At present we manufacture goods from minerals and other metals found on our own planet. But we are now beginning to run short of some of these. Many of the same materials are found on the Moon. In the future man may mine them and make goods from them on the Moon itself.
There are advantages in making things on the Moon. The gravity there is only one-sixth what it is on Earth. Mining and building on the Moon will be easier.
Although there is no atmosphere on the Moon there is a lot of oxygen. It is found in the rocks, mixed with the minerals. It will be possible to extract the oxygen.
There is water under the Moon's surface. Also it can be made from hydrogen and oxygen. There is no hydrogen on the Moon so it would have to be taken there. This would be difficult at first because it would have to be taken by space craft from the Earth. But anything taken to the Moon would be used again and again.
It will be easy to use energy from the Sun to provide heat, light and power for living and working on the Moon. Solar cells would be much larger version of the ones used to power instruments in spacecraft.
Mining the mineral wealth of the Moon will only be the first step. The low gravity may make the Moon the ideal place for making spaceships and space stations. Any by the time we are able to do that easily it may be possible to use the asteroids for our needs as well.
Asteroids are the small rocky bodies orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. There are thousands of them. They will provide a rich source of raw material. It may be possible to move some small ones into the orbit of the Moon or Earth. This might be done by attaching rocket motors to them to ease them out of their orbits.
Minerals mined on the Moon and from the asteroids will be used to make light-weight metal plates and grinders. These will be the basic units for spaceships and space stations.
A lot of the tasks that would be difficult for men to do could be done by robots and other machines. Instead of taking samples of soil from the planets and taking pictures, as robot explorers do now, these machine would be built to dig for minerals. Eventually the machines themselves could build the spaceships and space stations people will need to live in.
Many of the ideas that scientists have now may seem incredible But they will be quite possible for our descendants.
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