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Luna

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Terrafromed moon

Artist's rendition of what the moon might look like terraformed.

Luna (or Moon) is the only natural satellite of Earth. Luna has caves which may serve as refuge from cosmic radiation [1] and other damaging effects from space. [2]

It has recently become apparent, by collision of L-cross into the Luna’s South Pole, that Luna also has plenty of water in forms of ice. The discovery of spectral shift which identified water, led scientist renew their enthusiasm for a lunar outpost. Analysis of water on a mostly pristine environment might have recorded events of our solar system shortly after Luna’s formation. A notable atmosphere must be created before terraforming can begin, as well as addition of extra water via comets. However, the moon is too small to hold an atmosphere for very long so putting a global giant air dome or replenishing the atmosphere as needed. Days and nights would last about 2 weeks, so going outside would probably be restricted to sunrise and sunset (which would last a while) on Luna.

Facts

  • Equatorial surface gravity: 1.622 m/s^2
  • Escape velocity: 2.38 km/s
  • Surface temperature: Varies

Because of its low gravity, lack of a magnetic field, and proximity to the sun, it is very problematic for the Moon to hold on to a dense atmosphere; nitrogen, which is the main "buffer gas" on Earth, would be blown away by the solar wind.

The only way to create a stable atmosphere is to fill it with heavy inert gases (like xenon and krypton). As these gases only exist in trace amounts, the only efficient way to create them in large amounts is by nuclear fission, which is beyond our current technology. Because of its proximity to the sun, green house gases would not be necessary in large amounts. The ultraviolet radiation would be very strong, so at least small amounts of oxygen would be needed to form an ozone layer.

The moon may have no water, and if it does it will have very little [3]. The only way to increase the amount of water is to redirect small, icy asteroids on a collision course with the Moon, which is also possible with current technology - on paper - but has not been demonstrated in the field.

However, moon rock appears to have oxygen and H 2, so it may be possible to refine that, to make water and oxygen, potentially speeding up a terraforming or pre-terraforming colonization process.


Luna

Another rendering of what the moon might look like terraformed.

Dont Terr Moon 1b2

A computer generated conception of a terraformed moon showing the thick air layer. It would be much thicker than that of Earth's due to the Moon's 1/6th gravity.

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