How We Could Build a Moon Base TODAY – Space Colonization 1

Humans dream about leaving Earth
and traveling through the galaxy. But we were born too early to be part of it. Or were we? The reality is, we could begin our dream
by building a Moon base today. We actually do have the technology and current estimates from NASA
and the private sector say it could be done for 20 to 40 billion dollars,
spread out over about a decade. The price is comparable to
the International Space Station or the budget surplus of Germany in 2017. Not that big an investment really. The payoff would be immeasurable. The Moon is a sandbox to develop new technologies and exploit unlimited resources. It would start a new space race and lay the foundation for us to spread out
into the solar system and beyond. It would create a vast array of new
technologies to benefit us on Earth and we would all be part of it. So, why aren’t we doing it? Well, sadly, it’s hard to get governments interested in long-term investments in the future of humanity. Let’s imagine, just doing it. If we start today, how would we build a Moon base? Throughout history, colonization happened in phases: In the first phase of the age of exploration
of the new world, for example, European monarchs funded expeditions to chart
and discover and to stake their claims. They planted a flag and set up a camp,
but they didn’t stay. In the second phase, small missions set up outposts and settlements were founded, which was still very dependent on
their home countries for supplies. Some failed, but others survived and
established a permanent presence. Only then, in the third phase, did a true colony form to which tradesmen and laborers could emigrate, creating new wealth and opportunities
for themselves and their families, sending extreme wealth back
to their countries of origin. When we colonize the Moon, we’ll go through the same three phases. This time, without murdering millions
of innocent people in the process. The Moon is not a welcoming place for living things. A Moon day lasts 29 Earth days, with a difference of maybe 300 degrees
Celsius between sunlight and shade. There’s no atmosphere to shield us from meteorites,
big and small, or cosmic radiation. Worse still, the lunar surface is covered
in a layer of nasty jagged dust. The Moon is hard. But we’re good at doing hard things. In the first phase of lunar colonization, our explorers proved it can be done that a new world can be reached. This face started 60 years ago with the Apollo missions. Since then, satellites like the American Lunar
Reconnaissance Orbiter have mapped the Moon, while rovers like the Chinese Yutu,
have studied the composition of the lunar surface. Looking for water, ice and metals. Phase one is more or less complete. We know what we need to know to enter phase two. In the second phase, astronauts will build the first Moon base and this could begin today. The first small Moon base could
be completed in a decade. The first nation that establishes this base, will be akin to the first nations building outposts
in the new world 500 years ago. It’s expensive to send rockets to the Moon. So we will send as little as possible. The base will be light, little more than inflatable habitats
for crews of no more than 12, and will be deployed somewhere with a natural shelter. Options include caves,
like underground lava tube tunnels, or craters near the poles,
where the days are six months long. These astronauts will not stay long. The habitat is likely to be abandoned between missions, as solar panels cannot generate
electricity during the lunar night. But they’ll do the groundwork to enable
humans to stay permanently. Our first crew will consist of scientists and engineers who will study the composition of the Moon and whose experiments will explore ways
of using the available lunar material. Say purifying the lunar ice and turning
it into water for human use. And water is important for far more than drinking. They can use it to experiment
with growing plants for food. Hydrogen fuel cells will store
power through the long night, extending astronauts’ days. And most importantly: It could be split into hydrogen and oxygen. Rocket fuel! By harvesting water from the Moon
and putting it into orbit, the Moon base will supply an orbital depot. Where scientific missions to Mars and
the outer solar system can refuel. Compared to the Earth, it’s much easier and cheaper
to get things off the Moon into orbit. Colonizing Mars may mean starting from the Moon. But this isn’t a true colony, not yet. The base will be abandoned if funding stops. If we want our base to grow into the third phase,
into a true colony, it must become self-sufficient,
supporting itself via exports to Earth. Now, private contractors arrive looking to get rich
off lunar resources and support services. If it’s cheaper to produce rocket fuel in space, what else can they get rich on? They could extract precious metals, abundant in impact craters and other raw materials from the lunar regolith. One promising possibility is the mining of helium-3, an isotope that could one day be used
in nuclear fusion reactors, something the Chinese lunar exploration
program is currently looking into. Future colonists may export helium-3 back to Earth, providing us with cheap and clean fusion energy. Asteroids could be pulled into
the Moon’s orbit and mined. With commercial exports to Earth, the colony is fully in its third phase, self-sufficient and economically productive. Our base will begin using lunar material in its
construction projects, if it’s to continue growing. Fortunately, lunar soil has all the necessary
ingredients to make concrete. Robotic mining rigs can sift
the lunar dust for organic molecules and could be used to build huge structures way too massive to be brought from Earth. While advances in 3D printing, will make it possible to produce almost
everything else the crews need. It’s hard to say when exactly the colony
becomes self-sustaining. Growth is gradual, experiments are replaced by industry and the population steadily reaches the hundreds, encompassing more than just scientists. Engineers, pilots and contractors representing
countries and corporations will be present. Two of these people will make a breakthrough. Not scientific, but social. They will have the first extraterrestrial child. Throughout history, the birth of the first child was celebrated
as a moment where the seed of a colony finally and irreversibly took root. Here, it means that the Moon is not just a place
for scientists and engineers to work, it’s a place for people to live, to raise a family. Once this transition happens, the colony grows rapidly, building more habitats and schools and farms and
all the things needed to support the growing population. As our colony grows, all kinds of new technologies
will be invented to sustain it. They might develop crops
that efficiently recycle carbon dioxide, or the grow with very little water. They might find ways to recycle and
reuse 100% of their waste, technologies that are extremely valuable for Earth. They could even build the first
space elevator in the Solar System. With a space elevator, spacecraft,
astronauts and raw materials, could be brought back and forth from lunar orbit, without needing to use rockets at all. The Moon may become a hub for economic activity
on a scale that’s hard to imagine right now. It’s hard to say who will own the colony at this point. Will the first person born on the Moon
take the national identity of their parents, or will a new generation melt together
into a new lunar society? And when existing treaties that bar any nation
from owning the moon are inevitably rewritten, will the colonists be given a say? Will they declare independence from the Earth? However it happens, the Moon is a perfect sandbox to learn
how to colonize the Solar System, the perfect project unify nations, and the only way to guarantee our survival as a species, should something tragic happen on Earth. If we ever want to colonize the Milky Way, we’ll have to start somewhere. So why not start there? Why not start now? While unfortunately you can’t jump on a spacecraft and go to the Moon right now, you can learn more interesting things
about space and our universe. And we can even help you with that. Kurzgesagt and Brilliant are collaborating
on a six-part video series about our favorite science and space topics. Kurzgesagt has worked with Brilliant for a while now and we love what they’re doing. In a nutshell, Brilliant teaches you science
and maths with a hands-on approach, by solving puzzles yourself, you learn to understand
concepts instead of just memorizing facts. If you’d like to think more like a scientist, go to and sign up for free. The first 698 people to use the link get their
annual premium membership at a 20% discount and also support our collaboration with Brilliant.

  1. This sounds amazing and there is no life to kill but us on the moon so, I guess it might be better, not sure but I always thought of a problem with colonising a planet with life, the bacteria could prove extremely lethal to us and the indigenous life there, remember how when Europe came to America, the people who lived there died from our plagues, this time it would be dangerous to both us and the life who live there kind of like war of the worlds.

  2. We just had a lesson about this video in our 9th grade physics class. The rest of the class and I thoroughly enjoyed this video! Great content.

  3. Okay for the Moon and Mars, but about exploring other systems, this is another trick as we can't go faster than the speed of light. And the closest solar system is 4.37 lightyears away from us.

    It means that we would need more than 4 years to get there… At the speed of light ! Which is about 670,616,629 mph.

    I know there could be a way to do so with a distortion engine, but we would need to much energy. We don't have enough on Earth.

  4. Staggering profits will be made with a large Lunar base which mines nearby asteroids (and figures out how to get the refined materials to Earth). But a Lunar colony? Fuhgeddaboudit. We'll never go to the Moon to live.

    We'll go to the Moon to WORK.

  5. ….lol there is a game about this whole premise called Colonizing Mars. A rocket full of robots lands on Mars and they set up a basic base suitable for humans to live in. Then the human colonist come in and will then do specialized stuff like farming and researching while automated robots do hard labor outside to collect further resources such as the concrete you mentioned.

  6. You go ahead. I'll stay hear and look after things. Let me know how it goes. If I don't hear from you I'll assume you're busy.

  7. I think we can’t have people declaring independence of the moon as that can stuff everything up it’s much better if they make a United earth government to control off earth colonies.

  8. you forgot one thing the low gravity will drastically weaken our bodies to the point our bones will break like a toothpick

  9. Would it be possible to create a ring in the low orbit of the earth?

    The idea would be to use a space elevator to this ring, and in that ring would have a space elevator attached to the moon, so there would be space elevators around the world that would go to this ring, or maybe planes that could go to this ring, and depart from the ring would go to the moon.

    The motive of the ring would be the moon's translation movement around the earth, so the cable would run along a trail following the moon's translation.

  10. you know someday there will be an idiot that lives on the moon telling other people that mankind are actually came from the moon

  11. I can only see this if we are one global economy and absolutely no religion or no religion. Witch seems like a very long time for now

  12. since NASA is making a moon base this might be how they are planning to do it since these are fact checked by experts and scientists! (:

  13. Starting on a sphere on rock formed from a violent planetary collision 4.5 GYA is what we need to be thinking of instead of heading straight to Mars.

  14. Race-mixing is wrong. Stop pushing this on us. You understand the biologic ramifications of doing this. Stop destroying human bio-diversity.
    You need The New Awakening.

  15. @humans, you are comfotable watching possible theory. Will you play games, work for companies for money, have a emotional life? isn't science more fun as you study to be smarter? Because it has so much more, while you stop being so emotional, about memes and how bad systems are everywhere.

  16. Watching these videos make me realize just how close humanity is to an technological explosion and how easy it would be to join it with a bit of money

  17. The issue with this is that you can't really terraform the moon, so unlike the new world 500 years ago, the moon will never be able to rise to the same level as Earth in terms of habitability.

    This is why Mars is a better candidate. It can be terraformed slowly and requires somewhat less extreme artificial support even right out of the gate, but certainly once terraforming is underway.

  18. Using some form of automated or manned gun to shoot down asteroids before they take out structures could work maybe. I ain't no physicist though, so I could be wrong.

  19. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) I dunno my I did this but I just learned how to make this face for others who are wondering to know how to do this search lenny face on YouTube and search the face will be made on the search bar copy it and paste it

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