What is the practicality of a colony on the moon?
After the moon landing many people thought of their lives in relation to space and what planet we could live on or space station to work at. We thought of flying cars and machines as companions in a bold new frontier. Now that the future is here, is it even worth the trouble to make some of those fantasies true. Does the moon really hold something valuable for us to colonize it?
Yes, it does. It has a resource called Helium-3 which could fuel all of earth's energy needs for a few centuries. It also has other resources, as well as potential for scientific research.
Since the moon has no atmosphere, I see your question as being no different than asking about forming a colony via a space station. Our beloved moon has helped life on planet Earth for quite a while, but I see no big deal unless it possesses some very useful minerals and/or resources for mankind (which it very well and/or probably does). I suppose we can ask some of the aliens that inhabit the backside of our moon, but they will most likely not have much to say on this matter. At any rate, I wish our moon would quit drifting away from earth, at a rate of 2+ inches a year; dang!
Building a base on the moon would take substantial amounts of money and resources not to mention the governments of the world banding together to make it happen. The cost to send a capsule and gear to the moon just a few times cost our nation $25.4 billion in 1973. Now imagine having to send multiple loads of gear, water, resources, vehicles and construction equipment. It would cost trillions of dollars not to mention any lives that may be lost trying to get the stuff to the moon.
Can we do it? The answer is YES! Will we do it? YES!! It is just going to take time. We will return to the moon to harvest something very special that exists on the moon called Helium 3. H3 is made in the Sun and it collects on the surface of the moon because it has no atmosphere. So over the eons it has been trapped on the moon untouched.
Why do we want H3? Well it is a highly abundant fuel source for fission. There is enough on the moon to solve all the power problems we have on Earth. So the first major colony won't be put in place by the powers that be but a private mining industry. They will bore underground and create subterranean bases inside large craters. A H2O plant at the south pole will melt permafrost into useable water and pump the water to the mining bases.
Over time the entire project will pay for itself. We are going back but not as explorers but as plunderers.
Helium 3 is certainly a tantalizing reason to colonize and develop this resource. One of the greatest reasons is that it provides a springboard to colonize other planets, as well. It provides a sounding board for space survival and all of the variables that may go into living almost any where in space. It is a first great step in space exploration that may well some day in the near future be necessary for the survival of the human race, as we know it.NASA is important and should never be disbanded or down sized. There are great economic problems on this planet and we are intelligent people and should be able to solve it over time. NASA also provides important weather information to all countries and are an invaluable tool, in forging a new road map(star map) to the unexplored regions of the space.frontier. Sometimes practicality dictates the steps necessary for future survival and we should not abandon our incentive and determination to explore. We are human and it is in our DNA.
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