Presentation on theme: "Mission: Moon!. What is it like on the Moon? Length of Day Atmosphere Temperature Water Radiation Gravity Landscape."— Presentation transcript:
What is it like on the Moon?
Length of Day Atmosphere Temperature Water Radiation Gravity Landscape
Long Days and Long Nights The Moon spins on its axis – rotates – once every 27 days Earth rotates once every 24 hours The Moons rotation means its day is almost two weeks long – and then its dark for two weeks!
Nothing to Breathe The Moon does not have an atmosphere Atmospheres are important because they protect us from harmful solar radiation and help to keep temperatures
Really Hot and Really Cold The Moons temperatures range from +107 C in the sunlight to –153 C in the shade or darkness (thats +224 F to –243 F below freezing!) The temperature changes so much because there is no atmosphere to moderate it. Extreme changes are bad for equipment.
Water? There is no liquid water on the Moon. There may be frozen water – ice – in deep craters near the poles. Oh no.
Sunscreen, Anyone? Solar radiation levels on the Moons surface are dangerously high because there is no atmosphere to block incoming radiation.
High Jump! The Moon is smaller than Earth, but because it has mass, it DOES HAVE GRAVITY! The Moons gravity is ~1/6 of Earths. Because there is less pull on you, you will weigh less and jump higher on the Moon!
Dusty! The Moons rocks have been pulverized into a fine powder by continuous asteroid impacts. This regolith layer can be 45 feet thick!
Lunar Landscape Lunar Highlands Bright, heavily cratered, Lunar Highlands – terrae. Mostly plagioclase rocks that are about four and a half billion years old! Dark, smooth Lunar Lowlands – maria (mar-e-uh). Made of 3 to 4 billion year old basalt – the same rock type as Earths ocean floor and the Hawaii volcanos. Lunar Regolith covers much of the surface.
What would we need to live on the Moon?
Shelter Power Food Water Earth communications Tools / equipment Ways to move around
ShelterShelter A lunar outpost is needed for long stays to maintain an atmosphere and protect us from temperature extremes … space suits protect us outside the base. It will be built with materials transported from Earth (costly!) but we can use lunar resources Moon to help (titanium, regolith for lunar bricks!). A natural shelter can be found in the lava tubes in ancient volcanic areas.
Power Fuel is expensive to transport from Earth Solar power can be used to run an outpost. Solar power will have to be stored in costly batteries for long periods of darkness, unless the base is in a permanently sunny region.
Food Food will be transported from Earth. Eventually, hydroponic gardens will be created to provide food for the outpost.
Water Liquid water does not exist on the Moons surface. Water ice may exist in deep, permanently shadowed craters at the poles. All humans need water to drink. Water also can be broken into hydrogen and oxygen and used as a fuel or to create an atmosphere at the enclosed base.
Calling Home Earth is far away … about 240,000 miles away! We will need to communicate about outpost operations and the health of the astronauts, and we will want to stay in touch with Earth friends, too! The outpost will have to be in constant view of Earth to maintain communications. If the outpost is not in view, costly satellite systems will have to be put in place. Note: Astronauts Do Not Use Telephones! Communications travel by radio waves, part of the electromagnetic spectrum!
Tools and Equipment We will need to transport tools and equipment to the lunar outpost to build the base and conduct scientific experiments.
Roving the Surface We will need ways to move around the surface as we build the outpost, search for resources, and conduct scientific experiments.
Topography A lunar outpost will have to be built in a safe, relatively flat location that is easy to reach on foot or by Moon buggy. Apollo 15 Landing Site 20 km 12 miles
Other Considerations What science can we do? Depending on where we go, we can learn different things about how the Moon formed and has changed. We can set up telescopes to monitor Earth or to look deep into space.
When we select a lunar outpost site, we need to consider all of these things! Shelter Power Food Water Earth communications Tools / equipment Ways to move around
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission
LRO spacecraft launched on June 18, 2009 It will orbit the Moon, collecting data to: Characterize solar radiation on the lunar surface and how it might impact humans and materials Make a high resolution global, 3-D map of the Moons surface so we can select landing sites Make very detailed maps of the Moons resources and the Moons polar regions to see if water ice is present.
Mission: Moon! Just like NASA teams of scientists and engineers, you and your team will propose a site for a future lunar outpost and debate why it should be chosen. Your Mission: Review the data for the different possible lunar outpost sites Select the site that has the fewest risks and most benefits in your view