NASA is desperate to make astronauts visit the Moon again. However, the next step is not as simple as touching back down, but looking to set up some settlement so humans can stick around.
Dr Sophie Calabretto talks to Cosmos Magazine journalist Jacinta Bowler about building on the Moon, what structures we are looking at, and whether a full Moon base is even possible.
Bowler said there would be physical challenges to build such a place on the Moon due to the environmental and gravity differences.
“There’s also no atmosphere on the Moon, so everyone has to be suited up to get their oxygen which is an obstacle itself. This lack of atmosphere also means that humans can be exposed to deadly solar radiation on the Moon,” Bowler said.
On the other hand, Bowler mentioned that the cost of the building and construction on the Moon would be “mind-blowingly” expensive.
“Currently, the cost to launch one kilogram of anything into space is about 75,000 US dollars. It’s a lot,” she said.
Blower gave an example of sending something as simple as a lightweight garden shed that could weigh 120 kilograms, and it might cost around nine million US dollars for one.
She said another key factor and a significant problem for constructing on the Moon would be the regolith, also recognised as moon dust.
“The thing to know about regolith is that it’s super disruptive. It’s razor-sharp and jagged. It’s also electrostatically charged, which means it sticks to everything,” Bowler explained.
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