Mining the Moon
While the world was focused on the coronavirus — pointing fingers on whose fault it is, dealing with isolation and getting increasingly stir-crazy…
Something quite amazing happened earlier this week.
And even if you were paying attention, it may just have been a blip on your radar. But I’m here to tell you about the remarkable potential this has.
On Monday, President Trump signed an executive order that stated America could mine the moon and asteroids for resources.
This raises a slew of questions: Why the moon? What’s the benefits? Are we allowed to do that?
Today I’m going to dive into each of these. And I will show you the great potential behind this new order.
Why the Moon?
NASA wants to create sustainable settlements on the moon.
And mining moon rock would allow them to be able to more easily create livable hospitable structures.
Transporting material from Earth to anywhere in space is extremely expensive.
So using the moon’s natural resources would prove vital to creating a sustainable settlement.
The moon also provides a jumping-off point to living on different planets.
The next obvious target is Mars, and the moon could provide a way station to prepare, train and equip for journeys to and from Mars.
Think of a journey to Mars like climbing Mount Everest.
You have to first get acclimated for a few weeks at the base camp before you can even attempt to climb to the top.
The moon is our potential base camp.
Another reason to mine the moon is for the materials.
Precious metals like gold, platinum and palladium are abundant.
Furthermore, lunar soil has the potential to store heat and provide electricity for future astronauts — providing even more potential for a permanent sustainable settlement.
Finally, the moon is an excellent potential source of solar power because of the lack of atmosphere and cloud cover.
Sunlight falling on a crater in the moon has estimates of up to 100,000 potential megawatts produced. Compare that with the 100 megawatts produced by a hydroelectric damn today, and you can see the potential.
Are We Allowed to Do This?
Finally, let’s address whether or not we can legally mine the moon in the eyes of the global community.
The answer is yes.
The United States stayed out of any international treaty banning the mining of the moon. The most notable was in 1979.
The only international law that affects the U.S. is the 1967 Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space.
Quite the mouthful.
All the treaty said was we must be ambassadors for Earth and we have to resist colonizing or claiming parts of space for our own.
Furthermore, this treaty sets up a loose set of guidelines rather than strict laws on what can and cannot be done in space.
At some point down the line, I predict that further international treaties will need to be signed to flesh out space laws.
Until then, nothing’s stopping us from getting ahead of the curve.
To a bright future,