Over this past weekend, the Orlando Sentinel published an article about a proposed NASA space station at the second Earth-Moon Lagrange Point—beyond the Moon, where the Earth’s and the Moon’s gravity cancel out each other, creating a near-stable zone. At about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, such a base would be the farthest a human being has ever ventured from the planet. Whether it serves a practical purpose or is merely just a “make-work” for NASA’s current Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule, however, is up for debate.
Undeniably, there are some advantages of NASA’s lunar ambitions. For instance, the Earth-Moon L2 point enjoys almost complete radio shielding from Earth, making it an ideal location for an astronomical research station—assuming, of course, that NASA does not want to do it with a much cheaper and practical artificial satellite. A more hands-on advantage to humans, on the other hand, would be to test preventive technologies against deep space radiation and studying the effects of long term deep space exposure on humans, which in fact could be considered as a logical step toward a future Mars mission—however small.
Despite some of its merits, however, disadvantages of this plan are also plenty,