NASA International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT, suggested that NASA should consider setting up lunar bases in the future as a stepping stone to expand mankind’s exploration of the universe. The comment came in response to a student’s question during an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contact. “I hope the next step for manned space exploration will be to go away from the planet Earth for a while instead of just going in circles around the planet,” Pettit said. The astronaut believes “a logical next step” would be to set up bases on the moon and learn how to operate at that distance from Earth. “When you have your technology down, then you can go off to Mars and try doing a little exploration there,” he said.