Did you know? The technology in your smartphone is literally one million times faster than the technology used in Apollo 11 – a spaceship that travelled to the moon!
But, hey… wasn’t that more than 50 years ago?
If the smartphone in my pocket is more powerful than a million Apollo 11s… why aren’t we living on the moon already?
We have people living in space on the ISS. Why haven’t we set up camp on our closest interstellar neighbor?
It’s a great question – and when a reader mentioned this in a recent comment, we got curious ourselves. So, we investigated!
Below you’ll find 5 theories that explain why we haven’t moved to the moon – despite visiting in 1969. These are just the best guesses out there… if you have a theory, be sure to share it in the comments below!
1. There’s no oxygen. Or water, or food, or life…
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: DUH!
However, it makes sense that we haven’t tried very hard to establish ourselves on the moon – there’s not much benefit to living there. The moon is essentially an empty, lifeless rock that just happens to be floating nearby us (no offense, moon!).
We need air to live – and water to grow food. Without these self-sustaining things, the moon just isn’t very attractive to us humans.
Now, if the moon were filled with lush valleys and habitable land, we probably would have had hotels there by the ‘80s.
2. The weather is terrible.
The moon’s atmosphere is – and again, we mean no offense to the moon here – incredibly weak.
Because of this, the moon’s surface temperature can flip between 253 degrees (burning hot) to -387 degrees (extreme cold) Fahrenheit… in ONE day. Not to mention the dangerous weather patterns, including solar storms.
Oh, and by the way – even if the moon DID have normal temperatures, it hardly has any UV protection… so we’d get tanned almost instantly (and not in a good way).
(Just imagine how tough the moon weatherman’s job will be. “Today was a good day – I was only off by 150 degrees and three solar storms!”)
3. That whole zero-gravity thing makes things challenging.
Gravity – it really brings us down. But at the same time, it also brings everything else down… which is useful for, you know, keeping things – like buildings – from floating around aimlessly.
You can surely imagine the problems this may cause.
Moon wife: “Honey, are you sure you secured our house to the ground?”
Moon husband: “Yes, dear.”
Moon wife: “Are you SURE?”
Moon husband: “Yes… well, I mean, I’m going to do it today.”
Moon wife: “Well, now you’re going to have to wait until we land. And take the moon trash out!”
4. The moon’s surface is basically covered in knives
Not only does the moon’s surface lack fertile ground, it replaces it with a 40-mile crust of sharp rocks, topped by a layer of “regolith” – tiny dust particles that float around and get in the way of everything.
This would mean we would need to pave the entire planet just to get around, and we’d need to be protected from regolith at all times. And if you think a Chicago snowstorm is bad, wait until you wake up covered in moon dust – sandy, stabby, super-dangerous moon dust.
5. There are still so many unanswered questions
First off, what happens when things go wrong? Projects fail on Earth all the time – and we have home field advantage here. Imagine the complexity that would go into establishing a colony on the moon… and remember, aside from offering a bunch of dangerous empty space, it’s not even that great!
Second, can we even reproduce and raise children anywhere but Earth? We still don’t know! If you had to return to Earth just to have a baby, that would cause some serious problems.
Third… well, there are many more reasons, and the simple fact is that we don’t know enough about living on the moon to make a move-in mission viable.
OK, so we may not be moving in… but we WILL set up a gas station!
While we don’t have immediate plans to move to the moon, NASA does have plans to use that space. After all, it’s not easy to find 14.6 million square miles of free real estate so close by.
That’s why they’re going to use the moon as… a gas station! That’s right – NASA has plans to build a refueling station on the moon, which would be used in missions to mars.
So yes, the moon may become a giant Shell station before it even opens a hotel. It actually sounds like a good idea, considering the fact that Mars is a better prize. But here’s the real question: what sort of weird space snacks will be in the deli aisle?!
Got a question about technology?
Thanks again to R Guy Slater for his comment that inspired this article! We read all your comments and replies carefully, so keep ‘em coming.
If there’s something you’ve always been curious about, chances are we’ve wondered the same thing. Let us know below and we’ll research it for the both of us!