A Prototype International Moon Base Could Be Built in Hawaii

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 - 7:25PM
Space
Moon
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 - 7:25PM
A Prototype International Moon Base Could Be Built in Hawaii
ESA/Foster + Partners
If humans are going to establish a successful off-world colony, we're going to need to practice first. Nobody wants to get to Mars or the Moon only to discover that our architectural plans or water treatment equipment don't work in the local environment.

As plans for a permanent human colony on the moon continue to move forward, it was announced at the International Moonbase Summit earlier this month that a collection of space organizations around the world plan to run a trial experiment, building a prototype lunar base in Hawaii in order to test the infrastructure that we would put into place in the even that a moon base is actually established.

These plans are a continuation of long-running programs from a variety of both corporate and governmental bodies from around the world. The European Space Agency, for example, announced plans for a "Lunar Village" last year, and this new experiment in Hawaii could be instrumental in making this a reality.

According to Henk Rogers, who organized this year's International Moonbase Summit:

Opening quote
"Because of its geography, geology and culture, Hawaii is the perfect place to build a MoonBase prototype."
Closing quote


The summit itself was held in Hawaii, which presumably had an impact on the decision that the islands would be the perfect location to try a remote trial of a moon base. It's not implausible that the scientists arrived at the summit, took one look at the sandy beaches and clear blue waters, and figured, yeah, this would be a perfect place to relax while working on building and running a fake moon colony.

In addition to deciding on Hawaii as the test location, the summit's attendees also made some other important decisions. The eventual moon base, it was concluded, ought to be built near one of the lunar poles, where there's less glare from the sun, and where local water and ice pools can be used to sustain the colony.



There will still be a lot of challenges to face in making a lunar colony that will last. While similar tests are ongoing into the viability of a possible Mars colony, there are specific issues that will face colonists on the moon, such as lower gravity, a lack of atmosphere, and near constant meteor showers that could damage equipment.

Life on the moon won't actually be anything like spending time on a Hawaiian beach, and the scientists who conduct this study will need to ensure that a proposed design for the lunar habitats will be capable of sustaining life in the difficult conditions that will be present on the moon.

Nevertheless, it's clear that we'll be settling down for a long lunar stay at some point in the not-too-distant future. Already, plenty of businesses are looking at the moon as a viable project for the future, and there'll soon be a strong demand for resource provisions on the lunar surface that'll be needed to maintain the moneymaking ventures planned.

With any luck, we're less than a generation away from seeing the moon colonized by humans who plan on staying for more than a week, taking some photos, dumping a bag of poop, and then dashing back home. Meanwhile, some scientists are about to get a nice, lengthy stay in a tropical paradise. Everyone's a winner.
Science
Science News
Space
Moon