European Space Agency has an idea to establish a “moon camp” by 2020. It will be something similar to the research bases that are found in Antarctica.
Through NASA’s Apollo missions, few parts of the moon are explored so far that gave us the information of ice near the poles and particles of solar wind gases. But the moon has much more information than this.
- A lunar surface is also rich in minerals like silicon, aluminium and magnesium.
- It would give us a nearest habitable world, just light-years away.
- A moon-base would be our first foothold towards becoming an interplanetary species.
- Through Deep Space gateway, future missions can be launched from lunar orbit. The fuel requirement would be less due to less gravitational pull.
- The base could serve as a testing ground as refuelling station or as a supply depot.
- The biggest difficulty is cosmic radiation. As the moon do not have an atmosphere or a magnetic field, a person living on it can face heavy-ion radiation i.e., 400times the maximum safe dose. This can make a man fatal in 10hours, even if he is in his spacesuit.
- To overcome this, from lunar soil covered habitats must be constructed by 3D printers and robots. We can simply construct shelters inside a cave through the lava tubes from the moon’s volcanic past.
- The second problem is the supply of necessities.
- Firstly, some supplies from the earth would be necessary.
Then for growing plants or anything we need to have a greenhouse soil and a carbon dioxide-rich air. This gas is rare on the moon but can be synthesized from recycled materials.
- Next, we need water.
- A water treatment plant can be constructed that would take its supply from the ice mined from the polar regions of the moon. The mining should be done using a specialized drill that can cut the surface by two meters below.
- Other viruses or friendly bacteria that are necessary to the human immune system would have to be synthesized on-site as well.
- To keep the body healthy and to maintain the muscle mass, one must exercise for hours a day. This is so because the moon’s gravity is one-sixth of the earth.
Achieving this could be a huge success.