John F. Kennedy very famously said in 1961: “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space.”
Mankind first achieved the incredible milestone of landing on the moon on July 21st 1969, when Neil Armstrong spoke those unforgettable words,
“That’s one small step for [a] man,
one giant leap for mankind.”
Interestingly enough, no human being has stepped foot on the Moon since 1972. It has been 39 years since we’ve last treaded the mysterious dusty surface – but to this day groundbreaking discoveries are made year after year.
Most scientists have widely accepted the fact that the moon is uninhabitable – that due to the lack of atmosphere, no water supply, and low gravity it would be nearly impossible to attempt starting colonization. Fortunately, we have science. While it may be exponentially easier and hardly impossible to find information for Nassau County apartments in New York, it still isn’t completely impossible to colonize the Moon thanks to some groundbreaking discoveries.
In September of 2009 NASA was presented with some very strong evidence indicating there was and even may still possible be water on the moon. Well, after some very curious scientists and officials who were very interested in the possible existence of water on the Moon, radar aboard the Chandrayaan-1 provided evidence that there is an estimated 600 million tons of pure ice on the Moon’s North Pole.
Inevitably there are still tons of obstacles that need to be taken care of. Legally, the United Nations has forbid any nation from claiming any area of the Moon as its own. So while it would be possibly, and legal, to use this ice (and water) to help keep a space station or colonization stocked with water, such colonization would have to be considered an international colony. No one country would claim control of it.
Naturally there are pro’s and con’s to colonization. Being so close to Earth would mean near immediate communication between both bodies. With the Moon being so close, any failures or emergencies would be able to be attended too quickly. Colonizing the Moon would help test if human’s can survive in a low-gravity atmosphere.
Some of the con’s would be not fully knowing or understanding the long term effects of the low gravity on a human being. Serious irreversible illness could afflict us. A lack of atmosphere would make the colonies very susceptible to being bombarded by meteors. And most importantly – moon dust. It’s highly abrasive and glassy. It sticks to almost everything, like equipment and instruments, even Soho Fashion, and is possibly toxic.
Pro’s and con’s aside there is little reason not to start exploring other bodies for human colonization. Earth will eventually run out of resources. We as a species need to adapt or die. The more time and more experience we have with starting colony on a new body in space the better situation we’ll be in when we are forced to leave our planet. Now hopefully this won’t happen for hundreds if not thousands of years, but still, it’s always better to be prepared. There are still countless things to be discovered. Who knows what’s out there that could change our fortunes?
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