November 3, 2013
Practicing for the Moon
Tiffany Swarmer and Travis Nelson from UND Space Studies
The longest humans spent on the Moon was a little more than 3 days - Apollo 17, 40 years ago. If we are to return to explore the Moon in greater detail and utilize its resources we will have to spend more time there. The students in the image above are helping prepare for such missions by conducting a 10 day lunar habitat simulation, including EVAs outside their lunar habitat using both a rover and space suits. The remarkable thing about this effort is that these Space Studies students at the University of North Dakota designed and built the habitat, the rover and the space suits. Their NASA-funded projects have led to published papers and presentations at national meetings, and this habitat simulation is drawing national publicity. You can read their daily blog - they are in Day 6 now, and visit the department's Human Spaceflight Laboratory. If you think I am pushing this a little bit, I guess I am - for 10 years I was the department chair of UND's Space Studies program. I enjoy seeing how well they are doing since I left!
Yesterday's LPOD: A Longer Fault
Tomorrow's LPOD: Moon Eats Sun