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There's No Place Like Home - on Moon - Essay Example

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In January 2004, U.S. President Bush outlined a plan for NASA to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020 and then on to Mars and beyond.1 Nikolai Sevastyanov, the head of the state-controlled RKK Energy Company said in an interview that they are planning a permanent moon base by 2015.2 Japan wants to help build a lunar base and populate it with advanced versions of today's humanoid robots by around 2025, according to the head of the nation's space agency…
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Theres No Place Like Home - on Moon
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Download file to see previous pages Unlike Cold War era, there is no maritime competition pushing superpowers ahead for such plans. So why is this increased interest in lunar exploration and lunar real estate The ever-increasing technical prowess and latest discovery of water ice in Polar Regions has fuelled interest of all. In this paper we explore the current trends of all such activity analyzing the feasibility of any moon habitat. Our aim is to give a realistic overview of advantages - disadvantages of such a project.
Apollo program proved that manned mission to moon is very much feasible but the rock and dirt samples brought back were extremely low in lighter elements required for supporting life. This dampened enthusiasm for any lunar base project. However, in recent times, advocates such as National Space Society and the Moon Society cite the possibility of clean fusion power from Helium 3 fuel mined on the moon as a potential economic justification for a lunar base. Mining helium-3, a potential rich source of energy (could be used in futuristic fusion reactors on Earth that would generate electricity without producing nuclear waste) and harnessing it back to Earth would be a key priority in the moon exploration program. Such fusion technology could also power rockets for deep space travel in the future. This is how Peter Kokh in his Moon Society Paper gives justification for Human Presence on the moon:4
The Moon's far side also called the dark side of moon may be an ideal site for future radio astronomy as it is permanently shielded from the noisy Earth.
Because moon is isolated from the Earth, it can be an ideal place for biologically hazardous experiments.
In the vacuum like no atmosphere and no gravity condition of moon, some unique chemical and biological products such as life saving drugs may be producible. Scientists are optimistic about advances in other technologies such as nano-robotics in such environment.
For future space exploration, the Moon can serve as a launching pad. The reason is that the escape velocity from moon is far less and cost of transportation of materials from Moon will be far cheaper when compared to any such mission from Earth.

Kokh also highlights the importance of the involvement of private enterprise in such efforts.
3. Constraints involved in Lunar base programs
For any life support system targeting Habitats for human exploration and presence on the Moon will require vastly expanded habitat research and design validation efforts.5
We have too many constraints for any such project.
Availability of oxygen: Moon has no atmosphere and hence there is no question of oxygen present in atmosphere. However, there is a possibility to extract oxygen from the Ilmenite ore present on the moon. Scientists also propose an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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