July 19, 2010

Ice and Caves Make Moon and Mars Visits & Colonies More Practical

Members of Congress who may be sceptical about the ability to support long-term colonies on the Moon and Mars should be pleased to learn of recent discoveries regarding water ice and caves.

Water ice has been found at craters at the lunar north pole, which opens up the possibility of creating a nearly self-sustaining colony which can create rocket fuel, and agricultural and drinking water with great ease.
"Tons of ice found on the moon:"
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/water-moon-north-pole-100301.html

Ice in Martian
Crater
Even more important, given the far greater distance to Mars, are discoveries in recent years of vast quantities of water ice.
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/25/science/sci-mars25

Caves on both the Moon and Mars, spotted by openings called "skylights" where lava tubes broke open to the surface offer three incredible bonanzas if colonies are located inside such caves: Shielding from radiation; shielding from meteoroid/micrometeoroid impacts; and like on Earth, such caves will be at a fairly constant, average temperature which will greatly reduce heating and cooling needs.
Lunar Caves:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/12jul_rabbithole/
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/07/19/Scientists-debate-meaning-of-moon-holes/UPI-30181279578138/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18030-found-first-skylight-on-the-moon.html
Mars Caves:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20100621/sc_space/7thgradersdiscovermysteriouscaveonmars

These are truly exciting discoveries, for they will make long-term visits or colonies far easier and less expensive--and even more interesting!

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