The idea of building a colony on the moon where people could live has been floating around for decades, and numerous lunar missions have given us more of an idea of what this would really be like. From the data that’s been sent back from these missions, it seems like there would be no easy place to live on the moon in comparison with Earth. So why the moon? This article will explore what it would really be like to live on the moon, from the advantages to disadvantages.
The focus has largely turned to Mars these days, so why would we focus our efforts on the moon? According to Greg James, a science writer at Last Minute Writing and Writinity, “there are many possible advantages to building a lunar outpost on the moon, including that a return trip can be completed in less than a week. The moon’s surface is very resource rich: lunar dust has hydrogen, oxygen, iron, and other metals. If we could mine these, we would be able to get a source of water and building supplies.”
Another advantage is the moon’s location for monitoring. On one side, explorers would be shielded from the Earth and could monitor the rest of the universe without disruptions, and the other side has a great view of the Earth almost always. These two sides could serve as bases for both search and rescue on Earth or exploration of the deep space. We would also be able to spend more time studying the moon’s geology away from the effect of the Earth’s conditions on lunar material. In this way we could learn a lot about the history of the moon and how the Solar System evolved over the years.
If a base were built at a lunar pole, inhabitants could vacation away from them to different parts of the moon, to areas similar to mountains or caverns and vast lava plains. There are also huge craters where mining outposts could be set up. You could also see stunning solar eclipses, when the Earth blocks the sun. In terms of physical activity, the moon’s gravity would greatly affect any sports more difficult than on Earth. Someone living on the moon could throw or kick a ball six times farther and higher than on Earth. On the bright side, there would be no weather concerns like rain which affect activities on Earth.
On the other hand, there are a lot of negatives or possible difficulties with living on the moon. Days on the moon are roughly the equivalent of 14 Earth days, during which temperatures reach on average 253 Fahrenheit/123 Celsius. On the other hand, the nights on the moon also last roughly 14 days with an average temperature of -387 Fahrenheit/-233 Celsius. The only areas on the moon which wouldn’t have these extreme temperatures and schedules are the lunar poles, due to the moon’s rotation. In fact, Paul Rutherford, a physics blogger at Draft Beyond and Researchpapersuk, says that “scientists believe that the poles have enormous amounts of water and ice stored and have low light levels from the sun for months on end. Because of the angle of the sun, it’s almost always a sunset of 32 Fahrenheit/0 Celsius at all times.”
Another downside with living on the moon is what’s called space weather, which includes danger from meteor particles as large as golf balls, solar flare particles, and moonquakes. The moon is actually seismically active and has moonquakes up to 5.5 on the Richter scale which last an hour. These would be a big inconvenience or even danger to existing buildings on the moon. More than this, building a base on the moon would be very difficult due to solar winds, radiation, and sticky, sharp dust all over the ground. The base would have to protect against all the above-mentioned issues and also have a regular supply of water, food, oxygen, power, and fuel.
There are so many challenges to building a lunar colony for moon inhabitation that it seems like something quite far away or difficult to achieve. However, the advantages can’t be denied, and it’s not far-fetched to believe that one day it will happen and humans will have permanent settlements on the moon.