Stranded on Moon OFA Kids Vol. 5 Space | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Stranded on the Moon

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Imagine being stranded on the Moon and having only certain items to help you survive and travel to safety. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 5, ranks the most important items and what they can be used for.

Stranded on the Moon

You are part of a space exploration mission flying from a space station orbiting the Moon to an occupied base on the Moon itself. An instrument malfunction causes you to crash on the Moon on the daylight side about 75 miles from the base. At this location, the Moon’s day has just begun (daytime on the Moon lasts about 2 Earth weeks). Your spacecraft is in need of repair, and your survival depends on reaching the Moon base as soon as possible. What items (below) would be most important for your trip?

box of matches
food concentrate
50 feet of nylon rope
parachute silk
solar-powered heating unit
two .45 caliber pistols
one case of powdered milk
two tanks of oxygen
stellar map of the Moon’s constellations
self-inflating raft that uses carbon  dioxide canisters for inflation
self-igniting signal flares
magnetic compass
5 gallons of water
solar-powered FM walkie-talkie
first aid kit containing needles (for vitamins, medicine, etc.) that will fit through a special aperture in spacesuits

Experts’ rankings:
1. two tanks of oxygen, essential for survival
2. 5 gallons of water, to replace the tremendous liquid loss on the lighted side of the Moon
3. stellar map of the Moon’s constellations, your primary means of navigation
4. food concentrate, an efficient means of supplying energy requirements
5. solar-powered FM walkie-talkie, used for communication with the rescue party at the Moon base (Note: FM requires line-of-sight transmission and short ranges.)
6. 50 feet of nylon rope, for scaling cliffs
7. first aid kit: the vitamins, medicines, etc., help to sustain health
8. parachute silk, to provide protection from the Sun’s rays
9. self-inflating life raft: the CO2 bottle in it may be used for propulsion
10. signal flares, specially designed for an environment with no oxygen, for sending distress signals
11. two .45-caliber pistols, a possible means of self-propulsion when fired
12. one case of powdered milk, useful but bulkier than food concentrate
13. solar-powered heating unit: not needed unless you are on the dark side
14. magnetic compass: worthless for navigation because the magnetic field on the Moon is not polarized
15. box of matches: virtually worthless because there is no oxygen on the Moon to sustain flame