Quest_Moderator <A>We have a large group of folks in the chat room.
Our experts Jon Rask and Jen Heldmann are working on your questions.
Anthony_-_homeschool_WV <Q>Would cement break or crack if a there
is a moon quake or if a meteoroid hits it?
Jon_Rask <A>Yes - Presuming that a large enough force would be
imparted. But remember, the Moon does not have the same type of internal
activity like the Earth does.
Mrs.Richards_5th_grade <Q>zarybnisky and my class is viewing with
Mrs. Richards's class.
Quest_Moderator <A>Welcome! Glad to have you
brendan_casey <Q>I know this is really early, but we because
of circumstances we won't be able to respond on Monday. We are having
a hard time in dealing with fuel sources. We have considered solar
power and methane producing bacteria, but we don't know how much would
be necessary to sustain a four or five person station. Yes, we would
be conducting reseach and some exploration with a rover but roughly
how much of a supply do we need to sustain basic life support.
Jen_Heldmann <A>Great that you are considering fuel sources.
Solar power is an excellent option to explore. Remember that using
solar power may affect your site selection (for example, near the lunar
poles there are regions of permanent or near permanent sunlight, but
at the equator you would have 14 days of sunlight and 14 days of darkness).
It is difficult to assess just how much power you will need because
it is highly dependent upon your activities and operations.
Mrs.Richards_5th_grade <Q>Are we at the right place to see the
Quest_Moderator <A>Today's communication
is a web chat. The webcast is scheduled for December.
Anthony_-_homeschool_WV <Q>Would walkie talkies work to communicate
on the moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A>This is a good idea and it is great that you
are considering communications on the Moon. Yes, you could use walkie
talkies. You could link together astronauts working in different locations,
wirelessly connect instruments that are in various locations on the
Moon, etc. This is a very active area of research at NASA.
Nishant_Sardar_Patel_High_School <Q>Hello.......Should we attach
any computer graphics for the lunar design?
Quest_Moderator <A>Computer graphics,
if helpful in understanding your design, would be great. Think about
how they would appear on the web, as that is the way we will be displaying
Hayley_at_WestValleySchool <Q>1. How much oxygen do humans
need in a day and how much carbon dioxide do we give off in a day?
Jon_Rask <A>Humans need a continous supply - we've adapted to
the approximately 21% Oxygen in it. If I recall correctly, we exhale
around 1 kg of CO2 a day.
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>hi scientists!
Patience_Mr._Harris_s_class <Q>can we start asking questions?
Quest_Moderator <A>Questions are
being answered as I type. Please send yours in asap.
you generate water from urine through a microbial bioreactor?
Jen_Heldmann <A>There are many ways
that you could generate water and recycling urine is certainly one
of them. Using microbes is certainly an option but there are other
ways as well. You might want to explore physio-chemical reactions that
could extract the water from urine, too.
do you get the oxygen from the greenhouse to the rest of the lunar
Jon_Rask <A>It would have to be
circulated from the greenhouse with fans in a forced air convection
Scott_Harris <Q>has the presentation started?
Quest_Moderator <A>Yes! Jon and Jen have each answered a questions
and have lots in the quque. If you want yours answered, please
submit them now.
Savage_School <Q>Do the ice caps exist and provide
a source of water?
Jon_Rask <A>Yes - both on Earth and on Mars. There are even places
on the Moon where there may be reserves of ice deep inside craters.
Aaron_at_WestValleySchool <Q>What is a good way to transport
ice from one of the lunar poles to a research station nearby?
Jen_Heldmann <A>This is an excellent
question. If there is ice at the lunar poles then it is located
in an EXTREMELY cold region and a region that is in permanent shadow
(meaning the sun never shines there so it is always dark)! You
have to design a robotic means of extracting the ice first without
much (if any) human intervention. Then you need to pump that water
and/or ice up out of the permanently shadowed region up to the
top of the crater wall or cliff into the sunlight (where the people
can work). Then, depending on where your research station is located,
you have to transport the water to the base (how do you do this?
Pump through pipes? Transport with a truck?) NASA is still working
out these details so your ideas are most welcome!
type of surface does the moon have?
Quest_Moderator <A>Have you looked
through the articles on: http://quest.nasa.gov/lunar/outpostchallenge/aboutmoon.html?
we do all the energy power by solar?
Jon_Rask <A>It depends
upon how much energy is needed and when. Right now, we use solar
to maintain small spacecraft and the electrical systems of the
International Space Station. But we need higher energy density
fuel sources for launch and other highly energy consumptive processes.
there any limit to the space we can provide for the astronauts?::ninja
Jen_Heldmann <A>Your only limit
to the amount of space you can provide for the astronaut is if
you have enough resources (power, oxygen to breathe, maintaining
temperature within the habitat, etc.) to sustain the astronauts.
Right now the whole Moon is open for exploration so the physical
amount of space isn't a large constraint.
is the chance of a meteor hitting the Lunar Outpost?
Jon_Rask <A>This is possible, but the chances are very small.
Scott_Harris <Q>What are the benifits of having an underground
Jen_Heldmann <A>One of the biggest
advantages of having an underground lunar base is that the overlying
regolith (or Moon dirt) can help shield the astronauts from harmful
radiation. Because the Moon doesn't have an atmosphere (like Earth)
there is no protection from harmful ultraviolet radiation (no ozone
layer on the Moon) and also the Moon lacks a large magnetic field
like Earth has to protect us from harmful space radiation. Putting
the habitat underground can help protect against this radiation.
we dig on the moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A>Yes, you can
dig on the Moon but you must remember to bring the proper tools
with you to do the job depending on how deep you want to dig.
we transport enough air to the moon so you can go inside the lunar
outpost and breathe normally?::blink
Jen_Heldmann <A>Yes, you could transport air with you to the
Moon to breathe. However, consider other options such as using resources
already on the Moon. For example, there is oxygen in the Moon rocks
which you could extract. There also may be water ice at the lunar poles
(H2O), so could you extract the oxygen from the water?
Elizabeth-Mr.Harris_s_class <Q>should we build above or under
the moon because of cost? If so how do you dig on the moon?::tongue
Jen_Heldmann <A>It is up to
you whether you place your Moon base on the lunar surface or underground.
Consider the advantages of each (for example, building underground
will shield the astronauts from harmful space radiation, but building
underground may be more difficult). You can use techniques that
have been developed on Earth to dig on the Moon as well. Depending
on how deep you want to dig, what tools would you use? Shovels?
Large tractors with hoes?
we build above or under ground for the price ?
Jon_Rask <A>One of the most
challenging aspects of a human outpost on the Moon is the radiation
environmen that people will be exposed to when on the surface.
This radiation (made up of UV, cosmic rays, gamma and x-rays and
other electromagnetic radiation) is deadly. Because the Moon lacks
a magnetic field and does not have an atmosphere, the surface is
constantly bathed in this deadly radiation. Building below ground
helps to shield from the radiation. This may be expensive, but
you could use the lunar regolith to cover up a base.
the best way to completly close a door so not even air comes in?
Jen_Heldmann <A>You need to
make sure the seal is extremely tight. Consider different sealants
that might work. Also, consider the role of lunar dust. The dust
on the Moon is a big problem because it tends to get stuck and
ruin your air-tight seals. This is an important consideration when
designing your airlock.
Nik_-_Mrs._Phillips_8th_grade <Q>Should we include exact dimensions
for our station in our design?
Quest_Moderator <A>Yes, your
design should include dimentions, materials, access details,
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>Hi.we are trying to get running
water on the moon.can we get it from earth somehow,and if not,have
you found anythig about ice on the moon?
Jon_Rask <A>You can transport
liquid water from Earth to the Moon. But this is very expensive
and difficult. Ideally, one would like to use a resource of ice
on the Moon, and it might be found deep in a crater on the south
pole of the Moon like Shoemaker or Shackleton
an octagon shaped dome be a good shape or should we make it a
Jen_Heldmann <A>You can make
your habitat any shape you like. When making your design, consider
the advantages of each shape and also how the shape affects the
interior design of the habitat.
were we to do if the power station fails?
Jen_Heldmann <A>Great question.
It is important to have a back-up power supply in case your main
power station fails. Think about different ideas for how you
could have back-up power. Would you use a generator? Would you
have extra batteries?
can we use the lunar base for?
Quest_Moderator <A>This particular
design is for a Research Station. See the use on the Teachers'
AlinaMr._Harris_Class <Q>if we are to put the station
partly underground, should we drill or blast a hole?
Jon_Rask <A>Instead of digging or blasting a hole, you might
consider using a small existing crater, build a structure over the
top of it, and cover it with nearby Lunar regolith.
AlinaMr._Harris_Class <Q>should we waste power on things like
electric eggbeaters and TVs?::laugh
Quest_Moderator <A>I'm guessing
you answered your own question?
Would it be possible to use energy to build a lightning wall
above our outpost to destroy meteors? 2) Is it impossible to
pipe water from the poles to the outpost?
Jen_Heldmann <A>1) You have
to consider how much power building a lightning wall would take
and if it is too much, are there other alternatives for protecting
against meteors? (For example, what if you built the habitat
underground on the Moon? Would that protect you against meteors?)
Paul_at_WestValleySchool <Q>1) Would it be possible to use energy
to build a lightning wall above our outpost to destroy meteors? 2)
Is it impossible to pipe water from the poles to the outpost?
Jen_Heldmann <A>1) You have
to consider how much power it would take to build a lightning
wall and examine whether or not there are any other alternatives
to shield against meteors (for example, what if you built the
habitat underground?) 2) It is not impossible to pipe water from
the poles (if it exists there - we're not sure yet) to the outpost
but you have to design an appropriate system. Also remember that
any water at the poles will be in the form of water ice located
in VERY cold regions of permanent shadow (where the sun never
shines!) so you must design a system for this.
Solar Energy be enough to sustain an entire lunar base, or would
you have to have alternate energy sources?
Jon_Rask <A>It may be possible
if the energy requirements and demands of the lunar outpost isn't
too high. For any launch, you would need higher energy density
fuels. For highly energy consumptive processes like mining, you
might a need high energy density rich fuels. A small RTG reactor
could be very helpful in producing huge amounts of energy in
a small amount of space. (RTG = radioisotope thermoelectric generator)
West Valley: Can we use rovers to pick up the ice caps from the
Jon_Rask <A>Yes you may.
is the cloth made of used to make space suits?
Jen_Heldmann <A>There are
many different materials used to make spacesuits depending on
the function of the particular piece. For example, the helmet
is composed of a harder material and the face shield must be
see-through but also provide protection. The gloves must allow
the astronaut enough flexibility to work with his/her hands.
The boots must offer protection, have good traction, etc. Your
design must take all these factors into account!
type of fitness equipment should we take to the moon?
Jon_Rask <A>Take something
like an ergometer (like a bicycle that you can adjust the force
required to pedal) and exercise equipment that uses rubber bands
to provide the resistance (that way you're not hauling all that
heavy iron in dumbells)
should probably take equipment that will give the astronauts a good
workout, is fun to use, and that doesn't take up a lot of space! Many
astronauts aboard the International Space Station use resistance training
(because they are in microgravity). Remember on the Moon the gravity
is 1/6 the gravity of Earth - so if you brought 60 pound weights, they
wouldn't weigh 60 pounds on the Moon!
it be good to have a planetarium in our space staition?
Jen_Heldmann <A>It is up to
you if you'd like to have a planetarium in your space station.
Depending on where your lunar base is located, you may or may
not be able to see the night sky (there are some locations near
the lunar poles that are in permanent or near-permanent sunlight
all year long. Conversely, locations near the equator have 14
days of daylight and then 14 days of darkness). Consider the
benefits of having a planetarium and make sure you have the resources
to build and run it on the Moon.
your base is located underground would it be safe from metorite
Jen_Heldmann <A>It depends
on how deep your habitat is underground and how bit the meteorite
impact is. Bigger meteorites that impact the Moon make bigger
(and deeper) craters.
type of enviroment does the moon have?
Quest_Moderator <A>Hi Patience,
Check out the page we provided with all that kind of information
on the moon. It's at: http://quest.nasa.gov/lunar/outpostchallenge/aboutmoon.html
magnets hold any part of the lab down or remove iron from dust
on the moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A>We have not
yet found strongly magnetic rocks on the lunar surface so perhaps
a scouting mission is needed to your proposed site to investigate
garay <Q>Is nuclear power a good idea for
an energy source?
- because it has a high energy density, However, because you would
be using a radioactive fuel, and subsequently be producing radioactive
wastes, you would need to consider that in the development of your
can consider any power sources that you can think of - just make sure
that when you decide you think about the amount of power that can be
generated and make sure that it is a safe system for the crew to use.
AlinaMr._Harris_Class <Q>::wub thank you. i have to go.
Quest_Moderator <A>Thanks for joining
us -- You can check back later when the archive is up to see all of
west_valley <Q>Arron West Valley: Can we use vacuum
pyrolysis to take the oxygen out of the moon dust and then use the
slag to make a radiation shield ?::ninja
Jen_Heldmann <A>This is a great
idea and certainly worth pursuing. One thing to consider is how deep
of a shield do you need for adequate radiation shielding if using the
slag from the lunar regolith (moon dirt)?
West Valley: Would an enclosed dam be useful to create electricity?::cool
Jen_Heldmann <A>An enclosed dam might not be the most productive
way to create electricity on the Moon because there are no rivers,
lakes, or other bodies of water on the Moon (which are required
to produce electricity using a dam).
ms_schock <Q>Is having solar panels enough energy on the moon?
Jon_Rask <A>It may be, depending
upon your location on the Moon, and depending whether or not you need
a lot of energy to produce anything from the lunar regolith. If you
want to manufacture anything, you may need more energy than what solar
panels can provide.
depends on how much energy you need and how big your solar panels are.
It also depends on how long the solar panels are exposed to the sunlight.
If you want to use solar power you might want to consider putting your
lunar base near the poles because near the poles there are some places
that are in the sunlight almost all the time.
cesarharris <Q>Can we shoot our trash in a
capsule back at the earth so it burns up in the atmosphere? Are there
any negatives effects to this?
Jen_Heldmann <A>This is certainly
an option but consider how much energy it would take to launch all
of your trash from the lunar surface. You would have to have enough
fuel to launch the rocket and you would have to have all of the resources
to support rocket launches for this purpose.You can shoot your trash
back in a capsule towards the Earth so that it burns up in the atmosphere.
That's actually how they get rid of some of the trash from the International
Space Station. One of the negative effects might be that you never
get your capsule back!
How do you know so much about space?
Jen_Heldmann <A>I know a lot about
space because I think it is really interesting and cool and so I worked
very hard in school and studied a lot to learn as much as I could.
Now I have a really cool job at NASA and my job is fun -- so if you
find something that you like, work hard in school and you will learn
a lot, too!
cesarharris <Q>I would like more information about
how the scale model of the outpost is supposed to work. Materials,
size, restrictions, etc.
Quest_Moderator <A>That is what you will be deciding as you design.
That's a big part of the "challenge!"
Patience_Mr._Harris_s_class <Q>Thank you::biggrin I
have to leave
for joining us!
it be okay if we built a landing site inside of a crater
or would that have any effect on anything? Also can you still
get solar power under ground?
Jen_Heldmann <A>Yes, you
can build a landing site inside of a crater if you like.
Just make sure it is big enough so that you have enough space
to build and also so that you can land accurately there.
If you want to use solar power you have to have the solar
panels on the lunar surface. If the solar panels are underground
they won't work because no sunlight will reach them. However,
if your habitat is underground you can use wires to transport
the electricity from the solar panels on the surface to the
you this chat was very helpful but I have to go ! THANKS::tongue
Quest_Moderator <A>We'll look forward to your designs.
how big (in known existance) can a meteor that hits the moon be?
size and number of meteors that have hit the Moon have changed over time.
A LONG time ago (~4 BILLION years ago), there were a lot of meteors hitting
the Moon, and they were BIG (creating craters 1000s of km big)! Now there
aren't so many big impacts on the Moon. Mostly the Moon just gets hit
with small dust particles from space.
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>How big
should a typical greenhouse be so it can provide a good percentage of
oxygen , but can have a lot of plants picked for food?
Jon_Rask <A>It would have to be quite large to produce both edible
food and the oxygen needed for the outpost's crew to breathe. Initially,
if you want to incorporate a greenhouse in your outpost, start with
something small to test the technology that grows the plants, then
you can scale it up later.
depends on what you will grow in your greenhouse and how many people
you have at your base to support. What types of foods would you grow?
Would you plan to grow all of your food in the greenhouse or would
you bring some of it from Earth?
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>Thank you!::laugh it was very helpful,but
I have to go now.bye!!!::biggrin
Quest_Moderator <A>We were glad to chat with you
how big (in known existance) can a meteor that hits the moon be?
Jen_Heldmann <A>The size of typical meteors hitting the Moon
has changed over time. A LONG time ago (about 4.5 billion years ago,
when the solar system first formed), very large rocks would impact
the Moon - some 1000s of km big! That doesn't happen much anymore and
now the Moon is mostly hit with smaller rock fragments and pieces of
3434 <Q>do you have to make a model?
a big part of the challenge.
cesarharris <Q>Thank you--this was
helpful. I have to go.
Elizabeth-Mr.Harris_s_class <Q>I will be checking the archives
later to see if my questions were answered! Thanks again!
Richards_5th_Grade <Q>Would titanium
be a good building material for habitat on the moon?Is it available
on the moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A>There is titanium on the Moon in the form of
titanium dioxide, so if you wanted to use the Ti you would have to
extract it from these titanium dioxide rocks. These rocks are mostly
concentrated in the mare regions of the Moon.
location group is thinking of McKinney falls, what do you think?
Jen_Heldmann <A>Any site you choose is ok as long as you justify
why you want to go there. Right now we assume that the whole Moon is
open for exploration so it is up to you to select your final landing
Elizabeth-Mr.Harris_s_class <Q>How cold is it on the moon?
Quest_Moderator <A>See above answers about the background information
Patience_Mr._Harris_s_class <Q>What type of enviroment shold
the location group be looking for?
Jen_Heldmann <A>It depends on what your main goals are. If you
want to explore craters you should land near (or in) a crater. If you
want to study the mare regions, land there. If you want to use solar
power you might want to go where there is near-permanent sunlight (which
is near the poles). Any site that you select is ok as long as you justify
why you chose that site.
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>what kind of
technology would prevent dust and radiation problems on a lunar base?
Quest_Moderator <A>This is what makes this an exciting challenge!
You get to decide. It is great that you recognize that these are problems
that your design will need to address!
there be any problems to human health due to lack of gravity on moon?
Jon_Rask <A>Potentially. Space biologists know that when in microgravity,
you lose approximately 1-2% of your bone mass per month. While that
rate will be less on the moon, you will still lose bone mass. This
will cause the skeletal system to be weakened, and the muscles to also
astrophy. In addition, the immune system is also weakened during spaceflight.
We also don't know how long antibiotics last in space and how much
it takes to kill disease causing microbes that could be present in
the spacecraft. Possibly an even bigger biological challenge for humans
is the damaging radiation on the surface of the Moon. The Moon is bathed
in deadly radiation (we're mostly protected from it on Earth, thanks
to the atmosphere and the Earth's magnetic field.
is a good question that we need to study when we send people back to
the Moon. The only people that have ever gone to the Moon were the
Apollo astronauts and they only stayed there for a few days, so we
really need to have people stay longer to figure out the long-term
health effects of living on the Moon.
there be dormitories ? If so how many should there be?
Jen_Heldmann <A>You definitely need someplace for the astronauts
to live and work. How many rooms and how much space you need depends
on how many people you plan on sending to the Moon. For the first human
missions back to the Moon NASA is considering sending 4 people on the
3434 <Q>do you make a model
Quest_Moderator <A>Yes, either full- or scale-sized.
you power a moon buggy with solar panels
Jon_Rask <A>You could, but assume its ability to accelerate would
be very slow, and it couldn't be very big or carry much mass.
you could power a moon buggy with solar panels. Remember, though, that
you can't generate the power if it is nighttime on the Moon, so you
will need something like batteries to store the power - or you could
choose to land at a site that has lots of sunlight. For example, there
are areas near the north and south poles on the Moon where the Sun
almost never sets, so it is almost always daytime!
ms_schock <Q>is it likely that huge
meteors Jen_Heldmann <A>It
is not too likely that a large meteor will hit the Moon anytime soon.
Big impacts were much more common earlier in the history of the Solar
System (like 4 BILLION years ago!) but most of these big impacts have
stopped now.Mwill hit the moon anytime soon?
Jon_Rask <A>There is always a chance that a meteor will hit the
moon. Tiny objects strike it quite commonly (like the Earth), but the
big ones are much less often.
is not too likely that a large meteor will hit the Moon anytime soon.
Big impacts were much more common earlier in the history of the Solar
System (like 4 BILLION years ago!) but most of these big impacts have
you..........Its 11.20 in the night here in India.I have to now.BYE!
Quest_Moderator We're so glad you joined us
Richards_5th_Grade <Q>Thank you, we have to leave now.
garay <Q>Our school was closed today, our questions were submitted,
will look for answers on archives-thanks so much, this was helpful
3434 <Q>what is the model like? or wat does it have to be like?
Quest_Moderator <A>The point of the design is that you will
determine what it looks like. Depending on what materials you want
to simulate, you could use fabric, popsicle sticks, legos, clay,
your emagination is your limit. The important thing is to determine
why you would use one material over another!
3434 <Q>i am from p.e.i, canada
thanx 4 the help
Mr._Wallace <Q>Is there any kind of data on how partial (Moon)
gravity affects humans?
Jon_Rask <A>There is some data out there, but very, very little.
There have only been 12 people that have actually been to the surface.
These astronauts were studied carefully before and after, but the focus
of those missions was not biological research. We do not know how long
a human can stay on the Moon and still be able to return to the Earth
without major health problems. The gravity problem could be mitigated
with small centrifuges that you would take to the Moon. I've been a
test subject on a human powered centrifuge here at Ames: You pedal
the bike (which is on a small centrifuge) and you then begin to spin.
Look at cgbr.arc.nasa.gov The result is exercise and an acceleration
that is similar to gravity. The bigger problem is may be sheilding
from the deadly radiation. Look at radiationbiology.arc.nasa.gov for
question. We do not have too much data on how partial gravity affects
humans because we have only sent people to the Moon through the Apollo
program and they only spent a few days on the Moon. That's not enough
time to really know what the long-term effects on our health will be.
However, since the moon has 1/6 the gravity of the Earth, we found
that the astronauts liked to "bounce" around on the Moon
- meaning they walked in a different way than on Earth! See if you
can try to find some video footage of the astronauts walking on the
Moon and you will see what I mean!
3434 <Q>are there any sicknesses you can get from being on the
Jon_Rask <A>Possibly. If the immune
system of the human is weakened from spaceflight, the reduced gravity,
and the radiation, one could potentially get sick, but only from microbes
we bring with us from Earth, such as those on our skin, and in our
bodies. A recent spaceflight
experiment called MICROBE studied opportunistic pathogens response
don't have much data regarding human health on the Moon because the
Apollo astronauts didn't spend a long time there. The Moon has no atmosphere
so remember you have to always supply your own life support (which
means you won't catch germs from the lunar air - since there is none)!
But the habitat and spacesuits should be kept as clean as possible
to avoid germs that could make you sick.
Quest_Moderator We will be wrapping up here soon. Thank you all for
joining us. And many thanks to our experts Jen & Jon for their helpful
Mr._Wallace <Q>So that we can determine
how big our recycling area/program needs to be, about how much trash
is produced aboard the ISS per person?
Jon_Rask <A>I'm not sure about that
one, but you might find some information about that on spaceflight.nasa.gov
is a tough question because it depends on the activities of the crew.
Trash and/or waste can be any number of things such as old hardware and
equipment that is no longer needed, batteries, food waste and/or packaging,
old chemicals, etc. All these types of waste have to be considered. One
way to estimate how much waste a person might produce is to monitor your
own wastes - how much trash do you produce in one day?
Mr._Wallace <Q>Thank you for taking
the time to answer our questions. The students find it exciting that
their questions are being answered by NASA scientists.
west_valley <Q>Bye: We will check
the archives for our answers . Thanks so much for your information.
We really enjoy this project.::biggrin ::biggrin
the carbon di oxide we breathe out be resused by conerting it into
Jon_Rask <A>Yes - photosynthesis is one mechanism that does it
natually. You can also use physiochemical systems.
to the lack of gravity on the moon,people weigh less.does walking (jumping)on
the moon take any more or less effort than walking on earth?
Jon_Rask <A>It takes much less effort. You weigh 1/6 the amount
you do on Earth.
Rachelmr.harris_sclass <Q>Due to
the lack of gravity on the moon,people weigh less.does walking (jumping)on
the moontake any more or less effort than walking on earth?
Jon_Rask <A>But keep in mind that the reduced gravity could be
initially challenging, and would require some adaptation. Look at how
some the Apollo astronauts moved - the bounced. Normal walking was
cumbersome due to the bulky spacesuits.
How do we make human waste into fertilizer?
Jon_Rask <A>Although I know very little about this topic, it
is an area of important research. There are mechanical systems that
do this but biological systems can do it as well. There are folks here
at at Kennedy working on this.
this question, look into how waste is used to make fertilizer on Earth.
Pay special attention to how this could be done in a greenhouse, because
remember that on the Moon there is no atmosphere so in order for your
plants to survive, they will have to be within a chamber or greenhouse
so they can be surrounded by the necessary gases, be kept at the right
many tanks of oxygen woulkd it take to get everyone on the moon breathing
Jon_Rask <A>The amount of O2 you'd
need would be determined by the size of the crew, the rate that any
leaked away, and how long you'd be there. If you're doing any burning
or other O2 consumptive processes, you'd need to figure that into the
question depends on the size of the tanks and also how long you plan
to be on the Moon. Also, consider whether you would bring all of the
oxygen from Earth or if you might try to use some oxygen that might
already be on the Moon (for example, there is oxygen in the Moon rocks,
and there might be oxygen in water ice near the poles)!
Quest_Moderator Thanks for joining us today.
Jen & Jon will try to get to some of the questions that still need
answers. Then we will post the archive. Check back on the calendar at
http://quest.nasa.gov/lunar/outpostchallenge for a link to the archive.
it is possible to play sports on the Moon. What sorts of sports would
you like to play? Also remember that lunar gravity is 1/6 Earth's gravity,
so that will affect how you will run and jump.
It will also affect things like how far you can throw a ball. One of
the Apollo astronauts hit a golf ball on the Moon -- see if you can find
any information online about how far the ball went on the Moon!
- Do you think we could have solar power energy on the Moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Yes, you
could have solar power energy on the Moon. You have to make sure you
bring solar panels and put them in sunlight. If you want to use solar
power you might want to think about putting your habitat somewhere that
has lots of sunlight. For example, there are places near the poles that
are in near-permanent sunlight whereas a place near the equator gets
14 days of sun and 14 days of darkness each month.
- Do you think we could have malls and movies and other social activities?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Yes, you could have
malls and movies and other social activities - just remember that you
have to build the malls and movie theaters!
If people are going to live on the Moon for a long time then it is probably
a good idea to give them a way to have fun recreation time.
- How can food be produced on the Moon?
are many ways to produce food on the Moon. Maybe you would want to try
and grow your food in a greenhouse. Early experiments to see if plants
can grow on the Moon are going to be important to determine how much
water and fertilizer you need to add to the Moon dirt to help the plants
- What kind of life support systems will be produced?
Jen_Heldmann <A> In your lunar habitat
design think about all the things that people need to survive. For example,
your house provides you with shelter from the outside, breathable air,
a temperature inside that is not too hot and not too cold -- all of these
things are also needed on the Moon so that the astronauts can survive.
- How do the astronauts dispose of their wastes?
the space shuttle astronauts can dump their wastes overboard or bring
it back to Earth with them to dispose of it here. On the Moon, though,
we will probably have to devise a different method for waste disposal.
This should be included in your habitat design. Are there ways to recycle
- What does the spacesuits have to protect the humans from?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Humans needs
spacesuits when in space because space is a vacuum, meaning there is
no air there. So the astronaut needs air to breathe. Also, when we are
on Earth, the air in the atmosphere above us creates pressure which pushes
down on us. In space since there is no air that pressure is gone, and
people need that atmospheric pressure to stay alive.
- Is it possible to have animals on the Moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Sure, you could have animals
on the Moon but remember, just like people you need life support to keep
the animals alive since there is no air or water on the Moon.
- Why are spacesuits so bulky?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Spacesuits are so bulky because it takes
a lot of different materials to make a spacesuit that works. The suit
has to be able to provide the astronaut with air inside the suit and
also be strong enough so that it doesn't rip open or break apart.
- Is there any way possible to create a less bulky spacesuit?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Hopefully
yes! NASA is working on new spacesuit designs to make them less bulky.
See if you can find some information online about mechanical counterpressure
- Is there any type of temperature on the Moon?
Jen_Heldmann <A> Yes, there is temperature
on the Moon. When the sun is shining it is VERY hot, and when the sun
is not shining (when it is nighttime on the Moon) it is VERY cold. The
temperature can range from 40 - 400 Kelvin.
- How could we get air to the Moon in large amounts?
Jen_Heldmann <A> There are several
options that you should consider. You could bring all your air from
Earth, or you could try and use some of the oxygen that is already
on the Moon by extracting the oxygen from Moon rocks.
- Do you think oxygen tents are a good idea for air?
can be used because we do need oxygen in the air to breathe.
However, pure oxygen can catch fire pretty easily so you might want to
think about not using just oxygen but also include some other gases
(for example, air on Earth has a lot of nitrogen in it in addition
We want to know where is your compass pointing
on the moon and can you use a GPS or set up a similar system so you
don't get lost while exploring.
Jon_Rask <A> A
compass can't be used on the moon for any reliable purposes because the
Moon does not have a magnetic field. The Moon does, however, have tiny
amounts of ancient magnetism in some areas of the its crust. It does
not have a liquid core like the Earth (which generates Earth's magnetic
field). Earth's magnetic field wouldn't affect a compass on the Moon
(it only extends about one quarter of the way to the Moon).
Regarding GPS, there are no satellites orbiting the Moon that provide
global positioning information for objects on the Moon like there is
here on Earth, so GPS tools and receivers wouldn't work there. One would
have to substitute with a different system, like one that uses wireless
signals that can be used to communicate with and identify the positions