Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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How the Moon’s ice craters will power a human colony

Astronauts will be able to harvest the Moon's natural resources to sustain human life.

MICHELLE THALLER: Ferran, your question is: When we have a permanent base on the Moon, where will the astronauts get air to breathe? I'm sure it makes sense to you that air is something that we consume and it would be a lot of effort to actually bring air tanks from Earth and actually launch them up onto the Moon.

One of the questions I can ask you is, where do you think the astronauts are getting air right now to breathe on the International Space Station? We don't actually take up giant tanks of air to the space station. They get it from water. If you run a very strong electrical current through water you can separate it into hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen, of course, is the most important gas that we need to breathe. So the way the space station gets air is it takes water and breaks it up into those two gases and actually uses the oxygen for people to breathe. Now we could do the exact same thing on the Moon. And so your next question would be, well doesn't it take a lot of energy to bring water up there as well? We would have to bring all these water tanks.

This is one of the reasons we were most excited to find evidence of a lot of ice underneath parts of the Moon. Up by the poles of the Moon there are craters that are very well shaded from sunlight and they get very, very cold and we found evidence of more water in the lunar soil in those craters near the poles than we ever expected. That means if you had astronauts up there and you actually had the bases near the poles of the Moon there would be stores of ice and therefore water that you could actually tap into. You could actually turn that water into air for the astronauts to breathe without ever bringing anything up from the Earth. You could actually be independent on the Moon itself.

And there's another really important thing that you can make out of water by separating it into oxygen and hydrogen and that's rocket fuel. Rocket fuel today, liquid rocket fuel, is the combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. So not only would you have air to breathe from the water, but you could make your own fuel. This is one of the things that we're investigating now, not only colonizing the Moon but also thinking about sending people to Mars. You send people so far away they have to be independent and they even have to make their own fuel to get back. And we think we can do that if we can find water.

One of the great questions is why would there be ice on the Moon? The Moon seems very dry, there's no atmosphere, how could there be water even frozen underneath the soil? Well, we think that what's happened over billions of years is that many different comets and asteroids have collided with the Moon. You can see all the craters on the surface. And asteroids and comets both contain a decent amount of water. Now, most of that water probably just got vaporized and flew off the Moon entirely, but some of it actually turned into ice. And the important thing about these deep craters near the poles is that they are shaded from sunlight. Sunlight would actually just disperse that ice and actually turn it into vapor, but in the dark, shadowy craters the ice accumulates over time and so you actually have a buildup of ice underneath the soil.

  • NASA's Michelle Thaller walks us through what it will take to sustain human life on the surface of the Moon.
  • One way would be to run a very strong electrical current through water, separating it into hydrogen and oxygen. It's how astronauts on the International Space Station currently harvest oxygen to breathe.
  • There's already evidence of ice at the Moon's poles, likely thanks to billions of years of asteroid and comet collisions. All we have to do is harvest it. People on the future Moon base could also use those ice repositories to make liquid rocket fuel.


Take your career to the next level by raising your EQ

Emotional intelligence is a skill sought by many employers. Here's how to raise yours.

Gear
  • Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence catapulted the term into widespread use in the business world.
  • One study found that EQ (emotional intelligence) is the top predictor of performance and accounts for 58% of success across all job types.
  • EQ has been found to increase annual pay by around $29,000 and be present in 90% of top performers.
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Face mask study reveals worst material for blocking COVID-19

A study published Friday tested how well 14 commonly available face masks blocked the emission of respiratory droplets as people were speaking.

Fischer et al.
Coronavirus
  • The study tested the efficacy of popular types of face masks, including N95 respirators, bandanas, cotton-polypropylene masks, gaiters, and others.
  • The results showed that N95 respirators were most effective, while wearing a neck fleece (aka gaiter) actually produced more respiratory droplets than wearing no mask at all.
  • Certain types of homemade masks seem to be effective at blocking the spread of COVID-19.
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You want to stop child abuse? Here's how you can actually help.

Sharing QAnon disinformation is harming the children devotees purport to help.

Photo: Atjanan Charoensiri / Shutterstock
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The conspiracy theory, QAnon, is doing more harm than good in the battle to end child trafficking.
  • Foster youth expert, Regan Williams, says there are 25-29k missing children every year, not 800k, as marketed by QAnon.
  • Real ways to help abused children include donating to nonprofits, taking educational workshops, and becoming a foster parent.
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Yale scientists restore cellular function in 32 dead pig brains

Researchers hope the technology will further our understanding of the brain, but lawmakers may not be ready for the ethical challenges.

Still from John Stephenson's 1999 rendition of Animal Farm.
Surprising Science
  • Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine successfully restored some functions to pig brains that had been dead for hours.
  • They hope the technology will advance our understanding of the brain, potentially developing new treatments for debilitating diseases and disorders.
  • The research raises many ethical questions and puts to the test our current understanding of death.
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Here’s a map of Mars with as much water as Earth

A 71% wet Mars would have two major land masses and one giant 'Medimartian Sea.'

Image: A.R. Bhattarai, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
  • Sci-fi visions of Mars have changed over time, in step with humanity's own obsessions.
  • Once the source of alien invaders, the Red Planet is now deemed ripe for terraforming.
  • Here's an extreme example: Mars with exactly as much surface water as Earth.
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