If we establish a base on the Moon, how will the astronauts who live and work there survive? When Neil Armstrong was there in 1969, he said, "It has a stark beauty all its own. It's much like the high desert of the United States." But he didn?t spend months at a time there.
The moon affected the astronauts who went there in different ways. Buzz Aldrin later fought off alcoholism. Edgar Mitchell became a paranormal investigator. James Irwin became a born-again Christian, searching Mount Ararat for Noah's Ark.
Living on the moon means increased exposure to cosmic rays from the sun, since the Moon does not have a magnetic shield around it like the Earth does. Apollo astronauts even saw colorful flashes they called "ghosts," caused by charged particles from the Sun passing through their optic nerves. The unprecedented solar flares of recent months would have driven them underground.
It's not a place for fussy housekeepers. "One of the most restricting facets of lunar exploration is the dust and its adherence to everything, no matter what kind of material," says Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan. "Simple things like the bag locks and the lock which held the pallet on the Rover began not only to malfunction but not to function at all." Astronaut Harrison Schmidt ruined the visor on his spacesuit while trying to clean the dust off it and he also turned out to be allergic to Moon dust.
The lower field of gravity cause human bones and muscles to atrophy, but it's not as bad as the zero gravity on the International Space Station. It?s also extremely cold up there, so robots may do a lot of the outside work. The months of isolation would be hard, like spending time in a submarine or Antarctic base. The difference is, you'd see "home" every time you looked up in the sky.
But building materials won't be a problem, since NASA researchers have turned simulated Moon material into concrete and glass. And astronauts won't run short of air to breathe, since Moon dust is 40% oxygen?which works fine, as long as you're not allergic to it.
One of the Moon astronauts' biggest enemies will be the sun. Paul LaViolette explores Ancient myth and esoteric lore from around the world tell frightening tales of humanity's suffering through destructions by fire and flood, legends of catastrophe so extreme and so pervasive that now we tend to discount them as imaginative exaggerations, and links them all to the Sun.
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