New Delhi: NASA’s vision of lunar homesteads faces a precarious future as the Moon tightens its belt, shrinking akin to a raisin, warns a recent study. Amid plans to colonize by 2040, the revelation of lunar shrinkage – 150 feet in circumference over millions of years – poses significant challenges for future missions, says the new study.
Moon’s Crumpled Surface: Unveiling The Moonquake Menace
Viewing the lunar surface as a fragile crust, akin to a dried riverbed, reveals the consequences of its contraction. The shrinking triggers crustal deformation, creating deep canyons and active seismic zones called moonquakes. Unlike Earth’s tremors, these lunar quakes persist for hours, echoing like cosmic drum solos across the desolate landscape.
South Pole’s Quake Cluster: Implications For Artemis III
Highlighting concerns, researchers have identified a concentration of faults near the Moon’s South Pole, slated for the Artemis III landing in 2026. The region, teeming with potential moonquake epicentres, poses risks for future lunar endeavours. Visualize lunar habitats quivering, instruments trembling, and regolith cascading down slopes in lunar landslides.
Navigating Lunar Hazards
Undeterred by challenges, scientists meticulously chart seismic hotspots, charting safe havens for human settlement. Proposals for earthquake-resistant structures and safety protocols aim to safeguard astronauts amidst lunar instability.
Adapting To the Moon’s Dynamic Shifts
The Moon’s gradual contraction demands a reevaluation of lunar aspirations, emphasizing safety as paramount. Beyond mere lunar landings, it necessitates the cultivation of a sustainable lunar future, embracing the moon’s dynamic nature.
The study’s insights, detailed in The Planetary Science Journal, shed light on the evolving lunar landscape and the imperative of adapting to its shifting contours. Access the study here for deeper insights into the Moon’s seismic saga.