The line between dark and light swung slowly toward him and away in a 4-week cycle. Already, dozens of human beings were housed there and in his lifetime it might well rise to hundreds. We need cheaper and more reliable access to space, and a pathway established so that the public has a clear understanding of how all this will be done. The first man landed on the moon in 1969, and we've been obsessed with getting back there ever since. moon. By Sarah Fecht. Satellite studies of the Earth will remain an important priority, along with the lofting of unmanned spacecraft to explore our solar system. Why Didn't the Soviets Ever Make It to the Moon? It is the best shape to hold air pressure. Surely this will become possible sooner than much smaller settlements elsewhere in space can achieve true independence. The moon itself is a craggy rock over 2,000 miles in diameter. A bubble dome is the most efficient way of encasing civilization on the moon. Eventually, when space settlements are constructed, they may be even more efficient as places where space vessels can be built and launched, but the Moon will retain certain advantages. Read about our approach to external linking. Quantities of lunar soil can be hurled off the Moon by a "mass-driver,” powered by an electromagnetic field based on solar energy. In March 1988, Popular Mechanics ran an article, written by sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov, exploring humanity's future on the moon. Not surprisingly, your evening on the Moon is similar to your day; pitch black. We Could Be Living On The Moon In 10 Years Or Less. Scientifically, the Moon is fascinating. And, in fact, radio telescopes on the Moon and on the Earth could make observations in combination, allowing us to study in the finest detail the active centers of the galaxies, including our own Milky Way. Mind you, I’ve skipped some steps here. You’ll want to pack heavy coat. The Moon's crust is 40-percent oxygen (in combination with other elements, of course). Wheeled lunar rovers powered by the Sun would provide close-in transportation and cargo handling. From the Moon's soil, we would obtain various elements. The resulting energy would support not only human explorers but a broad array of science and industrial activities, principally lunar mining and astronomical observation. The Moon has 38 million square kilometres of real estate, so we’ve literally only scratched the surface. Once the lunar colonists discover how to create a balanced ecology based on a limited number of plant and animal species (which may take awhile) that knowledge can be used to make space settlements viable. Global positioning technology. Former astronaut Dr. Sally K. Ride, America's first woman in space, recently produced a report outlining this nation's space goals. It's envisioned that early lunar pioneers will reside in pressurized modules and airlocks—not unlike the modules currently being designed for the space station but with a significant difference. The Moon will be an active mining base to begin with. Neutrinos and gravity waves, together with other exotic cosmic manifestations, might be detected more easily and studied from the Moon than from the Earth. One line of thinking is that mined metals can be used to build structures in space that would be very difficult and pricey to construct on Earth and launch. Government intelligence gathering (which has prevented far more conflict than people credit it for). The Moon can also be used for experiments we would not wish to perform in the midst of the Earth's teeming life. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Super-Sahara or not, the Moon would be useful, even vital, to us in many ways. Their ultimate goal is not to mine asteroids as such, but to create a permanent human foothold in space. To comment on this or anything else you have seen on Future, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. The terrifying reality of actually living on Mars The first spaceships that could carry humans to the red planet are being developed now, but we need to discuss accommodations once we… It takes less than 5 percent as much energy to lift a quantity of matter off the Moon than it would to lift the same quantity off the Earth. But that’s not the company’s plan; instead, they are taking many small steps to get to asteroids, including launching tiny telescopes to map the Earth and sky, identifying potential targets, upgrading those probes to actually get to asteroids, and then finally prospecting them. And with no atmosphere to erode its surface, it’s like a history book of the solar system. In space exploration, there are always benefits found along the way that are difficult if not impossible to predict. Will mankind once again walk on the lunar surface? But, without atmosphere to trap in heat, your evening temperatures will plunge almost instantly to nearly -250º Fahrenheit! The Lunarian thought: It is the year 2028 and the Moon has become our second world. So what is there to make us want to go there, let alone live there? One company, Planetary Resources, has already announced plans to do exactly this. Not a short-term goal, catering to the continuously shifting political whim, but a long-term plan where each step is achievable and sustainable. Going to the Moon itself has many benefits, and I think in the long run it will prove itself a worthy venture. First, it will be a world of huge spaces and will not have the claustrophobic aura of the space settlements. In a little over a decade, a small number of humans will be living on the Moon. To build observatories, laboratories, factories and settlements in space, it would make sense to use lunar materials, especially since Earthly resources are badly needed by our planet's population. You’re done. Why send humans when we can send machines? Why are we going back, and how will we survive once we get there? China is building a space station (the first module is already in orbit) and has plans to go to the Moon; India and Russia have made similar musings – but it would be a big mistake to think of this as a second space race. For now, he was on the Moon. The moon is quite different from Earth. Humans could set up robot-constructed mining outposts at the moon's poles. But those were visits only. Because in the end, we’re in space and we’ll be on the Moon. There was no motion anywhere, no sound of living things. Some tasks may be performed by intelligent robots already on the drawing board. After humans become established on the Moon, some visionaries foresee a complex of habitable dwellings and research labs for geochemical, physical and biological research. Health. But when will this colonization take place? We have been studying 800 pounds of Moon rocks astronauts retrieved, but merely bringing them to Earth has contaminated them, and the astronauts were only able to investigate isolated landing areas. Their idea is to mine near-Earth asteroids for material, creating depots of air, water, and other supplies for future space missions. "Moonmovers," adapted from Earthmovers, would excavate building and mining sites. Farther along the gently rolling floor, in the direction of the opposite side of the crater, was sunlight, too. Really, you would have to definitely live in caves on the moon, but on Mars, it might be possible to live above-ground. There was light along the crater top, as perpetual as the dark at this portion of the crater floor. Second, a lunar gravity, though weak, will be constant. Smelting material in the near-weightless environment of an asteroid is one thing, but creating complex components of spacecraft is another. It has raised questions as to whether the human race could survive the harsh conditions of the Moon’s surface. Even Apollo 17, the longest of the missions, was only there for three days. After humans become established on the Moon, some visionaries foresee a complex of habitable dwellings and research labs for geochemical, physical and biological research… He was not a true Lunarian, of course. Latest. With NASA's plans to return to the moon in the coming years and President Trump's recent executive order clearing the way for companies to start mining the moon, Asimov's vision is more relevant than ever. A common mineral on the Moon is ilmenite, or titanium iron oxide. Commander Chris Hadfield, the astronaut who captured the public's imagination when he … The soil on the moon contains oxygen, which can be harvested using heat and electricity. * There are between 1.5 and 2 Billion “Moon People" (ET’s) living on the moon. Manufacturing is likely to be easier in gravity, and the Moon is a perfect compromise for this. But we’ve been to the Moon before; six times, in fact. Watch the video to find out. The Lunarian looked in that direction, and the photosensitive glass of his faceplate darkened at once. The Moon is a dead, desolate world, without air or water. Satellite communication. The Moon, as an independent world, will represent a complete new turning in human history. Think of the efficiency of the solar power stations we could build on a world without an interfering atmosphere... To what purpose? 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