[Space and Beyond] Taking a walk on our closest neighbor

in #technology4 years ago (edited)

Taking a walk on our closest neighbor



The Moon... our celestial neighbor and sibling that fueled dreams of exploration, adventure and mystery. Since the Apollo program mankind only sent robotic explorers to the Moon and human spaceflight remained in low-Earth orbit, some arguing that it was not economical feasible and worth the investment in such projects (e.g. going back to the Moon).

As time passed, technology advanced and overcome old barriers, thus bringing new hope for a lost dream... people and companies started looking again towards the Moon.

Why bother going back?

Well... I'll try to point out a couple of reasons why we (as a species) should take this challenging endeavor:
  • Economical
    • to harvest Helium 3 (He-3) that can be used in fusion reactors, there has been breakthroughs recently with this type of technology. To get a sense of how much energy this resource can produce, imagine that scientist estimate that 30~40 tonnes of Helium 3 could power USA for a whole year.
    • mine rare metals that are used in numerous industries
    • turism
  • Exploration
    • to build an outpost (on the lunar surface or orbit) from where missions towards outer planets can be launched
    • to build a colony, where humans can learn to survive in space (let's not forget that we're getting cramped here on Earth...), produce supplies and construct equipment/vehicles for interplanetary spaceflight and conduct research.
  • Last but not least, I think that without our "lust" for adventure we wouldn't have discovered so many things, and it would be a true sin to stop now.

I for one, think that the Moon represents the stepping stone for our civilization. I'm really passionate about this subject (who wouldn't like to take a vacation on the moon?) and I'll write more in my future posts about the emerging technologies and programs that will help achieve this dream (anyway... there are to many things to cover about this subject...).

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Lovely topic, and presented in a very light and understandable way! I had no idea that Helium could be extracted from the Moon. I remember a theme of lift to the Moon from one sci-fi book that I read, and also the Moon has stopped in this novel. Your post reminded me of that. I'm curious if those two things would be possible in real life.

Ohh, there is! Arthur C. Clark proposed a space elevator in one of his books. At the moment, there is one "material" that could help accomplish building such a space elevator, it's a called a carbon nanotube. Maybe... in a 100 years we could have that and going to the Moon (and other planets) would be cheaper and available for everyone.

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I don't have much to say on the moon, but good post!

Thank you!