The Moon has long captured the imagination and has been an awe inspiring feature of our universe. The closest extraterrestrial body to earth, hanging effortlessly in our nights sky, the Moon seems so close, yet is so far away. An unequaled feat of engineering and American ingenuity, man’s first steps on the Moon will never be forgotten.
“Going into hostile environments like space will require the use of available resources, which means among many other things, extracting oxygen and water from rocks. New ideas will be needed and that will require young minds to come up with answers.” Dr. Steve Wilson, USGS – Lakewood, Colorado.
When exploring new environments, in order to conquer and indeed survive within them, we must first understand them. Given that the surface of the moon is made of material unlike anything on Earth, we must understand the composition and unique features of that material. If we as a species intend on surviving long term, we must branch out into the universe. It is a scientific fact that at some point in time the earth will cease to sustain life. The first steps toward inhabiting another planet will involve understanding the extraterrestrial surfaces.
The Moon is a likely location for the first stop on major space expeditions, perhaps for a refueling station? According to Dr. Doug Rickman of NASA Huntsville, AL, on delivering the Curiosity Rover to Mars, “the entire rocket at launch weighed 528,202kg (1,162,050 lbs). All of that was to deliver 899kg (2,000lbs) to the surface of Mars. This means 99.83% of the rocket was thrown away to deliver 0.17% to Mars. The Moon is a big pile of oxygen, hydrogen, with lots of metals and other things needed. Just getting out of the Earth’s gravity well to low Earth orbit takes 95% of everything a rocket starts with. Going to the Moon is much worse. Going to a planet is crazy difficult. If we could refuel once we get out of the gravity well the change in what we could then do would be phenomenal!”
Lunar Simulant – How it’s made
Check out the video below for a technical understanding of the process of making lunar simulant. Credit: Dr. Doug Rickman/NASA STI Program.
Want your own vile of lunar simulant? Check out their Kickstarter page.
Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: SSERVI Team