Executive Intelligence Review


Indian Space Research Organization Building ‘Igloos’ for Outposts on the Moon

Feb. 26, 2018 (EIRNS)—Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Satellite Center (ISAC) Director Mylswamy Annadurai told the Times of India that it has started working on building “igloos” with the intent of creating outposts on the Moon. He also said “the space agency has mastered the process of creating lunar simulant (material that approximates the properties of lunar soil), and it has about 60 tons of it. Its properties match 99.6% with the samples brought from Moon by Apollo missions,” TOI reported. These “lunar habitats” will be built by sending robots and 3D printers to the Moon, and by using lunar soil and other material. In stating the objective, Dr. Annadurai said astronauts going to the Moon in the future will spend more than just a few hours there. “To keep them safe and help them work from there, we need smart materials, which is what we are focusing on building,” he said.

Annadurai likened the igloos on the Moon to India’s outpost in Antarctica. “We are planning to use the Moon as an outpost—like missions in Antarctica. In the long run, the space station is likely to be scrapped. Many countries, including the U.S., are considering building more permanent structures on the Moon and working out of there. When that happens, we want India to have contributed,” he told Times of India.

In another Moon-related finding, a new analysis of data from India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggests that the Moon’s water may be widely distributed across the surface, not confined to a particular region—such as permanently shadowed craters near the poles—or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it was not necessarily easily accessible, according to the study published Feb. 12 in the journal Nature Geoscience. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center reported the study Feb. 23.

“We find that it doesn’t matter what time of day or which latitude we look at, the signal indicating water always seems to be present,” said Joshua Bandfield, a senior research scientist with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the study. “The presence of water doesn’t appear to depend on the composition of the surface, and the water sticks around,” NASA quoted Bandfield as saying.