NASA Exercise: Survival on the Moon

NASA Exercise: Survival on the Moon
Boston Debate League
Adapted From NASA
15 – Box of Matches
There’s not enough oxygen on the
moon to light a match, in fact the
moon has no atmosphere.
The moon and most of space is a near
“vacuum”- an area that is empty of any
matter (stuff).
14-Magnetic Compass
Since the moon does not have polarized,
magnetic poles a magnetic compass is
The moon does not have polarized,
magnetic poles because the moon does
not have a molten/liquid iron core.
Magnetism is a result of moving electrical
charge. Liquid metal has an electric
charge and when they move in a core it
creates a magnetic field. This is how
Earth’s magnetic field.
13-Portable Heating Unit
Not needed unless on the dark side of the
moon. As you are on the light side, it is
too hot to use.
To deal with this dramatic range in
temperature, spacesuits are heavily
insulated with layers of fabric and then
covered with reflective outer layers. This
minimizes the temperature differences
between when the astronaut is in the
sunlight and when in shade. Space suits
also have internal heaters and cooling
systems, and liquid heat exchange pumps
that remove excess heat.
12-One case of dehydrated milk
This is the bulkier of the two food
concentrates. Almost too heavy to justify
carrying. The calories would help though.
11-Two .45 calibre pistols
This could possible used as a means of
The Moon has 1/6 the Gravity of Earth
partially because it has less mass than
Earth, and because of this when you jump
up you can jump a lot higher and you
could even shoot a pistol and the kick
back could help you propel yourself.
Also, if you somehow got booted off the
moon, in space there would be nothing to
push off of to move so you would have to
propel yourself somehow and a gun could
help with that.
10-Signal Flares
This could be used as a distress signal
when the mother ship is sighted.
On the moon, since there is no
atmosphere, you are basically standing
on top of a rock inside of a vacuum.
Without air or some other medium
(material) sound waves cannot travel
and thus could not be used to signal
anyone. However, light, and other
forms of electromagnetic radiation
(e.g. radio waves, microwaves, gamma
rays) can travel in a vacuum. So this
would work.
9- Self-inflating life raft
CO2 bottle in military raft may be used
for propulsion for the same reasons
Also, it could be used to protect you
from the heat or to help transport the
Unfortunately it’s kind of bulky.
8- Parachute Silk
The silk could be used to protect you from
the sunlight, a form of electromagnetic
On earth the atmosphere and the Earth’s
magnetic field both protect us from a lot
of bad electromagnetic radiation. There
is no protection from this in space.
7-First aid kit, including injection needle
Needles connected to vials of vitamins
and medicines, etc. will fit specialized
hole in NASA space suit.
6-Fifty feet of nylon rope
Useful in scaling cliffs and tying the
injured together so that they do not get
The moon has a lot of craters, which are
caused by asteroid (big rock) collisions.
The make the moon look like Swiss
5-Solar powered FM receiver-transmitter
For communication with mother ship (but
FM requires line-of-sight transmission and
can only be used over short range).
Since space is a vacuum only
electromagnetic radiation like radio
waves can help you communicate a
message. No one will hear you
scream…unless you scream into a walkytalky.
4-Food Concentrate
This is an efficient means of getting
people fed with the calories/energy they
need to keep going.
As far as we know there is no plants or
animals in space to eat.
3-Stellar map
This would be the main means of
navigating the moon. Star patterns on
the moon are essentially the same as they
are on Earth.
Without a magnetic field, this is all you
2-20 liters of water
You will die pretty quick without water.
The water on the moon is not easy to
mine as they are locked in the moon’s soil
in small amounts or are in really cold
places like craters or the moon’s poles.
1-Two 100 lb tanks of Oxygen
You will die even faster without oxygen.
The no atmosphere, no oxygen, no fun
witmoon has hout it.
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