Could large space missions help to unite world powers

Professor John Bridges from the Department of Physics and Astronomy has been quoted in an article in The Independent discussing the US government's decision to give a Florida-based company permission to conduct the first ever private mission to the Moon. 

The space entrepreneurs of Moon Express aim to send the MX-1 to the natural satellite by late 2017. Moon Express is set to unveil the rover in September - with the hope of eventually developing and mining the resources of the Moon and further space exploration.

The article speculates that we could one day inhabit spacecrafts built to sustain life for quests that could take thousands of years - however, this would take a huge amount of international cooperation from world powers.

In the article Professor Bridges said: “If we can do it for the International Space Station, why not large space missions like to the Moon and Mars? 

"However, it will require a high degree of co-operation. Perhaps it will act to help unite the aims of countries."