0754 GMT February 21, 2019
We will live on the Moon before reaching Mars as part of a ‘regular human experience’, predicted a retired astronaut, express.co.uk reported.
Hadfield also claimed we have only ‘scratched the little corners’ of the Moon and there is still lots more to discover.
Hadfield, who has flown two Space Shuttle missions and is the first Canadian to walk in space, told Radio 4’s Today Program: “We’re going to go to the Moon first. When you say going back to the Moon, I think it’s a great misnomer in that we’ve only had 12 human beings that have ever been there, and they were just there as like Sir Edmund Hillary, the very first few steps.
“We hardly know anything about the Moon, it’s got the same surface area as Africa, it’s enormous.
“We’ve just had the tiniest scratch of the little corners of it.”
He added he thinks that before he can do what he had for long dreamt of, and that is to eventually get as far as Mars, “we will settle on the Moon”.
“And start living there on a semi-permanent then permanent basis. And all of that excites me.
“We can not only explore the Moon but actually make it part of the regular human experience.
“To me that’s a natural and interesting progression.”
The comments follow a NASA explorer reaching the Solar System’s outermost region on Tuesday morning, flying close to a space rock 20 miles long and billions of miles from Earth.
Scientists believe the object is further from Earth than any ever studied by mankind before.
The New Horizons probe reached the ‘third zone’ in the Kuiper Belt at 12:33 a.m. Eastern time.
Launched in January 2006, New Horizons began a four-billion-mile journey to study the dwarf planet Pluto and its five moons.
John Spencer, the deputy project scientist for New Horizons, told reporters: “Anything's possible out there in this very unknown region.”