That High Wet Desert, the Moon

So, I’ve talked before about why we should, as a country, return to the moon, but in case you were wondering about the logistical challenges facing a lunar colony, wonder no longer! This article from the NASM (National Air and Space Museum) will tell you all you wish to know about all that water we found on the moon not so long ago.

In line with this most recent article is this article from Sputnik Day ’09 (October 4th, 2009 to those who do not know). A quick skim of the article will tell you all you need to know about the hopefulness of its author, a particularly ironic sentiment in this “enlightened” age just seven months later. However, it will also outline neatly for you what I’ve been saying all along about using the moon for resource utilization.

The article talks about the role water plays in human space exploration, from drinking water to protection from cosmic radiation to rocket fuel and electricity from fuel cells and–

You get the idea. Trying to explore the moon isn’t a re-hashing of the “glory days” of NASA. Did anyone ever tell you in high school or college that those are the best days of your lives? If you were like me, you told them, “God, I hope not. That would be one sucky hell of an existence, wouldn’t it?”

Well, that’s how it is for NASA. Assuming any period of time is the “Glory Days” of NASA is destroying what it means to be an exploratory species. The socioeconomic and military benefits of lunar colonization and utilization are, as I hope to have implied, innumerable. We can just now begin to wonder what possibilities are waiting for us, now that we’ve found water on the moon.

I still don’t see why the news of water on the moon wasn’t a fire under people’s bottoms. At least, it wasn’t for NASA and it wasn’t for Obama. It might be for India and China and Japan and Russia and–well, I’m afraid, anyone but us.

“We’ve been there before!” “It’s just old men trying to relive the glory days.” “There’s nothing for us on the moon.”

All useless and empty phrases, avoiding the implications of the plan not to return to the moon. Don’t get me wrong; it’s wonderful–and absolutely necessary–for NASA to have such a lofty goal as Mars, but private companies are only just now ready to take over LEO. Why not establish a permanent base on the moon on the way to an asteroid and Mars? It just doesn’t make sense.

If NASA won’t put a base on the moon, I’m just going to have to find somebody who will.

Of course, it’s probably going to end up being me, and people like me. Luckily, I know a lot of people like me, and they all need jobs.

EDIT: I should note that the above articles reflect the opinions of their author, and not NASM in general.


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