While NASA administrator Charles Bolden was in Florida to watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, representatives of space agencies from Russia, India, Japan, and Canada were at the Global Space Exploration Conference to talk about their future plans. One of the biggest topics they discussed was the moon: Japan and Russia revealed plans to establish bases on our planet's satellite.
"We're not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago," said Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos. "We're talking about establishing permanent bases." And while he gave no timeframe for it, we imagine it would be some time after 2030, which is Roscosmos's target date for a manned moon landing. Japanese space agency JAXA has similar plans, and who knows — if the first batch of lunar inhabitants are lucky enough, the agency may decide to bring Domino's along for the ride.
But what about the United States? Soon, NASA has to choose what it wants to do within the next 25 years: build a moon base or send astronauts to an asteroid. Whereas Newt Gingrich expressed interests in doing the former, President Obama prefers taking the Armageddon route, similar to what the newly-announced company Planetary Resources wants to do.