Scientists working on creating lunar homes

Sept. 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico say they have been attempting to create lunar homes made out of simulated moon dirt.

The Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal said Wednesday that scientists from Prairie View A&M University's Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration are researching the possibility of making lunar shelters from materials already on the moon.

"It would take $1 million a pound to bring things to the moon," CRESSE research scientist Brad Gersey said of the NASA-funded research. "We need to use something that's there already."

Scientists created the simulated moon dirt used in the research by analyzing samples brought back from previous moon missions.

The simulated moon materials are being combined with high-density polethylenes in order to create shelters that provide protection against radioactivity, the Journal reported.

"NASA's interested in seeing, essentially, a storm shelter," Gersey said. "If there's a solar flare ... they need a storm shelter to shield them from potentially dangerous bursts of radiation."

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