The challenge for scientists and engineers is finding lunar accommodations economical, comfortable, and safe for long duration human visits in the 2020’s and beyond. The plan in mind today is six-month stints on the moon. Anna Davison from New Scientist looks at the possibilities and challenges.
Lunar explorers will require shielding from solar flares. Junk could do the job. So could water, about two inches of it:
All that’s needed to shield astronauts from deadly onslaughts of high-energy protons spewed from the Sun during solar flares, (astronaut Andy) Thomas says, is a 5-centimetre layer of water. This could be integrated into an inflatable structure using a bladder-like layer filled with water, sandwiched into a rigid structure, or simply stacked on top of the habitat in tanks.
Another thought: accordions. Astronauts might transport “hard” modules linked to each other by fold-out hallways. Another option is something like the structure at the top of the post. It’s made of Kevlar.