It is being planned for returning astronauts to go for missions of longer durations than previously experienced. To do this, according to NASA they will first need more reliable sources of power, with the latest explorations of nuclear fission and many other developments. Building a permanent lunar human habitat is not as simple as it sounds, depending on several things—with all of them depending on the type of technology that will be available.
When we look at our future on the moon, many questions are asked about our need to return to the moon-its costs, its scientific benefits, whether or not we need a lunar base, and whether it needs to be controlled by NASA or an industry that is private. Some of these ideas involve using lunar rocks, an interesting fact in itself. Others utilizing the moon’s intense vacuum in order to develop photovoltaic cells on the lunar location–placing long strips of solar cells on the surface of the moon in order to create solar power installation.
Different than a nuclear reactor on our planet, the one on the moon will be the size of a medium office garbage can without large concrete cooling towers.Supplying the astronauts with less energy than on Earth, it will still be adequate for the needs of the lunar outpost and its projected power. And the moon is also being looked at to not only supply power needs to the lunar outpost, but also to provide energy on Earth.
More and more novel ideas are being created at the Texas Center for Superconductivity & Advanced Materials for solar arrays on the moon, through the efforts of an individual by the name of Alex Freundlich—a UH researcher. These arrays can be developed using lunar materials, which are able to be found in the lunar regolith of the upper crust of the moon. Freundlich is working with NASA Johnson Space Center, using simulated material found on the moon to devise these solar devices.