Tunneling on the Moon?

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Tunneling On The Moon?

Tunneling on the Moon?

Renewed interest in sending men back to the moon has had engineers and space enthusiasts excited about the prospect since 2019. There has even been discussion about establishing a permanent moon colony or space station on the moon now that newer technology has made this a realistic possibility. 


A major obstacle to humans living on the moon is the lack of a protective atmosphere that makes Earth so hospitable. In fact, the surface of the moon is down right dangerous, featuring freezing temperatures and unfettered radiation. There is also an issue with falling space rocks, or meteorites, both large and micro-sized, that would instantly obliterate a society or a person on contact. The answer to these dangers on the lunar surface is underground. 


Tunneling could be the solution


Earth’s atmosphere is our “security blanket” as it is described in this NASA article. “Not only does it contain the oxygen we need to live, but it also protects us from harmful ultraviolet solar radiation,” the article states. It goes on to explain also how the atmosphere protects us from micrometeorites and much larger objects that burn up in our atmosphere every day, preventing impact. 


The moon does not lack an atmosphere, but the one it has is thin and contains no oxygen. It also does not prevent falling rocks from impacting its surface. 


If humans were to establish a lunar civilization, it would have to utilize tunneling to remain viable. The same concepts for tunnels Stiver Engineering designs for municipalities could be created at a much larger scale to house humans on the moon. 


3D printing and artificial intelligence optimize tunnel engineering


A number of emerging technologies, such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence (AI), make planning a lunar civilization more realistic. AI can use geodata from the moon to create tunneling solutions that are specifically designed for the unique nature of the moon’s subsurface. It can also decide the best way to build the tunnels given the many challenges of not only getting to the moon but staying there long enough to create a civilization. 


3D printing, which Stiver Engineering already uses to create models of tunnel designs, can be used to make the AI tunnel designs a reality. 


Tunnels to mine for water on the moon? 


Tunnels will not only protect lunar inhabitants from the harsh surface conditions, they might be the key to sustaining life on the moon. Scientists know there is water trapped at each pole on the moon. The water is frozen at an astounding -315℉, and tunneling could be used to mine for this water. Like tunnels are used here on earth to mine for precious minerals, they could be used to establish a water source for human life on the moon. 


Unfortunately, multiple worldwide crises got in the way of the plans for sending humans back to the moon. However, the idea is still being considered. When it becomes a reality, tunneling engineers will be ready to create designs for building tunnels on the moon.