Tech geeks with their eye on putting a permanent settlement on the Moon have lately been talking a lot about the idea of using 3D printing technology to print parts for a permanent base out of what the Moon has a fuckload of— dust. And this is what such a base might look like.
Asteroid mining will be here before you know it, but instead of sending wild mountain men into the asteroid belt, the best idea seems to be to rope an asteroid in closer. The Chinese want to pull one into Earth’s orbit, but NASA has a safer idea— pulling an asteroid into the moon’s orbit. It’s close, and if something goes wrong, you crash on the moon.
At the end of their mechanical life, the twin GRAIL probes that have been taking all kinds of moon measurements, will crash ceremoniously into the surface of the moon while NASA watches to see what comes up in the plume. Oh, and NASA will be live streaming this moon crash today at 2pm.
Humans have always been clever at finding things to make tools out of, but if you’re up on the Moon and you’re in a jam, you can’t really sit down in your spacesuit and knap a moon rock into the tool you need. So for future lunar explorers, the other option might be 3D printing tools out of moon dust. Because if there’s one thing the Moon has way too much of, it’s dust. Those moon turds above are three different test prints, using moon dust as the 3D printing medium.
Recently, there have been reports that NASA is in the planning stages of another manned mission to the Moon, but that’s not entirely correct. What NASA does have in the pipes are plans for a space station on the far side of the Moon, at the Langrangian point 2, or L2, where the gravitational forces between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are stable, allowing something to stay in that one spot as opposed to orbiting around the Moon.
For every perfect landing like Curiosity, NASA has to go through dozens of failures. One project on the table is building a brand new, next generation moon lander, and one of the prototypes, nicknamed Morpheus, just went into the failure category. At least for now.
For decades, people have wondered if the American flags left on the moon are still there. Recent photos of the moon landing sites show that all of our flags, save one, are still standing, but at this point, they’re most likely entirely white.