The Moon, which lacks an atmosphere, receives abundant, energy from the Sun. Sunlight can be converted into electricity with lunar-made solar panels to supply the Moon with all of the power needed for global exploration and development. Sunlight could also be used for operating solar ovens, heat engines, and thermal management systems.
The Moon has a wealth of raw materials that can be applied to the construction and operation of lunar bases. The lunar soil (regolith) contains iron, aluminum, calcium, silicon, titanium, and oxygen, as well as trace amounts of lighter elements such as carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. Increased concentrations of hydrogen, detected by the Lunar Prospector Satellite, suggest the presence of water ice in the polar regions. With due precautions to preserve important geologic information, the lunar regolith will become the feedstock for lunar base industrial processes that manufacture wires, lenses, solar cells, and construction materials.
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