Life on the moon would be very different for explorers than life on Earth. From its lighter gravity to lack of air, the moon is a harsh mistress, just like the late sci-fi author Robert Heinlein claimed.
Full Story: What Would It Be Like to Live on the Moon?
The moon has no atmosphere, no weather and no oceans of water. Its surface is in a perpetual vacuum. Pairs of astronauts have lived on its surface only up to three days at a time, in the tiny Lunar Module of the Apollo program.
Only 12 humans (the crews of Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17) have ever walked on the moon's surface. Because the moon's gravity is only one-sixth that of the Earth's gravity, Apollo astronauts had to tread carefully or else risk stumbling or falling. They ultimately perfected a bouncing gait and bunny hops to walk along the lunar surface.
One of the best places to set up a moon base turns out to be the lunar south pole, which has an enormous reserve of water ice and a relatively stable surface temperature around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius).
Because it lacks an atmosphere, the moon undergoes tremendous daily swings in surface temperature, from a daytime average of 253 degrees F (123 C) to minus 387 F (minus 233 C) at night.
Read our full special report:
Living on Other Planets: What Would It Be Like?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on the moon? What about Mars, or Venus or Mercury? Find out what it might be like to live on other worlds in our solar system, from Mercury to Pluto and beyond in our 12-part series.
The Moon: 10 Surprising Lunar Facts
Inside Earth's Moon (Infographic)
Photos: The Search for Water on the Moon
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I love the sky, stars, moon, sun, and all the universe. Every night I speak with the stars and they speak with me. I don’t know what they tell me, but when they wink to me I think it means “Be happy and enjoy your life and be kind toward every thing.”
My dream job is to be an astronaut. It is a unique and wonderful job. It is hard work and people think that it is impossible for a woman to be an astronaut. But I want to do hard work. I want to do the work that others can’t. I want to do impossible jobs and change impossibilities to possibilities. I want to show that girls and women are not weak and they can do whatever men can.
We can get what we wish. We people think that only Earth is in the universe. We think so small. We are jealous of each other. We think how if some people were not on Earth, we’d have more places for ourselves. When we are all crowded together we don’t see each person’s value but when we separate we can see it.
I am sure that by traveling to other planets an astronaut increases her own love toward our people and our planet.
I read a passage where it was written, “When we are small, we go out of our small house.” And when we come to our small house we will say, “Oh, thanks to God I am in my home.”
When we are big and we go out of our country and we come back, we will say, “Thanks to God I am back in my home.” And when we leave our planet and then come back we will say, “Thanks to God I am back in my home.” I think if all people see Earth as our home so we could live in peace.
I love astronomy because I love sciences like physics, and also because it helps me understand the power of God and the beauties and wonders of the universe. I am not as good in mathematics and chemistry and to become an astronaut I know you have to go to the best universities and know perfect English. But I can work hard in mathematics and chemistry, practice English and go to an English-speaking university.
One of my role models is the first woman astronaut—Valentina Tereshkova from Russia. She was so brave. When she was 26 years old she went into space for three days. She was not rich and she didn’t have access to a good life and education, but she was so courageous she applied to go to space and she succeeded in being chosen from hundreds of women. I love her because she had a very big dream and achieved her goals.
She had to learn how to use rockets and a spaceship in a short time. No one, not even her mother, knew she was traveling into space until the TV and radio announced the success. Now she is 76. Her husband is an astronaut and she wants to go to Mars, even if she cannot return. She says “Space is my life.”
By Frozan T., age 16
Photo by Phil Borges.