Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lunar World A Stepping Stone For Mars Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
If humanity ever desires to visit its distant neighbor Mars, then using the Moon as a stepping stone is a wise choice. After all, the moon is several days travel from the homeworld, and we better be able to work out "the kinks" there rather than on the red planet.

(Red Orbit) Scientists and engineers are hard at work studying technologies that don't yet exist and puzzling over questions such as how to handle the psychological stress of moon settlement, how to build lunar bulldozers and how to reacquire what planetary scientist Christopher McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center calls "our culture of exploration."

The moon is not for the faint of heart. It is a lethal place, without atmosphere, pelted constantly by cosmic rays and micrometeorites, plagued by temperature swings of hundreds of degrees, and swathed in a blanket of dust that can ruin space suits, pollute the air supply and damage machinery.

Dust is as much of a problem on the Moon as it is on Mars, although unlike martian soil, lunar dirt may be quite valuable.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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