It is common knowledge that the moon creates a lot of curiosities. We recently told you that the moon affects our sleep, our bodies and our minds. that the moon pulls a long, glowing tail that we cannot see with the naked eye, and that the Chinese rover Yutu 2 has discovered a strange pebble on the other side of the moon. This time, the researchers wondered how long it would take a human to walk around the moon.
An obstacle course
Most importantly, it should be noted that even if the prospect of traveling the moon on foot seems far-fetched, it is entirely possible. Although the logistics side can present several major obstacles. In fact, you should know that 12 people have walked the moon to date, all members of the Apollo missions carried out by NASA between 1969 and 1972. These astronauts showed that walking on the moon was difficult. In their particular case, they bounced off the moon more than they walked, since the moon’s gravity is one-sixth that of the earth.
When they left, the astronauts could only run at a speed of 2.2 km / h, a slowness explained by their large, pressurized spacesuits that were not adapted for mobility. To confirm this hypothesis, NASA conducted a study in 2014 in which eight participants – including three astronauts – were asked to walk on a structure that simulated lunar gravity.
In contrast to astronauts on the moon, these participants were able to swing their arms freely and had a maximum walking speed of 5 km / h. Scientists have therefore come to the conclusion that if a person maintains this walking speed of 5 km / h without stopping on the moon, he can avoid it in 91 days, since the moon has a circumference of 10,921 km.
But it’s not that easy on the moon
In fact, it is impossible for a human to walk without stopping for 91 days. A hiker would therefore need a support vehicle to transport supplies such as water, food and oxygen. Not to mention the fact that the hiker needs protection as the moon has a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius during the day and less than 180 ° C at night.
The gravity of the moon is one sixth that of the earth. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Merlin74
In addition, the lunar cycle means that there are days when little sun shines on the moon, which means that at least half of the trip is done in the dark. And if there is sun, remember that the moon does not have a magnetic field to deflect solar radiation. European Space Agency science advisor Aidan Cowley told Live Science, “If there is a solar flare or coronal ejection and you are hit by high levels of radiation, it can make you very, very sick.”
We must also remember that the moon has a fairly complex topography due to the meteor craters, which can be several kilometers deep. As a result, hikers will be forced to bypass these craters, which the scientific advisor has found to be too dangerous.
Ultimately, the researcher said it was impossible to maintain a walking speed of 5 km / h beyond 4 hours a day. That means that in the end it would take 547 days, or almost a year and a half, to walk around the moon instead of 91 days, taking all parameters into account. Even then, however, Cowley states that the technology or equipment needed to achieve such a feat would not see the light of day until the late 2030s or early 2040s.