Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Lunar Vacation?

I just heard that there is water on the moon.  Now why it has taken NASA and a whole host of scientists 40 years to discover this, I'm not sure.  But what a breakthrough.  This could be the resort of the future, the Lunar Riveria.

Let's think about this.  We need transportation, shuttle pilots, flight attendants, gourmet food service and in-flight movies, which means more shuttles, larger accommodations, more pilots (read astronauts) and flight attendants. To build the resort, we need engineers, architects and plumbers trained in minimal gravity design...think toilets.   We don't want that stuff flowing upstream now do we?

As for electricity, how would we produce that in space.  Burn coal?  Can't.  Fire won't burn without oxygen.  Besides we've already polluted one planet.  Let's hope we've learned something.  As far as I can tell, there is no wind on the moon, so wind-generated power is not an option.  I know, how about giant solar panels so we can capture solar energy and store it.  If you can store heated water, and power lights and radios, there should be a way to power other things.  This is not new technology.  The concept of solar energy has been around for many years.  As a child I had a solar powered radio - actually I still have it, and it still works.  However, the methods of collecting it, storing it and using it have surely improved over the years.

All of these measures have no consequence, if we cannot breathe.  This brings us to greatest obstacle - how do we get oxygen in adequate supply for survival?  Possibly large tanks of oxygen and a distribution system?  Too bad we can't pipe it in like natural gas. Picture that pipeline!  To go outside one would need to don a space suit in order to survive the lack of air pressure.  Otherwise all the liquid in your body would boil, and what happens next would not be pretty.  There is an up side to this.  The fashion designers would all be competing to come up with the hottest new line of space apparel. Good-bye itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.  I guess space age swim suits would kinda take the fun out of things - at least for the guys!  That's a argument for indoor swimming pools - heated with the solar panels, especially given that there is an approximate 500 degree swing in temperatures on the moon's surface.  Bottom line is step foot outside without protective gear and you're dead!

At this point I am thinking we need a much larger shuttle system involving cargo transports for the building materials, oxygen tanks, solar panels and storage units, contractors, etc. and that is just to provide life-sustaining structures.  

Speaking of life-sustaining measures, what about food? In such extreme conditions, crops can't be grown or or livestock raised, so all food would have to be transported from earth.  This would definitely require more transports and create more jobs.

This is just the beginning... Financially speaking, your Lunar Riveria getaway will make a Hawaiian vacation seem like a trip to Walmart, and cause your credit cards to expire on the spot.  So, who's paying for this adventure?  There are many questions unanswered...after all we just discovered that there is water on the moon.

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