Volatiles for the Life on Luna
Now that the twentieth century has seen six space flights safely reach the moon and return, it seems natural to wonder if the twenty-first century will see the establishment of an ecologically independent colony on the moon.
The moon is in many ways an ideal site for the first extraterrestrial colony of mankind. It is only three days away by rocket flight, and radio communication can traverse the distance in 1 ¼ seconds.
To be sure, the moon has a day and a night that are each two weeks long, with temperatures rising to the boiling point of water in some places at some times, while dropping to sub-Antarctic chill at other places at other times.There is also the hard radiation from the sun and the potentiality of meteor strikes, since there is no atmosphere to ward off either.
These are surface manifestations only, however, and if the colony is established in carefully engineered caverns beneath the surface, there would be equable temperatures at all times and excellent security as well.
There would remain the problem of lunar gravity which is only one-sixth what it is on the earth's surface, but it isn't unreasonable to hope that people can adapt to this.
As to the amenities of life, the problem of energy supply shoula not be a troublesome one. By the twenty-first century, fusion power should be available; and, even if it were not, there is solar energy. There are millions of empty square miles on the moon's surface and no native ecology to be disturbed. The sun, shining down unbrokenly for two weeks at a time upon large arrays of solar batteries, should supply all the energy the colony needs. The proper placement of as few as three such arrays would ensure energy production at all times, since one or another would always be exposed to sunshine.