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Probing NASA's Plans For A Lunar Colony

Date:
February 5, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The success of NASA's plans for a permanent human outpost on the moon may depend on the availability of technology that exploits the moon's environment and natural resources to obtain essentials like electric power, according to an article in Chemical and Engineering News.

Artist's conception of a future lunar base.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA

The success of NASA's plans for a permanent human outpost on the moon may depend on the availability of technology that exploits the moon's environment and natural resources to obtain essentials like electric power, according to an article scheduled for the Feb. 5 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, the ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

In the article, C&EN associate editor Susan R. Morrissey discusses the ongoing debate about the need for humans to return to the moon, the costs, the scientific benefits of a lunar base and whether it should be in the hands of NASA or private industry.

If the project does move ahead, it may have to rely on technologies that utilize on-site resources to construct and sustain the base, the article notes.

At present, sponsors of the mission would face enormous per-kilogram costs for the solar cells and other gear that will have to be transported from Earth to the moon. Alternative approaches might avoid such sticker-shock, Morrissey notes.

One proposal, for instance, calls for using the lunar rocks and the moon's intense vacuum to make photovoltaic cells on site. Another approach calls for placing long strips of solar cells on the lunar surface, creating a large-scale solar power installation that could provide megawatts of electricity for lunar colonists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Probing NASA's Plans For A Lunar Colony." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205130324.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, February 5). Probing NASA's Plans For A Lunar Colony. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205130324.htm
American Chemical Society. "Probing NASA's Plans For A Lunar Colony." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205130324.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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