX Is Secretly Building A Huge Spy Satellite Network For The US Government

Why It Matters: Humans have not set foot on the moon in more than 50 years. The last crewed mission to the moon was Apollo 17 in 1972, but public interest is rising after Intuitive Machines Inc LUNR successfully launched a lunar lander onto the moon’s surface last month, making Intuitive Machines the first company to land a private spacecraft on the moon.

Other companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab USA Inc RKLB continue to further space exploration efforts and multiple companies have hit new space tourism milestones in recent years including Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc SPCE and Amazon.com Inc AMZN founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

According to DARPA strategic technology program manager Michael Nayak, a “large paradigm shift” is coming in the next 10 years for the lunar economy. This DARPA project will help to accelerate key technologies that may be used by the government and commercial space industry to get to a “turning point” in space more quickly.

Read Next: Rocket Lab Vs. Space X: Redditors Debate Space Bull Case

Photo: JB from Pixabay.

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