Paving the Way Forward: Exploration in the Absence of Light
My crew consists of a computer engineer, biologist, lunar geologist, doctor, space scientist, and a mathematician. Each person brings unique expertise that will benefit the mission and ensure success. The crew’s combined knowledge allows them to address any potential problems, ranging from trajectory errors to software crashes or medical issues. Characteristics they all encompass include being observant, adaptable, the ability to work together as one cohesive unit, and stay calm under pressure.
The Moon has a synchronous rotation with the Earth, which makes it challenging to set up a long-term facility. There is no energy source to power the machines during the 14 days without sunlight, but the Moon’s tilt causes areas of the South Pole like the peaks of Shackleton Crater to see over 200 days of light. On the Moon, I would leave a solar powered “battery station” with batteries that can be used to explore cold traps and dark craters. While sufficient sunlight is present, the machines will use solar energy to function and the station will continue to charge the batteries. Once the lunar night occurs, the charged batteries can be used to power devices so that exploration can continue in the absence of light.
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