My son is reading a novel targeted to 3rd graders called Space Case. This got me curious about the latest thinking in moon bases, and I downloaded Google Moon to have a look at the property. Here is the latest thinking on the matter:
- The Lunar South Pole has best combination of water and almost constant illumination at points, and is much explored compared to the Lunar North Pole. The South Pole is cenetered in the Shackleton Crater.
- Communication delay is only 3 seconds, which makes it very amenable to remote control of automatic processes like robot construction.
- We should send robots to build and test habitats first using 3D printing of moon dust.
- The best place to build a house is in a lava tube.
- Watch out for moon dust, that’s a major challenge, and probably would make lunar living very annoying, like living amongst the fiberglass insulation of an attic.
- Google has a prize with a fairly imminent launch date for commercial landing of a lunar rover. Is it my imagination or is Google now outsourced NASA and new IBM?
It doesn’t look like it will be fun for a long time. It should happen before anybody lands on Mars.