Friday, January 05, 2007

Will Our Future On The Moon Be Underground? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

If humanity ever does regain the will to revisit the moon, we may have to construct lunar bases underground. With the frequency of raining space rocks from above greater than previously thought, humanity may find the moon to be an unfriendly place.

(New Scientist Space) Two small NASA telescopes with their lenses trained on the Moon spied five, and possibly six, Geminid meteoroids striking the lunar surface early on the morning of 14 December. The observations will help NASA design safe shelters for its future Moon base. [...]

The concern is not really for the softball-sized projectiles hitting the astronauts directly, Cooke says, but rather from the material scattered from the resulting crater. Because of the Moon's lower gravity and thin atmosphere, material could fly for hundreds of metres. Cooke likens the ejecta to shrapnel from a bomb.

Although more data is being collected, humanity may be limited into how much of the lunar surface we can colonize. According to one study (which has to be refined), the moon could be hit with up to 260 two pound rocks every year, which is enough to cause serious damage to any future moon base.

Unless there is a way to develop some kind of magnetic force field, we may not be going back to the moon en mass anytime soon (at least going there ensured anyways).

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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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