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Building Habitats on the Moon

 Building Habitats on the Moon

Building Habitats on the Moon



When most of us think about the Moon, we don’t really have a good sense about its size, its constituent elements, and the harshness of its environment. The Moon is truly a small body, quite a bit smaller than the Earth. Earth’s total surface area is 510.1 x 106 km2 , with a land area of 149.8 x 106 km2 . This is almost four times the total  lunar surface area of 37.9 x 106 km2 . Mars, for comparison, is about 144.8 x 106 km2
. Coming from Earth, humans have a certain instinct regarding how far the horizon should be, and astronauts who walked on the Moon remarked about their surprise at how close the lunar horizon seemed to them.

This is a book about the structural engineering of settlements on the lunar surface, and a bit on sublunar sites. It is about the Moon, rather than Mars, for two reasons. The first is that we know the most about the Moon. Humans have been there six times. The second reason is the Moon’s proximity to Earth. Consider this: if the Earth is 100 units in diameter, the Moon is 3000 units away and is 27 units in diameter, and Mars is 428,000 units away and 53 units in diameter.

 The surface of Mars receives about 44 percent of the sun- light intensity that the surfaces of the Earth and Moon experience. Getting people safely to the Moon for a very long stay is barely within the abilities of our highly technological society. Some aspects are a bit beyond our abilities, but much is within that horizon of our talents. Mars, however, is another story. Much of what we need to be able to do to get people to Mars is beyond that horizon. It is not a matter of money, but rather a matter of
experience in space, of surviving in space. More specifically, experience and survival on the Moon. If someone gave me as much money as I wanted to make humanity a spacefaring civilization, I would still choose the Moon as our first goal. This book will provide some insights into that choice.


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