Colonizing the Moon? Build Tough Walls

One day we may need to use the Moon as a "refilling station" or for upscale retirement communities. Before Space commercial developers get any ideas, they better count on engineering extra-tough, fortified walls. 


New Scientist explains why:

If you want to have a base on the moon, you'd better build sturdy walls. Lunar grit kicked up by meteorite impacts moves at the speed of a shotgun blast, posing a potential risk to future astronauts. But such high-speed projectiles need not be a show-stopper for long-term lunar missions, provided we beef up the structural integrity of buildings, rovers and spacesuits.

"You have to have a suit or habitat design that can handle small meteors, and that may just as well handle these secondary ejecta particles," says Rob Suggs, head of the Lunar Impact Monitoring team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The airless moon is already pockmarked with craters made by incoming space rocks, and the bombardment is ongoing. With low gravity and no air resistance, dirt from an impact can be scattered far and wide. NASA worried about the risks from impact debris during the Apollo era, but at the time little was known about how often objects hit the moon and the speed of any material they kick up.

To learn more, head over to New Scientist.

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less