If we are to take a look at the basic ideas of the future of humanity on the moon, we will probably hear about ice.
Right now, scientists cannot wait to get the ice that’s hidden below the moon’s surface. They want to make the rockets fuel cheaper, and they want astronauts to be able to drink it. However, just imagine how the rover has to tear up the surface of the moon and then process the frozen water from other compounds. It basically skips a step when it comes to the resources on the moon. Ice will never actually be the first resource that humans can use on the moon.
The first resource might actually be sunlight. According to Jake Bleacher, chief exploration scientist at NASA, the first resource (and the easiest one) to use is solar energy.
Energy actually means power, especially when it comes to operating instruments on the surface of the moon and supporting the base on the moon that NASA wants to build with the help of the Artemis program. They also want to land humans at the South Pole of the moon by 2024.
To be honest with you, these two resources are actually direct opposites, and they both rely on how the moon aligns with the sun. If we are to compare it to Earth, the axis of the moon is perpendicular to the form of the Solar System, which contains both the Earth and the moon and the sun. The axial tilt of our Earth, which gives us seasons makes one of the hemispheres to tilt in order to receive sunlight – which makes the days at the pole to be very long.
However, this does not apply to the moon. There, the daily cycle is constant, and, at the poles, because of the fact that there is no tilt, it means that light and dark are both controlled by the terrain, and some of the locations actually block the sunlight from getting into the lower areas.
Sam Lawrence, a planetary scientist at NASA, stated: “The polar location, which was specified by the [Artemis program mandate from the National] Space Council, is enabling because of the existence of the locations of near-permanent sunlight. It is the illumination that’s a resource.”