A hypothetical approach to escape from the reach of Earth and enter the space, “Space elevator” seems to be non-feasible based on the current technology. However, some researchers are expecting that they have discovered an alternative to the almost impossible approach, “Moon elevator.” Technically, the latter approach looks slightly less insane.
A British science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008) first comprehensively explored the idea of a space elevator in his novel. According to his imagination, it is an extremely heightened tower with an elevator, which ends in space (somewhere around 26,000 miles up from the Earth’s surface). The height is enough to exceed the reach of gravitational pull and launch geostationary satellites.
In reality, such a long tower could not be able to support its own weigh. So, some scientists have thought of using the same approach for astronauts to land on the Moon. According to them, a tower or elevator needs to be established on the Moon’s surface up to the height of a geosynchronous orbit around the planet. Moreover, the concept would probably work and the project would cost a few billion dollars.
The concept sounds better than NASA’s planned tiny Lunar Gateway project.
On a related note, over a month back, a Chinese lunar rover, Yutu-2, was strolling on the far side of the moon, where it found a shiny unknown material underneath a recent impact crater. The Chinese space agency stated that the unknown material appears as a “gel with a mysterious luster.” Space.com reported that the Chinese researchers have not been able to precisely identify the type of mysterious substance, but deducing that the substance could be a glass formed by the heat generated through the impact.
At the end of July 2019, the Yutu-2 managing team at BACC (the Beijing Aerospace Control Center) was about to shut down the rover for resting phase to prevent the exploration rover from overheating, as the Sun was directly overhead.