Harvard scientists propose a crazy idea to feed a lunar base with solar energy, New Scientist magazine reveals: the installation of gigantic towers scattered across the surface of the satellite, covered with panels and made of concrete (the raw material of which would be obtained by there).
Led by researcher Sephora Ruppert, the team suggests that the heaviness of the site would make the project viable, as well as the costs involved (compared to the costs required to send input from Earth).
Areas where the sun shines continuously, called “Peaks of Eternal Light”, are each only a few square meters in size – despite reaching hundreds of square kilometers at an altitude of about a kilometer.
With the novelty, the goal is to expand access to potential energy and not limit it to the poles, which have wide coverage. “At an altitude of 500 meters to two kilometers, we could explore a few gigawatts,” says Ruppert.
Advantages and pitfalls
Walls just 20 inches thick would support towers similar to mile-high igloos that wouldn’t sag under their own weight, those responsible for the study added.
To give you an idea, the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world, “only” reaches 828 meters.
Finally, such an ability would help people to stay in an atmosphere devoid of atmosphere and cruel temperatures. However, it is not known whether the structures can withstand waves from solar radiation or meteorite falls.