I've been reading an article today on how the European Space Agency (ESA) has an interest in building a space village on the moon which will be 3D printed and assembled by robots. Eventually people will start to go there for long periods of time (presumably).

I always think to myself when hearing such news or watching a sci-fi movie, isn't there a real chance that it will get hit by a meteorite?

Resource: http://www.iflscience.com/space/esa-build-moon-village-2030


Here's a video of their plan to build a moon village as they call it: http://www.iflscience.com/space/esa-reveal-their-plans-build-moon-village-20-years-time


Something interesting to see :) http://www.iflscience.com/space/space-debris-has-chipped-one-isss-windows

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    $\begingroup$ A similar question says "800 impacts per square centimeter per year for impacts greater than 1 um". I don't think they do any damage even to a space suit. Over a few tens of millions of years, micrometeorites erode 1 cm of the lunar surface into regolith, that's why boulders are rare on the Moon. Debris in LEO is more frequent and dangerous, still no serious accidents. (BTW, "Meteor" is the light phenomenon of a meteorite burning in the atmosphere, N/A on the Moon). $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Jan 5, 2016 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ I've searched if someone has asked the same question before and I couldn't find it.. Thanks for your clarifications @LocalFluff $\endgroup$
    – Odin
    Jan 6, 2016 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ The answer is "yes". But how big the risks are is a different question. This might be of interest: space.com/… $\endgroup$ Jan 8, 2016 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Odin I'm not smart enough to say with any specifics but I'd say the chances of being hit by a meteor is lower on the surface of the moon than on the space station (gravitational attraction of the earth raising the velocity and perhaps chance of impact a little too). Obviously the space station is still working, so the impacts are either mostly small or quite infrequent. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Jan 10, 2016 at 2:53
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't a moon base basically be sub-surface to avoid harmful solar and cosmic radiation? That might protect against all but the most significant lunar impacts. $\endgroup$
    – dudemonkey
    Jan 12, 2016 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


Being struck by a piece of rock that is pebble sized or bigger could do damage to any base. Fortunately such objects are rare. Their danger could not be entirely avoided, but would be just part of the overall risk of such a mission.

Micrometeorites would hit any exposed base, just as they have hit the ISS and the space shuttle in the past. The base would be make strong enough to survive very small impacts. The base could be built partially underground, which would also reduce cosmic radiation. And in would be possible to isolate parts of the base, so a breach doesn't cause destruction of the entire base.

Finally, astronauts have to accept dangers that most people would find intolerable. The ISS was estimated to have a 5% chance of catastrophic failure over its lifespan. 4% of astronauts have died in a spacecraft. Breach due to micrometeorite impact would be one of the many risks.

  • $\begingroup$ I was certain it couldn't be that high until I thought about it a bit (more than I'd like to). I've asked a follow-up question in space.stackexchange. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 25, 2016 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ "4% of astronauts have died in a spacecraft" unreal! $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Nov 14, 2016 at 18:22

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