Friday, March 02, 2007

Could Plaskett Crater Be Our First Lunar Home? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

If humanity ever regains the confidence to revisit the moon, one major factor in deciding where to launch a lunar base can be boiled down to one word--energy.

Since establishing a nuclear power plant upon the moon may not be that popular, we may have to settle for solar energy via the Sun. With solar energy abundant in the polar regions (due to lunar orbit), we could be calling Plaskett crater "home sweet home."

(Universe Today) Crater Plaskett sits very close to the Moon's north pole. This means it's bathed in eternal sunlight. This would provide plenty of solar energy for future explorers, and creates a predictable temperature - it's only hot, not hot and cold. Nearby craters bathed in eternal darkness might contain large stores of water ice that could be used for air, fuel and drinking water.

Crater Plaskett might provide a good first step for exploration of the Solar System. It's close enough that astronauts would still be able to see the Earth. Help could arrive within days, if necessary, and communications would be almost instantaneous. But it's remote enough to help mission planners understand what would be involved for future, longer duration missions on the Moon, and eventually to Mars.

Although scientists have identified ideal spots for a base, they still have to validate whether or not the area is protected by a mini-magnetic field. Doing so will insure that future colonists can view the cosmos without worrying about their minds being melted by cosmic radiation.

Germany is preparing to send a probe in order to detail the lunar surface, which may reveal more favorable locations for moon bases on our distant neighbor.

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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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