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Moon condos may be in your future

“You’re going to the moon!”

That famous line from the vintage comedy show “The Honeymooners,” was a zinger Ralph Kramden often told his wife, Alice.

But for members of the Moon Society, sending people to the moon is something they would like to do – literally. At some point, people could work and live underground on the moon in bases located in “lava tubes” or tunnels. The tunnels are the “drained conduits of underground lava rivers,” according to NASA.
“The moon is open for business,” Ken Murphy told a small crowd gathered for his talk on Cislunar Space: The Moon You Never Knew. Murphy, a Moon Society member and principle with Space Finance Group, made the comment during Moon Day 2015 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. Cislunar refers to an area of orbit surrounding the moon.

In part, Murphy was referring to resources on the moon that could be profitable to people on earth. Minerals, metals and oxygen are just some of the riches that could be mined on the moon.

The idea may not be as far-fetched as it seems.

According to Popular Mechanics, NASA has a robot that can “break down lunar soils and extract oxygen for use in life support and as a rocket propellant.” It could be done with a device about as big as a lawnmower, the magazine reported in 2012.
Murphy also discussed the various locations of satellites in space. Solar panels connected to satellites could be used to collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. Although it would be costly to get the equipment into space, it would provide a source of free energy once it is in place.

Murphy pointed out that solar power is much cleaner and is also “unspillable.”

“We can take out the middleman and get it directly,” he said. “It’s a long-term solution for energy.”

Much of today’s emphasis in space travel is placed on going to Mars, Murphy said.

“There are good reasons to go to Mars,” he said. “There are also good reasons to go to cislunar space.”

Murphy’s presentation was one of several held during Moon Day, which featured activities, displays and lectures for people of all ages who are interested in space-exploration.

The museum’s Moon Day also commemorated the 46th anniversary of the first lunar landing: Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.

“While the anniversary of the first Moon landing serves as a reason to celebrate, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and the National Space Society of North Texas have created an annual event to showcase the present and future of space exploration,” Bruce Bleakley, Museum Director of the Frontiers of Flight Museum, said in a written statement. “Our extensive content is provided by local and regional space-related organizations, who work—as we do—to inspire new generations to embrace a scientific and technological future.”