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Lunar living: What would life on the Moon be like?

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It's also near impossible to grow food in the Moon's atmosphere, though scientists are devising ways around this. If all the chemicals needed to cultivate vegetation for food were transported from Earth, human waste (including carbon dioxide from breath) could replace them for the next round of plants. Although theoretically possible, we would require about 500 pounds of food, or the chemicals to grow it from scratch, to be delivered the Moon for the cycle to start. Per person.

In addition to mastering this process, we'd need to prepare for the high-energy cosmic rays our food would be exposed to. One solution could be a lunar greenhouse, which would exist underground. This would shield crops from harmful radiation, and use hydroponics to protect them from the harmful chemicals in lunar soil. However, we'd need defense from this threat too. Solar radiation could cause degenerative tissue damage, increased risk of cancer and central nervous system damage, so protective shields would be mandatory for every inhabitant.

On its surface, moon dust seems trivial, but it's a hugely significant concern-Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, called it the only barrier to future expeditions. All 12 Apollo astronauts suffered from so-called "lunar hayfever" after their missions. The moon dust irritated their eyes, nostrils and lungs, but would lead to long-term exposure for inhabitants, which could destroy their lungs and brain cells. Space.com says that Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of planetary sciences at the University of Tennessee has an idea, describing an experiment he did:

"" transforming Moon dust: He once put a small pile of lunar soil brought back by Apollo astronauts into a microwave oven. Taylor found that it melted rapidly, within 30 sec, at only 250 W."

And the article describes:

"Picture a buggy pulled behind a rover that is outfitted with a set of magnetrons," he suggests. (A magnetron is the heating element in a microwave oven.) "With the right power and microwave frequency, an astronaut could drive along, sintering the soil as he goes, making continuous brick down 0.5 m deep," Taylor points out. He adds that by changing the power settings the astronaut could melt the top inch or two of the soil to make a glass road.

This moon dust is one piece of a big puzzle-but it's a puzzle that is being tackled with huge resources. Bezos is not the only billionaire working on space exploration. Elon Musk has been making great strides with his SpaceX project.

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Sports writer and numbers man who produces infographics for a range of different sports, including footballcricket and horse racing. Occasionally contributing to the casino (more...)
 

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Lunar living: What would life on the Moon be like?

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