At this time, it’s very important to start thinking about the future, especially if you want humanity to survive. We must also think about what happens if these natural resources become scarce, and at some point in the future, they will be. We all know that the global population is increasing rapidly, and many believe that it will outstrip the resources available for consumption. One of the solutions to this problem could be terraforming. Usually, Mars is thought to be the best choice for terraforming. However, today, we look at the possibilities of terraforming the moon. Because everyone one of us has dreamed of flying to the moon like Frank Sinatra. So, let's see if we can fly to the moon!
What are the Challenges of Terraforming the Moon?
Terraforming is a term used to describe the process of altering a planet, moon, or other body in order to make it more suitable for habitation. Terraforming the moon has been on the minds of many people over the years. However, it’s a concept that has always been a long shot.
A major roadblock is that the moon has light or no atmosphere. As you may know, we need a very specific atmosphere to breathe comfortably. It needs to contain around 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, or we will suffocate. Moreover, due to the lack of atmosphere, the moon cannot trap and retain heat, nor can it insulate to keep heat out. Consequently, the temperature of the moon varies greatly from day to night, and it's alternately boiling and freezing. So, it would be almost impossible to terraform the moon without a change in its atmosphere.
Another challenge involved with terraforming the moon is gravity. Humans are used to Earth's gravitational pull. However, the gravity on the Moon is one-sixth that of the Earth. Everything there feels lighter than it would on Earth and that makes moving around on the moon pretty difficult.
Can We Terraform the Moon?
To terraform the moon, first, we have to add in the gasses we'll need to breathe to the moon's atmosphere. In addition, we'll need some greenhouse gasses to capture heat from the sun and retain it for use. Liquid water is another essential for life as we know it. The moon is currently too hot to maintain liquid water. India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe confirmed the existence of water in the moon's crust. So, once it warms up, oceans and lakes may start to appear.
To produce oxygen and grow plants to eat, we'll need to start introducing hardy plants when the atmospheric conditions are right. Lichens are known for their toughness, and they make an excellent beginning. Once that's done, you can introduce grasses. Eventually, you can get to crops and trees.
To summarize, in theory, terraforming the moon is doable but it is a tough task. However, in contrast to Mars, the moon is easy to get to and get twice as much sunlight as Mars.
What Would Happen to Earth if We Terraform the Moon?
Terraforming the moon will not result in anything similar to a disaster for Earth. Our planet would be just fine. One thing that would change with terraforming the moon is that it would no longer be tidally locked to the Earth. Meaning, we would be able to finally explore the dark side of the moon. There could be some additional effects on our Earth, but it's generally believed that they will insubstantial.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Space page.