It’s Time for America to Build a Moonbase Essay

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It’s Time for America to Build a Moonbase


On May 25, 1961, Congress met in a joint session to hear the American president, John F. Kennedy, address them in a speech he referred to as a second State of the Union. In his speech, the young president geared America for a race that would send men to the moon. Kennedy challenged America to “take longer strides” and to take a “leading role in space achievement, which, in many ways, may hold the key to our future on earth” (Burrows 330-331). America rose to the challenge, and within a decade, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking on the moon, becoming the first of the human race to walk on a world besides our own. The giant strides of which Kennedy challenged us soon slowed
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Also, the finding of large quantities of uranium and thorium, for instance, offers a huge nuclear energy resource. Because the moon is not protected by an atmosphere, it is continuously bombarded by cosmic rays carrying both hydrogen and helium. Helium-3, one of helium’s natural variants, is what many scientists consider to be ideal for nuclear fusion. At some point in the future, when scientists achieve a higher understanding of this potentially revolutionary energy resource, the moon will be “a priceless resource, since it is by far the best source of Helium-3 anywhere in the Solar System.” (Lunar Geology 2) What is most exciting is that all of these elements are found on the surface of the moon – what lies below is still a mystery, and possibly an unbelievable opportunity for further mining and other ventures. However, just as on Earth, such an undertaking would require human interaction. A lunar colony is a must for this sort of endeavor.

For the first time in history, strong evidence has been presented that human survival on the moon is possible. The recent discovery of a large quantity of water on the moon gives us great hope for this very necessity. NASA’s Lunar Prospector recently discovered water in permanently shaded areas at the moon’s poles, initial estimates of which measure about one billion cubic meters, an amount of water comparable to a lake the size of Lake Erie (Lunar Geology 1). This much…