Science | Design & Technology | PSHE

Race to make Moon Earth’s eighth continent

Moon house: The "Lunar Glass“ design for buildings in space. It must keep spinning at all times.

Should we create a lunar colony? Japanese scientists have unveiled an extraordinary set of illustrations showing life on the Moon. But is moving to a distant rock a good idea? Stephen arrives at Earth Intergalactic Train Station with a tear in his eye. He waves goodbye to his family and boards the space train. There is a quick stop at a satellite, and then he reaches his final destination: the Moon. This is the future, say a team of Japanese scientists. They have a grand vision: humans will one day live on the Moon. Researchers from Kyoto University have unveiled plans for buildings on the Moon. The first moon-dwellers will live in a massive 1,300-foot-tall spinning structure called “The Glass”, designed to rotate every 20 seconds to create “normal gravity”.  There is just one catch: the full facilities will not be ready for another 100 years.  Today, a new space raceAn informal competition between the USA and the Soviet Union. Each power tried to prove its technological sophistication by pushing the frontiers of space exploration. The Soviet Union put the first satellite, the first dog, the first man, and the first woman in space, but the USA was the first to reach the moon. is underway. And the Moon is playing a major role as countries — and companies — look for opportunities beyond Earth’s atmosphere.  Space architect AI Space Factory has announced designs for LINA, a lunar outpost developed with NasaThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration, responsible for the US space programme..  It may be years before LINA is built, but Nasa hopes to put humans back on the Moon for the first time in more than half a century as soon as 2025.  And China has its own plans to build a crewed lunar research station, perhaps as soon as 2027.  The research possibilities are enormous. Scientists dream of a new home for humans if Earth becomes unliveable. But not everyone thinks living on the moon  is a good idea.  The Moon lacks oxygen and easy water sources. Weightlessness can cause bone lossIn space, an astronaut's bones no longer have to support their body against gravity. Their bones then get weaker due to lack of use. and back pain. Meanwhile, critics point out that the perfect conditions for life already exist on Earth.  For now, no one can say for certain when the first lunar town will be built. But one thing is clear: as more nations make plans for living on the Moon, the future of humanity is at stake.  Should we create a lunar colony?  Space base Yes: Building a permanent lunar base would herald an extraordinary new age of space exploration. And if the Earth becomes uninhabitable due to climate change, we will need a backup home.  No: We already have a place to live: the Earth. It is much better suited to our needs than the Moon. We should focus our efforts on protecting the planet, not looking for alternatives outside of it.  Or… Temporary visits are the way forward — we can learn a lot from the Moon without living there. And if we do need to leave Earth one day, the best option is a more distant location — Mars.  KeywordsSpace Race - An informal competition between the USA and the Soviet Union. Each power tried to prove its technological sophistication by pushing the frontiers of space exploration. The Soviet Union put the first satellite, the first dog, the first man, and the first woman in space, but the USA was the first to reach the moon.

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