Living on the Moon: What It Would Be Like (Infographic)
Conditions on the lunar surface.
Credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

Life on the moon would be very different for explorers than life on Earth. From its lighter gravity to lack of air, the moon is a harsh mistress, just like the late sci-fi author Robert Heinlein claimed.

Full Story: What Would It Be Like to Live on the Moon?

The moon has no atmosphere, no weather and no oceans of water. Its surface is in a perpetual vacuum. Pairs of astronauts have lived on its surface only up to three days at a time, in the tiny Lunar Module of the Apollo program

Only 12 humans (the crews of Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17) have ever walked on the moon's surface. Because the moon's gravity is only one-sixth that of the Earth's gravity, Apollo astronauts had to tread carefully or else risk stumbling or falling. They ultimately perfected a bouncing gait and bunny hops to walk along the lunar surface. 

One of the best places to set up a moon base turns out to be the lunar south pole, which has an enormous reserve of water ice and a relatively stable surface temperature around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius).

Because it lacks an atmosphere, the moon undergoes tremendous daily swings in surface temperature, from a daytime average of 253 degrees F (123 C) to minus 387 F (minus 233 C) at night. 

Read our full special report: 

Living on Other Planets: What Would It Be Like?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on the moon? What about Mars, or Venus or Mercury? Find out what it might be like to live on other worlds in our solar system, from Mercury to Pluto and beyond in our 12-part series.

The Moon: 10 Surprising Lunar Facts

Inside Earth's Moon (Infographic)

Photos: The Search for Water on the Moon

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