A lunar panorama, They must be able to maintain their equipment, knowing that not only their scientific mission but their very lives may depend on their repairs.And they must be able to cope with sickness, set broken bones, perform emergency appendectomies, and, in the worst of circumstances, watch a comrade die from injury or blood loss, knowing that he or she could easily have survived with timely treatment at a terrestrial hospital. The robot excavator is about the size of a power lawn mower, and it has steel drums with scoops mounted on them—like a steamroller with cups. When moon dust is disturbed, small particles float about, land, and glue themselves to everything.Regolith does not brush off easily, and breathing it can cause pulmonary fibrosis, the lunar equivalent of black lung. Although the muscle- and bone-weakening effects of low gravity won’t be a problem during the brief initial moon missions, shielding astronauts from damaging radiation exposure will be an immediate concern. It includes everything from huge boulders to particles only a few nanometers in diameter, but most of it is a puree created by uncountable high-speed micrometeorites that have been crashing into the moon unimpeded by atmosphere for more than 3billion years. During the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972, 12 American spacemen set foot on the moon, and hauled back a whopping 842 pounds of rock and soil samples. Nonetheless, NASA officials believe the advantages at the south pole outweigh the risks. NASA is planning to bring humans to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission and has said it has plans for a long term presence that would include astronauts working and living on the surface. In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) Jackknifed_Juggernaut January 22, 2015, 10:41pm #1. Taylor found he could melt a pile of lunar soil in 10 to 20 seconds.Then he focused a single magnetron on another sample: “With 50 watts of energy I took a one-centimeter block of lunar soil to 1700 degrees Celsius (3100 degrees F) in 10 seconds,” he says. The moon itself is a craggy rock over 3200km in diameter. Eventually the base will include living quarters, a launchpad, a storage facility for fuel and supplies, and a power plant. In some ways, the very minimal gravity of the moon might actually be more conducive to life than the microgravity astronauts experience on the International Space Station. First there is the challenge of getting heavy equipment into space. Clark’s lab, with its gleaming tile floors and gentle sunlight, does not look like the moon, but his machinery is the real thing. In the 1990s the University of Tennessee’s Lawrence Taylor showed that finer samples of regolith contain enough of this material to make it useful. Elon Musk’s Space X claims to be aiming for a crewed trip to Mars in the same year. This time it just went zap! No more. Some sceptics, who claim that man has never reached the moon, say that man can not pass this belt because of the strong, fatal radiation for him. More details of this plan emerged last December at a meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Houston. Another is to rig an artificial magnetic field to deflect the worst rays. These issues lay dormant for three decades until January 2004, when President Bush announced his “Vision for Space Exploration” and gave NASA a new mandate: Return humans to the moon by 2020 and eventually send them on to Mars. [Moon Base Visions: Lunar Colony Ideas in Photos]. The moon is also vulnerable to solar storms, eruptions from the sun's surface that send out electromagnetic radiation, which the moon — without the protection of a magnetic field — can't deflect. Currently no one knows how much there is or what form it takes.Some scientists suspect that a comet may have sideswiped the moon long ago, leaving water ice buried in permanently shadowed craters.Identifying the source of the hydrogen is a key goal for the robotic missions that will precede the next landing by humans. We could refuel two ascent vehicles per year.”, Clark pondered factories in space 15 years ago and kept his ideas alive for years on a shoestring research budget. New York, "The consumables of air and water would largely be drawn from local resources," Spudis said. At night, they drop to a frigid -150 degrees. Scientists are now thinking about what is needed to make the vision a reality. Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the onboard human crew.Spacecraft can also be remotely operated from ground stations on Earth, or autonomously, without any direct human involvement.Persons trained for spaceflight are called … Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Liquid oxygen makes up 75 to 80 percent of a spacecraft’s fuel mass. “We can’t afford to send a 200,000-poundbulldozer to the moon,” says Middle Tennessee State University civil engineer Walter Wesley Boles, a longtime student of lunar construction.“And even if we did, it would perform very poorly.” Engineers will have to think small. ...on Earth there is a bacterium that can survive just on acetylene and water. Thank you for signing up to Space. These will begin next year, long before NASA’s new Orion spaceship is ready to loft its four-astronaut crew moonward. Lunar orbiters in the 1990sdetected concentrations of hydrogen, a potential resource for rocket fuel. Taylor envisions a lunar microwave machine akin to a Zamboni that smooths the ice at a hockey game. “Here you have geological processes that tend to sort and separate,” says geologist Douglas Rickman of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Moon Base Visions: Lunar Colony Ideas in Photos, Virgin Orbit launches 10 satellites to orbit in landmark test flight. Sure, we could survive there, in protective suits and hermetically sealed structures, but it’s not a … No matter where the base is sited, astronauts on a prolonged lunar mission must contend with low gravity and radiation. Even before the first human set foot on the lunar surface during NASA's Apollo program in 1969, people around the world were dreaming about a permanent moon base to colonize Earth's closest celestial object. I’m a very healthy 44-year old male who has had absolutely no astronaut training. So astronauts will have to dig into the regolith, and this will not be as easy as it sounds. Moondust is also a major unresolved issue for NASA’s next-generation space suit. This could make colonizing the moon an even more appealing option. Another important attraction of the moon’s poles is the possible presence of useful natural resources. After just three days of moonwalks, regolith threatened to grind the joints of the Apollo astronauts’ space suits to a halt, the same way rust crippled Dorothy’s Tin Man. Although it hasn't been formally tested, some experts hypothesize that the small amount of gravitational force put on an astronaut's body when on the moon could help stem some of the adverse effects like bone-density and muscle loss that spaceflyers experience while living in microgravity on the International Space Station. It might sound like something set firmly in the realm of fantasy, but experts in private industry and governments around the world are trying to understand how feasible it would be to establish a lunar base. If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. “They found moondust in every nook and cranny,” says William Larson of the Kennedy Space Center, a lead scientist and program manager in NASA’s efforts to develop techniques for using lunar resources. Europa has a very thin oxygen atmosphere, but it is far too tenuous for humans to breathe. NASA is holding a regolith-digging contest this May, offering a $250,000 prize to the team whose robot digs the most regolith in 30 minutes—but the excavator must weigh less than 90 pounds. Artist's concept of a possible colony on the moon. It is conceivable that radiation will cause chain reactions below the surface of the lunar soil, producing fission products from secondary reactions that are even more harmful to human tissue than unshielded bombardment. ... A trip to Mars might take nearly a year — and a huge amount of fuel. “I can sinter the soil to a foot deep with the first set of magnetrons, then have a second set that melts the top two inches into glass,” he says. Traveling to and colonizing the bright, red planet known as Mars has long been a dream and aspiration of scientists of the world. Water manufactured on the moon could help shield lunar lifers from those effects. Outer space isn't for the faint of heart (or head). There could be more than a thousand days in one year! 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