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Do you think in 50 years will people be living on the moon?
Question Date: 2005-03-08
Answer 1:

We could probably build a self-contained area on the moon and live in it temporarily, but the cost would be enormous. You can estimate it if you find out how much it costs to send a kilogram of something to the moon.

How many people would be living there? How big would the space need to be? How much would the building weigh? Now you have to transport that to the moon, plus all the tools and materials, workers, and the space vehicle itself.

Remember that the workers have to live in the ship while the moon base is being constructed. Construction would be very slow because workers would be in clumsy suits. Robots might be used for some of the work. We would have to transport them too. How long would the people be living on the moon? Every day a person uses 500 l (125 gal) of water here on Earth. (That doesn't count the 7200 l used per person per day for farming, manufacturing, etc.) How much would the water supply weigh?

Now for the oxygen: How much of that do you need per day? Then there's food, fuel, batteries, medical supplies, etc. You can probably think of lots of other things that you will need.

You couldn't stay on the moon for too long. When our bodies are weightless, they start breaking down. One problem is that our muscles atrophy (get weaker).

The bottom line is that it would be an adventure to visit there, but you couldn't stay there long. The people on Earth would have to work extremely hard to get you and your stuff there. It's another good reason to take good care of the Earth.

Even if the costs to transport material to the moon will go down tremendously in the next 50 years, we might have invented much lighter materials by then, the overall problems will still exist.

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