Exploration of the Moon: why do scientists need an Earth satellite and is it suitable for people

Photo: © Video screenshot

Exploration of the Moon: why do scientists need an Earth satellite and is it suitable for people

Photo: © Video screenshot

On November 19, 2022, a bright fireball was observed in the skies over Canada. The asteroid “Double-U-Jay-van” (WJ-1) entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomers discovered it just three hours before re-entry into the atmosphere. The diameter of a celestial body is only a meter. It is much more difficult to notice such a one than a large one – several hundred meters in size. But even small asteroids can be very dangerous.

Remember the fall of the Chelyabinsk meteorite? It was quite modest in size – only 18 meters in length. At the same time, the power of the explosion when the asteroid entered the atmosphere ranged from 300 to 500 kilotons. This is 20 times stronger than the explosion in the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

Chinese scientists are proposing to turn the moon into a galactic defense outpost. They are going to build two powerful telescopes there, at the north and south poles. They will track meteorites invisible from Earth. Talks about this and more program “Science and Technology” with Mikhail Borzenkov on REN TV.

Plans to turn the moon into an outpost for defense

“The most dangerous are asteroids that come from the side of the Sun. Due to solar glare, they are almost impossible to detect with optical telescopes. The situation is also complicated by the ever-increasing number of satellites in orbit: they block the view. Telescopes in the polar regions of the Moon will help solve all these problems. Their viewing angles perfectly cover the entire blind spot.” – said Wang Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration.

Together with the telescopes, the Chinese plan to send guardian satellites armed with an arsenal of kinetic weapons into lunar orbit. On an alarm signal, they will fly to intercept a dangerous asteroid. And they will shoot it down long before approaching the Earth. True, NASA has already started talking about the fact that protecting the planet is just a pretext. In fact, the Chinese are “intent on capturing” the moon. But why might it be needed? And can a satellite be made habitable?

Photo: © Video screenshot

Ideas about building a lunar base and colonizing the moon

In November 2022, the Orion unmanned spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center. This is the first step of the American Artemis lunar mission. In 2024, Orion should fly into space already with the crew, and in 2025 the United States plans to land astronauts on the moon.

Both Russian and Chinese cosmonauts have aimed at the Earth satellite. And everyone has plans to land on the moon as early as this decade. So, time to pack your bags?

You need to take with you the most necessary: ​​warm clothes – it’s cold there; food – nothing grows there. Water – and more, because there are no rivers or lakes on the Moon. Air supply – there is no atmosphere either. Materials for the construction of buildings, tools, equipment, batteries, a powerful transmitter for communication, fuel for the return journey. Wait, how do you get it all there? And, most importantly, how long will it last? And do we need this moon at all?

The landing of astronauts as part of the Artemis mission is only the first step. The main goal is the construction of a lunar base and the colonization of the satellite. But it’s not just the US that’s claiming this.

Photo: © Video screenshot

“The exploration of the moon will certainly be a universal activity, and the Chinese, and the united Europe, and the United States, and India, and, of course, Russia will participate in it. That is, the moon is now being transformed from an object of research that is being done in the world there 2 thousands of scientists, to the space continent,” commented Igor Mitrofanov, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

How to make the moon habitable

It seems that humanity is going to seriously explore the moon. Different states are going to colonize the Earth’s satellite. But how do you make it habitable? Do not bring oxygen in cylinders on rockets.

Chinese scientists have already come up with a way to generate air on site. In samples of lunar soil, which were delivered to Earth by the Chang’e-5 spacecraft, compounds rich in titanium and iron were found.

“These metals can be used as catalysts. And to make air from water. It is enough in the form of ice in the craters at the poles of the Moon. Using electrolysis, you can separate H2O into oxygen and hydrogen,” said Lin Yanting, an employee of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a researcher of lunar soil samples.

Photo: © Video screenshot

Oxygen is offered to breathe, and hydrogen is used to make fuel. To do this, it will be converted into methane.

It turns out that the lunar colonists will not have problems with air and fuel. But what will they eat? After all, the delivery of even sublimated food from Earth will cost cosmic money.

Space farming and fish farming

Scientists from the University of Florida in 2022 took the first step towards space farming. They were able to germinate seeds in the lunar soil. True, the beds were the size of a thimble. And the results of the experiment showed that plants will grow much more slowly on the natural satellite of the Earth.

“We would like to use genetic protection information to reduce stress levels to the point where plants, especially cereals, can grow in lunar soil with very little impact on their health,” said Rob Ferl, professor of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida.

Photo: © Video screenshot

French scientists went even further and proposed to breed fish on the moon. According to their idea, fertilized eggs will be delivered to the satellite from the Earth, and fry will be grown in local water.

It turns out that both plants and fish can survive on the Moon. Are there places suitable for human habitation?

Places on the Moon suitable for humans

“Due to the absence of an atmosphere, the temperature on the Moon fluctuates greatly: on a lunar day, the satellite heats up to 127 degrees Celsius, and on a lunar night it cools down to minus 173. At the same time, the change of day and night occurs every 354 hours – about once every two weeks. Under such conditions, it is not easy build and maintain a base for permanent residence, said Noah Petro, a researcher at the Moon Cave Project.

In July 2022, NASA made a sensational announcement. Caves have been discovered on the moon in which people can live and work. It keeps a constant temperature plus 17 degrees. It’s all about the breed. The caves are made up of volcanic lava which protects them from extreme lunar temperatures. In addition, the level of solar radiation is noticeably lower inside. And you can hide from micrometeorites. What if you build an entire city on a satellite?

Photo: © Video screenshot

How to build an entire city on the moon

Russia and China have already announced ambitious plans. The joint project envisages the colonization of the moon in the near future. The first stage will be the creation of a base at the south pole of the earth’s satellite. Scientists are sure that in this area it is easiest to detect water.

Construction of the base will begin in 2026. At first, robots will build, and in a few years astronauts will fly to the moon. Subsequently, the base will be expanded and turned into an international space station. Around it, the first lunar city will grow. The Chinese propose to use lava caves for its construction, connecting them with a system of tunnels.

About the most incredible achievements of progress, the discoveries of scientists, innovations that can change the future of mankind, see the program “Science and Technology” with host Mikhail Borzenkov on REN TV.

Source: Ren

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