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 to a crawl, however, and after a few more missions, America would not go back again, possibly for good. America would soon turn its attention to other earthly issues, and its moon program would become nothing more than a memory. This gives rise to an inevitable question: should humans return to the moon? This question has haunted us for years, continuously rising and then fading away again. In recent months, new discoveries have brought it to the forefront, and with these new discoveries, the answer becomes obvious: humans should once again set their sights for the heavens, and putting a civilian lunar base and colony on the moon should be our next step.
Many reasons exist for such an undertaking, one being that the moon contains resources that could possibly be mined and used here on Earth for our own benefit – and profit. Also, the resources on the moon could be used as materials to build a lunar colony. The lunar crust is composed of many valuable elements, including uranium, thorium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, iron, titanium, calcium, aluminum, and hydrogen. One of these, titanium, is as valuable as gold here on Earth. 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...