For years, scientists have theorized that there may be water on the moon. If that is the case, that would make it much more plausible that astronauts could live on the moon. How so? People must have water to drink to stay alive. But by todays standards, it would cost thousands of dollars to send one gallon of water into space via a manned spacecraft. That would be too expensive to make living on the moon a possibility.
Nevertheless, last year NASA announced a new program, called Artemis, to send astronauts back to the moon to establish a permanent, human presence there to “live off the land.” NASA even contracted with Pittsburgh company Astrobiotic to send NASA’s golf-cart size land rover, called VIPER, to the moon in 2023. The next year, in 2024, astronauts would explore the moon’s south pole surface in VIPER, looking for water. Maybe VIPER could even carry a set of golf clubs so those astronauts could hit a few golf balls and see if they could avoid those supposed water hazards.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained, “VIPER is going to be a big boost to our efforts to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 through the Artemis program.” NASA will thereafter be delivering many payloads to the moon to build its permanent station there. It will then be called “Gateway” because it will serve as the launchpad for sending a manned spaceship to Mars during the 2030s.
Barack Obama announced during his presidency the goal of NASA landing an astronaut on Mars by 2035. But Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and co-founder and CEO of EV manufacturer Tesla, has better ideas. He has been saying for a long time that SpaceX also would send astronauts to Mars. Last week, he upped his ante. While Musk is known for making timed predictions for his companies that don’t meet their delivery dates, he said SpaceX will get astronauts to Mars by 2024. And last July, Musk said their manned spacecraft, called SpaceX Starship, could go to the moon next year.
This week, it’s looking more and more likely that there is indeed water on the moon. NASA announced that two studies have discovered substantial evidence that there is water on the moon. But they do not think this water is the kind of H2O liquid we are most familiar with here on Earth. Rather, they think it is either ice or some other molecular form and that it most likely is located on the dark side of the moon.
You see, the moon doesn’t revolve around an axis like Earth does. Instead, the moon always faces the sun with its lit side while its other side remains in darkness. It is that other side of the moon, that dark and mysterious side to us humans, where many scientists believe the moon is hiding its water, perhaps in some depressions like Earth’s lake beds.
It is intriguing to me to think that humans could be living on the moon in the not too distant future. But then, you could say I have an obsession with the moon. That’s because my nickname as a PGA Tour pro golfer was “the Pro from the Moon” or just “Moon Man.”
All of this reminds me of a way-out theory I have about the moon, which I will tell about in my next blog post–tomorrow.