Monday, March 27, 2006
It's Not LunacyWaPo article reproduced here on getting back to the moon. NASA wants to get to the lunar south pole. I agree. There might be comet ice in the craters, protected from vaporizing by the eternal shadow at the pole. Previous spacecraft have detected hydrogen there. That might be ice. Might not be, but it will be worth a look. If there is ice on the moon, human beings will have a far easier go at maintaining an outpost. If I were going to the moon, I'd want to go here: Aristarchus plateau, with that bright crater, those rills, and possible outgassing from the lunar interior. From the dawn of the Age of the Telescope, observers have seen bright flashes coming from this area. What are they? I'd like to know. Another great place would be the far side crater Tsiolkovsky, notable for its smooth lava floor. That dark gray material looks very much like the maria or smooth plains which cover a good percentage of the near side. On the far side, Tsiolkovsky is one of only two such smooth lava deposits. Sign me up for a mission. Only problem is that I'll be too old by the time they get back to the moon. Maybe I could get the radtrads to take up a collection for me and get me a one-way ticket. I can think of worse places to retire. 'Course, they'd have to forego fiddlebacks for a few centuries to finance it. Could be worth it, though.