It Could Happen to You

Who wants to live on the Moon?

NASA is getting ready to cart off humans to the Earth's natural satellite. Are you interested?

 |  It Could Happen to You  |  2-minute read |   24-07-2015
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Ok. So we've pretty much forgotten how we went to the Moon 46 years ago. But it'll come back to us, the NASA is certain. Just hold on till 2025 and you may just be able to say, "I'm going to the Moon this summer."

On July 20 - the day Neil Armstrong first walked on the Moon 46 years ago - the NASA sounded out the assurance that it will make sure humans land on the Moon. First a robot will be shot off. Then space rovers will scout for hydrogen. Then "prospecting" will begin. By 2021, humans will land on Moon turf. No, not for a day or two, like Armstrong, but for days, months and may be years.

This is the new millennium American Dream: to find a new "Wild Frontier", conquer it, set up those little houses on the prairie (so to say), "stripped off the garments of civilisation," transform the lunar wilderness and produce a New America, with a new type of democracy. Not quite Westward ho! But we trust Hollywood to churn out movies called, Outward ho! And the good thing is that it there won't be any "Injun" to kill. There's nobody in Moon (hopefully.)

Of course, it will be expensive: about $150 million apiece (not that expensive, come to think of it. It's what some political parties spent in advertisements during 2014 elections.) Anyway, space tourism firm Space Adventures has started selling tickets for it. And two people, we have been told, with money to patch together the loony lifestyle, have already put down deposits.

It's a pity Michael Jackson is no more. With the Moon's gravity being one-sixth that of Earth, everyone will have to "moonwalk" there. Cricket players should be particularly careful: the length of a cricket pitch for a lunar match will have to be 132 yards, balls six times higher and farther than normal. Perhaps, Lalit Modi should be invited to the Moon: only he can pull off a LPL (Lunal Premier League). Also, no passport or visa required for a trip to the Moon.

It will be bonanza time for air conditioner companies, sunglass manufacturers, umbrella and eye mask-makers: the Moon is sunny every day, with blazing afternoons and no rains. Moon trips can actually open windows of opportunity for China, the world leader in umbrella parts and eye-masks. There could be meteor showers, though. Also, moonquakes. So people from Japan and Nepal beware: hour-long 5.5-magnitude temblors take place regularly.

There will, in fact, be opportunity for everyone: the Moon doesn't have oxygen, as we know it. But breathing won't be a problem: it has unlimited mass of certain kind of rocks, ilmenite. Scientists say, you'll just have to treat it with chemicals or blast it with heat to free up unlimited quantities of oxygen. What not send up all our mining mafia up there?

Sounds so much more exciting than living on boring Earth, doesn't it?

Writer

Damayanti Datta Damayanti Datta @dattadamayanti

The writer is Executive Editor, India Today.

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