Monday, June 9, 2008

Colonies in Space, the Moon, and Mars

Here is the introduction to a design lesson from the website www.coollessons.org. To see the whole lesson click on the heading above.

Your team has been asked to make a proposal to put a colony of 600 humans somewhere in our solar system as a test of whether it might be possible to someday do large scale colonization.

The colony is to be self sufficient - you will only be allowed to bring enough materials to start your colony. This means that, once your colony is built and working, it must provide everything the colonists need. Other than what you brought, whatever is in the station must be made new, fixed easily, grown or recycled. It is a long way to Earth. Replacement parts, food, etc. cannot be shipped due to the high costs, $100,000 - $1,000,000 per pound, depending on your location. So - once your colony is operational, you are on your own.

You will have limited ability to travel close to your location in space (2,000,000 miles or 3,225,800 Km round trip) using shuttles, but remember you cannot supply your colony from earth or any place more than 1,000,000 miles or 1,612,900 Km away. The colony may be put on any other planet or moon, or may be put in orbit around the sun or a planet or moon in our solar system.

This is not a science fiction project because people in our schools right now will actually be doing this work during their lifetimes. Several countries are scheduled to have their own colonies on the moon before 2025.

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