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Building a Mining Base on the Moon

A base on the Moon will more useful to supply construction materials to building projects in space that it will be for any other purpose. Supply of raw materials for building in space will need to come from locations that are not deep inside a gravity well. That means from asteroids or from moons will […]

The Difference Between Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets

Ceres was discovered in 1801 as the first asteroid. Pluto was discovered in 1930 as the ninth planet in the Solar System. But recently, it was reclassified as a “dwarf planet”. Let’s take a look at how the classification works for asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets: Asteroid – a mostly rocky object that is smaller […]

47 Years Ago Tonight

The Apollo 11 mission marked the first human landing on the Moon. Apollo 11 Descent: Film and LRO Imagery – youtube.com Side by side view of Apollo 11’s descent, showing the view out of the lunar module’s window side by side with the broader panorama reconstructed from LRO data.Video Courtesy of GoneToPlaid.

Living In Lava Tubes on the Moon

Still just a theory, the idea of huge lava tubes existing on the Moon has taken a big step toward becoming a reality. A team from Purdue University recently presented some work on models based on lava flow channels visible from the surface. The models suggest that lave tube caves on the Moon could be […]

The Moon as a Fuel Depot

There are good reasons to mine the Moon. Ice will supply water and oxygen for life, and hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Aluminum and other metals can be extracted and formed into basic building block materials for construction. But both the ice and the building materials will be mostly thrown out into space for use […]

Lunar Space Elevator

A space elevator is a long cable hung from an object in geo-stationary orbit, so that payloads can climb up the cable into orbit at low cost compared to rocket blast-offs. The cable has to be made of strong but light material and the climber must be supplied with power. This concept was recently only […]

Aristarchus Crater on the Moon

There is a large impact crater on the Moon named after the Greek astronomer Aristarchus. It is about twenty five miles across and two miles deep and is one of the brightest lunar formations. Aristarchus crater is known for it’s history of exhibiting color changes that astronomers call “Transient Lunar Phenomonon” or TLPs. Luminescent glows […]

Lunar X-Prize

The Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP) or Moon 2.0 is a competition funded by Google and organized by the X-Prize foundation, which calls for landing a robotic craft on the Moon and then exploring the surface and transmitting data back to Earth. The first X-Prize of $25,000 was won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927 for flying […]

Printing Space Habitats

3D printers work by extruding materials in patterns and building up layers of the material into three dimensional objects. The greatest cost of building structures in space is simply lifting the mass of the materials up out of the gravity well we live in. If materials to build with can be provided in space without […]

Water on the Moon and Mars

It has long been known that water exists in comets, asteroids, on Mars and on the Moon, but the key question has always been, “how much is there?” Shadows in craters at the Moon’s poles have been suspected to hold some ice, but there was little hope of finding enough moisture across the rest of […]