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.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less