Lunar Bases


Fast forward to a world where lunar habitats defy celestial odds, rising amidst the barren moon like outposts from a sci-fi movie. Picture these colonies as vibrant enclaves where the air hums with the pulse of lunar life. The moon, once a distant dream, now stands as a thrilling frontier.

This is the future and it's closer than one may think.

A recent breakthrough has found that water and hydrogen molecules can be formed and retained on the moon's surface in the lunar dirt, which is called regolith. This is the first time scientists have demonstrated the detection of hydrogen-bearing species within vesicles in lunar samples, and the first time life on the moon seems within reach.

Katherine D. Burgess from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory explained that while scientists have found other ways to source water, they have not been good long-term options. "Locating resources and understanding how to collect them prior to getting to the moon is going to be incredibly valuable for space exploration," explained Burgess. "Hydrogen from solar winds can react with regolith and form water on the moon, but this water is formed and retained differently, depending on the content of other minerals in the regolith and other factors. We can't rely on that alone."

While this discovery will revolutionize our understanding of the moon and humanity's future moving plans, not everyone is happy about it. Junior Ella Griffith expressed concerns regarding planet Earth. "I would hate to move to the moon and lose everything that makes Earth beautiful," she said. "The moon is so gray. What about all the mountains and oceans that we have here?" she asked. Griffith loves to be outside in nature and can often be found hiking or traveling. "As humans, we are drawn to things we find beautiful, so I don't understand why people would be willing to go stay on a planet that is just gray and dusty," she said.

Senior Dylan Eickhoff had a different opinion. "I would love to live on the moon. Who wouldn't?" he said. "I think it would be so cool to explore a different world and float around and stuff." Eickhoff has been fascinated by all things space ever since he was a child. "I was one of those little kids who wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, but now I'm grown and I still want to do that," explained Eickhoff. "We have seen all there is to see on Earth and I want to explore something completely foreign."

The biggest issue many people have with moving to the moon is the future for Earth. "It is great that we are finding water on the moon, but I think that if we start to actually consider that as an option for the future, then we will give up on our efforts to save our current planet," Griffith explained. "It would be a shame to ruin this planet because there is a plan B."

But, Eickhoff isn't so concerned. "The moon can only hold around three billion people comfortably, I think. We would still have to have a lot of people on Earth, so it's not like we are just going to trash it," he said.

While planet Earth still has a while before it is uninhabitable – roughly 250 million years according to scientists – things are changing – and very quickly. According to Hinatea Chatal from Nasa's Meteorology Department, certain parts of the world will be extremely difficult – if not deadly -- to live in as soon as 2050. Parts of South Asia, the Persian Gulf, Iran and Kuwait are thought to be the main victims of extreme heat in the future.

"As much as I don't want to move to the moon, I can see how having less people on Earth would be good for slowing climate change," said Griffith. "We could lower carbon emissions and hopefully stop deforestation with less people here."

That's one thing Griffith and Eickhoff can agree on. "The global population is steadily going up and has been for years now. It would definitely be helpful to get some people out of here," said Eickhoff. "It would be like Thanos, but people are just on the moon."

The future of the planet involves space exploration and travel, whether people ike it or not. "I am interested in seeing where this new discovery will take us," said Griffith. "Technology has been developing so rapidly that I can't even imagine how much things will change during my lifetime," she said.

Eickhoff, though more excited, feels the same. "It would be so cool to just travel from planet to planet like you would a regular plane ride," he said. "I am hype to see what they do about the water right now."

Story by Molly McCurdy