The bold plan to build a new home on the Moon

Home away from home: It would take around two days to travel from Earth to the Moon.

Would you want to live on the Moon? Fifty years since we first walked on the Moon, humanity is considering going back — this time to stay. What would life on a Moon base be like?

What’s happening

The USA wants to send the first woman to the Moon by 2024. Europe wants to build a permanent “Moon Village”. China, Russia and India all have their own plans for lunar exploration. Meanwhile, several private companies are racing to be the first to send tourists to the Moon for a holiday.

Find out more

Fifty years after humans first walked on the Moon, many on Earth are now hoping to go back. What would it be like to live there?

Not easy, that’s for sure. A Moon base would most likely be built at its south pole, where there is a lot of frozen ice for drinking and growing food. However, there is no atmosphere on Mars, which means you could not go outside without wearing a spacesuit and oxygen tank.

Moon “days” are extremely long: around two weeks of daylight, followed by two weeks of night. Temperatures swing from very hot (up to 127C) to very, very cold (down to -173C).

However, it is not all bad. The Moon has around one-sixth of Earth’s gravity, which means you could have fun bouncing outside in your spacesuit!

Would you like to live on the Moon?

Some say…

Yes — it would be so exciting! Humans have always had a desire to explore. The Moon is our closest neighbour and the next logical place to go. The first people to settle there would get to be part of a brand new society that they could shape however they liked. History would remember them forever. Who could turn down an opportunity like that?

Others think…

I am happy enough on Earth, thanks. Living on the Moon would be dangerous, difficult and fairly unpleasant. Why would you trade flowing water and breathable air for a barren rock, a quarter of a million miles away? Humans evolved on Earth and, as a result, it is perfectly suited to our needs. We would be foolish to leave it behind.

You Decide

  1. Would you live on the Moon?

Activities

  1. Have a go at designing your own “Moon Village” at the Moon’s south pole. There’s a lot of ice nearby. What else would the settlement need to survive?

Some People Say...

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.”

Frank Borman, US astronaut

What do you think?

Word Watch

Lunar
Related to the Moon.
Private
Owned by a person or group of people (as opposed to a country), usually to make profit.
Atmosphere
A layer of gases surrounding a planet.
Oxygen
The gas which humans and other animals breathe to stay alive.
Gravity
The force which attracts something towards the ground. It is the same force which keeps the Moon, Earth and other planets in orbit.
Settle
To make a permanent home.
Barren
Unable to produce life.
Evolved
Developed over many thousands of years.

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