The Moon is a record of solar system history (5:20 - 7:45)

The Moon preserves a complete geologic record that dates back nearly to the formation of the solar system. NASA’s moon-mapping spacecraft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, has been orbiting the Moon since 2009. It was designed to gather new insight into the Moon’s geological record and scout the surface for future human exploration. 

To harness resources to build lunar bases (7:45 - 11:23)

After scientists uncovered the Moon’s mineral wealth, some suggested it could be harnessed to build bases on the Moon. Hauling materials from Earth to build on the Moon could cost billions of dollars. But if the raw materials are already available in space, then all kinds of construction activities become conceivable.

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Lunar ice could be a fuel source (29:03 - 32:15)

Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, and if those two atoms can be separated and stored, they can fuel a rocket. That’s because hydrogen and oxygen are highly flammable, and when they are burned together, they release a huge amount of energy–enough to propel a rocket. That means that, at least in theory, lunar ice could provide water to drink, air to breathe, and a source of propellant for spaceships to fuel up and head out.

Lava tubes could be lunar shelter (46:12 - 49:03)

To live on the Moon, humans will need to shield themselves from radiation coming from the Sun and deep space. One way to do this might be to live in the Moon, inside lava tubes that formed billions of years ago. Scientists have yet to discover what’s inside them, but similar tubes on Earth might offer clues. 

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