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Space Colonies Will Need State Of The Art LEDs For Success

September 3, 2012
Image Caption: 1986 artist concept of lunar colonization. Credit: NASA/Dennis M. Davidson

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

The lure of space colonization rides on the wings of Curiosity‘s viral success, and one writer says the key to having a permanent Moon base for NASA would be LED technology.

Bruce Dorminey, a science journalist writing for Forbes, predicts that the space agency will need to rely on nuclear-powered state of the art LED to help sustain life on the lunar surface.

“Here on earth, researchers still debate how best to make those possible, but nuclear-powered state of the art LED (Light-emitting Diode) technology is arguably what will drive photosynthesis so necessary to provide both food and oxygen for future lunar colonists,” Dorminey wrote for Forbes.

He writes that future moon residents will be using the technology to grow their food in sub-lunar lava tubes or in greenhouses shielded by the lunar surface to help protect it from the moon’s lack of atmosphere.

Another key ingredient plants need to grow is water, which the lunar surface, so far, lacks, according to scientific understanding. So, unless water is somehow found on the moon from now until the time of lunar colonization, it would have to be brought from Earth to the moon.

Bringing the water would require more than just throwing it on a rocket and sending it to the moon. NASA would have to find a way to keep the liquid a liquid, and not let it turn to a solid.

Although the thought processes of establishing a permanent human presence on another cosmic body other than Earth is appealing, it is still far off in our future. Before space agencies start establishing colonies, they first need to establish technologies.

When big picture visions pop into international space agencies’ heads right now, it is sending a man to Mars. This is the developing space race.

Before a lunar colony is ever established, agencies like NASA and Roscosmos want to ensure they are able to plant feet on Mars. So, in order for lunar colonies to be established sooner rather than later, it will be the commercialized space industry that leads the way.

As the moon continues to develop into a viable option for commercialized space industries, it is inevitable that the lunar surface will be colonized. It will involve both a strong science presence, but will be funded by space tourist wanting to stay in the moon’s first hotel.


Source: Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online



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