Researchers have proposed shooting moon dust plumes into space from a rifle in order to divert the sun’s rays away from Earth, giving the “moonshot” proposal to combat global warming a new, very literal interpretation.
The seemingly outlandish concept, outlined in a new research paper, would involve creating a “solar shield” in space by mining the moon of millions of tons of its dust and then “ballistically eject[ing]” it to a point in space about 1m miles from Earth, where the floating grains would partially block incoming sunlight.
To slow down global warming, however, moon dust would need to be continuously launched into space; otherwise, a phenomenon known as “termination shock” could occur, in which the world’s temporary cooling abruptly ends and the planet begins to rapidly warm up. Bromley underlined that the research’s futuristic theory is not a replacement for the initial objective of reducing emissions that cause global warming.
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