As humanity heads back towards the moon, we may have more than just radiation from the sun (or dust from the soil) to deal with. Colonists may also have find a way to cope with space rocks raining down from on high.

( Potentially dangerous small space rocks are smashing into the Moon a lot more often than was expected, according to an ongoing NASA study.

“We’ve now seen 11 and possibly 12 lunar impacts since we started monitoring the Moon one year ago,” said Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “That’s about four times more hits than our computer models predicted.” […]

“The flashes we saw were caused by Leonid meteoroids 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) in diameter,” Cooke said today in a NASA statement. They hit with energies equal to 150 to 300 pounds of TNT.

Although it may be impossible to shoot down and track such objects entering lunar territory, it may not be improbable to create a strong enough barriers (or force fields) that can sustain damages from such impacts.

If so, then colonizing the Moon would quickly become a reality, allowing us to build communities and use our lunar neighbor as a springboard for Mars.

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