Paul Spudis’ plan for a sustainable and affordable lunar base
It’s long been a dream to have a human settlement on the Moon, but in this age of budget cuts and indecisive plans for NASA’s future, a Moon base may seem too costly and beyond our reach. However, noted lunar scientist Dr. Paul Spudis from the Lunar and Planetary Institute and a colleague, Tony Lavoie from the Marshall Space Flight Center, have come up with a plan for building a lunar settlement that is not only affordable but sustainable. It creates a Moon base along with a type of ‘transcontinental railroad’ in space which opens up cislunar space – the area between Earth and the Moon – for development.
Infographic: ‘Samso: The Energy Self-Sufficient Island’
It took ten years and $80 million, but the Danish island of Samsoe now produces enough energy to satisfy all its needs and still export 40 percent of its energy to the mainland. Going 100 percent renewable wasn’t easy, but the results have paid off handsomely. Farmers on the island who are powering their facilities with wind turbines are seeing a 6 to 7 year payback on those investments. And of course it’s remarkable that wind, unlike other energy technologies, is entirely compatible with agriculture.
Google Maps satellite view of downtown Portland, Oregon. The large green expance is Forest Park (Wikipedia), the largest urban forest in the United States (it’s 5,100 acres, entirely within greater Portland’s city limits). There’s 70 miles of great trails to hike and you feel like you’re miles away from civilization, yet you’re smack in the middle of it!