The moon has functioned as a regulator of oceanic tides, a wonderous sight for Earth’s inhabitants, and even the subject of fictional works.
But could it someday be a second home for humans?
Exploring the cosmos is always something people have dreamed about. A life beyond the stars and thousands upon thousands of miles from Earth can seem alluring. Part of the allure is the mystique – how could such a feat be possible?
Just traveling to the moon for a visit required the type of resources and technology only available to government agencies and the biggest corporations on Earth. Living there would require humans to master terraforming, a science that only has vague ideas developed but no real results to show at the moment.
That doesn’t mean a lunar space station couldn’t be transformed into a secondary home on the moon – it merely means that such a space base would have to have precisely calculated terms and plenty of supplies.
What steps would need to be taken to terraform the moon with a lunar station? From refining the atmosphere to securing the unit against solar hazards, there is plenty of work to be done in achieving such a goal.
Why Humans Are Optimistic About Space Colonization
Anytime a new lunar explorer or lunar station is developed, it stirs rumors about humanity’s ever-progressing race to make planets besides Earth inhabitable for people.
Early in 2018, space experts launched the heaviest rocket in the world, the Falcon Heavy, into space. Almost half-a-century after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, the sight gave more hope to space exploration advocates and showed humanity is still progressing at making space exploration technology.
Now with companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX making waves in the scientific community for their potential as a source of space exploration, it seems like there are more options for just who could spearhead the race to colonize the moon.
Though NASA has caught flack for its inactivity over the years, with some people calling it wasteful, the agency and global leaders are working together for plans to take humans back to the moon for the first time since the 1970s, and even to Mars for the first time ever.
But those are just plans for a visit – how much work would it take for humans to colonize the moon and make it permanently livable?
Creating a Lunar Station to Support Humans
It is possible that humans could some day land on the moon and take off their space helmets without issue – provided they’re in a habitable facility when they do it.
A gateway station, or a station that serves as an entry point for humanity’s colonization of a planet, would have to have its atmosphere controlled precisely to make breathing possible. Everything from the content of gases in the structure to pressurization levels would have to be monitored constantly, as any subtle change could have a dire impact on the inhabitants.
It is possible humans could somebody enhance the moon’s atmosphere, but this would take a lot of resources and rely on technology still young in its development.
But beyond simply putting humans on the moon and ensuring they have a lunar space station to survive in, the space base would have to be fully stocked and outfitted with everything a person needed.
This goes beyond food and water – medicine and even the capacity for interaction with other people would need to be readily available. There would also need to be a reliable way of transporting these goods in, meaning space travel itself would also have to be improved.
How Far Off is a Lunar Station on the Moon?
Beyond the fact that putting a station on the moon would require transporting delicate structure thousands of miles, there is the question of just how much time must pass before humanity is up to the task.
There is a chance humans could put at least some type of inhabitable space base on the moon within the current century. People would likely be able to live there for short periods of time, but it is unlikely the unit will be considered a long-term homestead.
Though the concept of living on another planet can seem futuristic and out of the way, it is important to note progress is being made. Every piece of research scientists gather about the cosmos and the conditions of other planets provides a better basis for terraforming plans.
Could Mars be next? Jupiter? What about planets beyond the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy? There is a chance any planet could be terraformed by humans once the technology is refined. People of the future may look back on the moon landing as the true foundation of the colonization of the cosmos.