Colonization of the moon is the proposed permanent establishment of human on the moon. Indication that water and vegetation could be present in significant quantities at the lunar poles has increased interest of human settlement as a natural expansion of humanity beyond the earth. Polar colonies could also avoid the problem of long lunar nights and take advantage of the sun continuously. The thought of colonization of the moon has been encouraged by advancement in technology. The moon has been targeted among the planetary bodies because of its proximity to the earth. This was to enable exploration of other planetary bodies. This essay discusses US interest in moon exploration and colonization.
The US vision of landing on the moon had three projects with the aim of exploring the moon and eventually settling human beings there. These were Project Horizon, lunex project and lunar ark. A German rocket engineer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency led the project horizon study in 1959. The study was in regard of the US Army’s plan to establish a fort on the moon by 1967. Lunex project was a US Air Force plan for unmanned lunar landing prior to Apollo program in 1961. A 21-airman underground Air Force base was to land on the moon by 1968. Lunar ark was a plan to preserve humanity’s culture in the event of stopping asteroids impact with earth. Soviets Union of USSR was interested too in moon exploration with the lunar program. Luna 2 was the first man-made object to hard land on the moon surface in 1959. In the same year Lunar 3 photographed and radioed to the earth the then unseen far side of the moon .this was important event in the human history since it was discovered that a Lander could not sink into a thick dust as feared earlier (Burges 180).Â In 1961, when John F. Kennedy was president, he laid out the landing of the first man on the moon as the major goal. This was in immediate response to the achievements that had already been achieved in exploring space.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the Apollo program. U.S. had established NASA as the body that was to devise possible and safe ways to get man on the moon and settle him there. Apollo 8 was the first manned flight into the orbit of the moon with crew members; Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Andres was the single initial man to see all the sides of the moon. In 1969 Apollo 11 made history, since it enabled the first human, Neil Armstrong to walk on moon. Millions on earth watched on television how the astronauts, Buzz Aldrin walked on the natural body in space and Michael Collins moved around in the command module. NASA termed it a complete success (Santy 200).
Space exploration was and still is of significant interest to the U.S. They have numerous reasons on why they want to make major achievements in space exploration. The first one really has to be for the purposes of national pride as the first country to make a breakthrough in space exploration. Then there is the need to foster cooperation and oneness with other nations with the same endeavors, to explore space. Another reason is to quench the thirst of the unknown; the desire to know what exists in space will only be settled through space exploration. Though in small scale, space exploration will create jobs. George W. Bush, who was the president the then United States President rallied for startegies toÂ organised manned mission to the lunar surface by 2020.Â Another personality who supports the exploratiion of the moon is Newt Gingrich, former house speaker and currently seeking a ticket to contest the presidency on a republican ticket. Gingrich came up with a plan, which he later suggested to the government. The plan itself was to build a U.S. moon colony latest by 2020.NASA then issued a new long-range plan that included constructingÂ a center on the Moon to actÂ as a midpoint to Mars. This plan foresaw a lunar at the poles of the natural body in space at around 2025 thatÂ could be able to continually connect solar power at the poles (Shrieve 10).
Reasons why to get to the moon
Scientists have identified that natural bodies have the potential to provide sufficient materials for construction purposes and.Â Moving materials from the earth to the moon or vice versa requires energy, but the energy required to transport material from space to earth is lower and much more in a reverse trip. Ultimately, this will let the moon to serve as a construction site or fueling station for spacecraft. A proposal of using devices that require electric acceleration also known as mass driver to move objects from the moon without building rockets was put forward. The moon also does have some gravity which is essential for the development of man. (Burges 86).
The proximity of the moon to the earth has several benefits: Space tourism would provide monetary incentives, security, and several other technological benefits. The total amount of power that is needed to propel objects from earth to the moon is lower than for most other bodies and the transit time is short. The short transit time would allow emergency supplies to quickly reach the moon colony from earth and allow aÂ Â human crew to evacuate comparatively quickly from the moon to Earth in case of emergency. A communication, which is configuring in a round trip model is more efficient in communication to the earth, with only a 3 second delay. Such possibility will enhance communication between earth and space. Factors that have to be considered for colonization include good condition of transport and communication, a wide variety of various types of natural substances on the moon which would be of great scientific interest, and other natural resources like oxygen. Scientists have proposed three lunar locations for lunar outposts: the lunar poles, equatorial region and the far side. At the polar region, there is evidence of existence of water and since the moons axis of rotation is almost perfectly perpendicular to the elliptic plane, solar energy can be powered to it. Lunar equatorial areas are widely believed o be containing higher concentrations of Helium-3 that is a major component in nuclear research. At the equatorial region, rotation is slowing hence useful in launching material on the moon (Burges 111).
The lunar far side is short of direct communication. Establishment of a communication satellite at a network of orbiting satellites can allow conversations of any kind in any position the moon and earth . The opposite surface is also an ample location to position a big radio telescope due to its superior protection from the earth. Quite in similar version, the magnetic file in earth specifically shields the area from the solar wind during each rotation. Either way the far side is well exposed and should receive a substantially big proportion of the ions (Kay 81).
How to get to the moon and live there
Earlier on, the consequences of the lunar environment like the absence of magnetic field, lack of atmosphere, acute temperature changes, extremely higher radiation levels, and unusually long nights were identified and put into consideration.Â Actual spacecraft Landers and their respective gas thanks are some of the habitats that have been considered. Suggestion to build an underground lunar colony that would provide protection from such kind of micrometroids and radiations were suggested. These provide immensely lower air leakage risk; this is because the colony will be effectively sealed from the outside save for a small number of exits to enter the surface. Room and pillar mining method should also be appropriately used.Â Other measures that could be put in place include putting self-seals to the fabric habitats to retain air. Doing all these would finally see the construction of an underground city. Artificial lighting from the soon would also be necessary in underground farms.Â A Lunar base would require energy for its operations among them life support system, fuel production, communication and scientific research. Developing a nuclear fission reactor may as well be the final fulfillment of energy requirements in the moon. It can help one overcome the difficulty of the 354-hour lunar night. For the purposes of power back up, radioisotope thermoelectric generators would be of great value in producing energy (Shreve 7).
Solar power is too a workable source of energy in a Lunar base. Majority of the raw substances that could be required for solar panel production can easily be extracted on the site. Solar power could however be a major drawback for the characteristically long lunar nights that last for 354 hours. This could be reinforced by setting up numerous power plants. The workers that would aid in construction, location finders and all the machinery useful in building would have already been transported in the NASA Orion spacecraft.Â The lunar colonists need to transport cargo and people from the modules and spacecraft. They also need transport to research on the other parts of the lunar surfaces. Some of the vehicle design that could be used include: small open covers, large pressurized modules with lab equipment and a few flying vehicles. Establishing multiple bases on the lunar surface would prompt a linkage by railway systems that are permanent (Shreve 9).
Raw Substances that cannot be mixed on Earth due to gravity issues have to be combined in space, and result in composites with excellent quality. Moving material from the Moon to the earth causes more problems because of the high cost of transportation. To curb the costs involved in transportation, Lunar water-produced propellants could be moved to the store depots between the earth and the moon, this should help in resupplying rockets and satellites within the earth’s orbit. (Kay 96). In conclusion, colonization is an important step that will aid in exploration of the other planetary bodies. The attempts that the U.S has for made are concrete proof that space exploration is indeed possible. Only great minds, devotion and determination are required to make the American dream happen.