NASA Opens First Moon Base on Earth

A new pair of buildings opened at NASA's Ames Research Center use technology and design to create as much energy as they use, modeling what manned bases on other planets will look like. 

What's the Latest Development?

Using cutting edge materials and a sustainable design, NASA has opened one of the most efficient buildings in the country, foreshadowing how manned bases on other planets will operate. Inaugurated in Moffett Field, CA, the building was christened 'Sustainability Base' after the 1969 moon landing site 'Tranquility Base'. NASA researcher Pete Worden called it 'the first moon building on the planet Earth' because of all the NASA technology that's been incorporated, "including a water recycling system similar to what is used on the space station, cutting water use by 90 percent."

What's the Big Idea?

Having received the highest possible award for a green building, the LEED platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, NASA officials noted it was a major feat, "made possible by using geothermal wells to take advantage of the earth's temperature for heating and cooling and solar panels and fuel cells to power itself and other buildings." Steve Zornetzer, deputy director of the NASA research site on which the new buildings sit, said, "Imagine if every building from this day on generated more energy than it consumed? What would that mean for our carbon footprint? It's possible, it can be done."

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