The discovery of water within the lunar soil earlier set off a buzz amongst the space geek community.
While Luna’s revelation inspired dreams of interplanetary conquest, the fact is that the Moon’s soil is far too dry for us to use as a fountain, let alone for watering crop.
Instead of digging through 10 million tons of soil in order to get 10,000 liters of water, it might be easier (and cheaper) to simply ship tanks of hydrogen instead.
Unmanned space craft could help open up the lunar frontier by steadily seeding Luna with thousands upon thousands of hydrogen tanks upon it’s surface.
Since about 40% of the lunar soil is composed of oxygen, future explorers could extract it from the Moon dirt, and then mix it with hydrogen dropped off by previous unmanned rockets.
(Image Credit: Crystal Links- Lunar Mining)
Water can then be heavily filtered and recycled, allowing humanitiy to establish independent lunar outposts without the need of frequent supplies.
As a bonus, future settlers could use the spare hydrogen and oxygen to also create rocket fuel, which could help reduce the cost of missions elsewhere (whether it’s Mars, Ceres or even the moons of ...