Would You Move to the Moon?


Artist’s concept of a possible colony on the moon. Credit: NASA

Johanna Guerrero, Editor-in-Chief

Scientists have been looking into how oxygen particles travel to the moon and what this could mean for cultivation of life on the moon. New research has arisen that has created new interest.

According to nature.com,

“Considering the penetration depth into metal of O+ ions with such energy, and the 16O-poor mass-independent fractionation of the Earth’s upper atmosphere 6, we conclude that biogenic terrestrial oxygen has been transported to the Moon by the Earth wind (at least 2.6 × 104 ions cm−2 s−1) and implanted into the surface of the lunar regolith, at around tens of nanometres in depth 3,4 . We suggest the possibility that the Earth’s atmosphere of billions of years ago may be preserved on the present-day lunar surface.”

In short, the earth has ions that are oxygen positive that have been moving to the moon. The moonś atmosphere has been slowly gaining oxygen over billions of years from these ions in the earth’s atmosphere.

For the past 70 years people have been trying to move off of our friendly planet. For the fascination, existing since the early 1950’s with the launch of Sputnik 1 and movies like “Plan 9 From Outer Space” 1959, or to simply get away from a not-so-friendly planet, people are interested in deep space exploration. The big question about living on the moon is how.

To be a habitat for people, the moon’s atmosphere needs to be capable of sustaining life. For billions of years oxygen particles have been flying to the moon due to solar winds. This has left small traces of oxygen in the moon’s atmosphere and it’s possible there are pockets of oxygen particles within the moon’s rock. Scientists have been looking into how oxygen particles travel to the moon and what this could mean for cultivation of life on the moon. This is significant for looking at how life might have been cultivated in an environment similar to earth’s early atmosphere.¹

“[Beaming oxygen to the moon] it’s a good thing because then soon the moon would be survivable. If [the moon] had stuff from here up there, I would move to the moon,” said senior Immanuel Joseph.

With looking at how life developed on earth’s early atmosphere, one similar to the moon’s, scientists can begin to look at how to make adaptations that will make the moon habitable. Although oxygen particles have been beamed to the moon due to solar winds, oxygen would not have to be exported to the moon but could be manufactured by mining for certain natural materials on the moon. For living spaces, habitats could be made through 3D printing using natural materials from the moon.² The initiative for moving to the moon could mean expanding deep space exploration and human habitation to Mars. One small step to the moon is one step closer to Mars.

“[Moving to the moon] would be great because it means more chances to survive,” said freshman Perla Aguilar.