Aerospace engineer Robert Howard, 36, is designing lunar homes for future moon bases. He's the manager of NASA's "habitability design center" at the Johnson Space Center. From Smithsonian (photo by Robert Seale):
Howard says this is a heady time to be working at NASA. In 2004, President Bush set a goal of sending humans back to the moon by 2020 and eventually on to Mars. The lunar outpost would be a training ground and launchpad for trips to the red planet.Lunar Living (Smithsonian)
But there are plenty of challenges to overcome first. To camp on the moon, astronauts need to be shielded from solar radiation. In a waterless environment every drop of H2O, including sweat and urine, must be recycled and purified. NASA engineers are sorting through dozens of possible models for the lunar outpost–from horizontal, aluminum cylinders to inflatable structures that are essentially giant, Kevlar-reinforced balloons.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.