Originally posted by kinglizard Astronauts making the trip to Mars could not look back and see the Earth. Would I survive a trip to the moon? We could refuel two ascent vehicles per year.”, Clark pondered factories in space 15 years ago and kept his ideas alive for years on a shoestring research budget. People can mine the ice as a source of water for drinking and irrigation. But if the goal is learning about long-term stays in space, going to the moon provides excellent instruction. Watch live Monday: SpaceX to launch 1st Starlink mission of 2021, 'Old Faithful' galaxy has brilliant outbursts every 114 days. "I have thought that the initial return to the moon would consist of what I call a 'human-tended outpost,' where people go there for extended tourism time — there's no permanent residence except in the sense of rotating crews," Spudis told SPACE.com. But ferrying humans to Mars would be a much bigger challenge than getting them to the moon. "You just have your house being printed around you.". Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the onboard human crew.Spacecraft can also be remotely operated from ground stations on Earth, or autonomously, without any direct human involvement.Persons trained for spaceflight are called … He has made each piece of his factory work and is in the process of integrating the parts into a seamless whole—a bona fide oxygen plant that could largely free future moon explorers from their ties to supply ships from Earth. They must make consumables like oxygen, recycle them, and recycle waste. But space planners also see a brighter side to the story. In the 1990s the University of Tennessee’s Lawrence Taylor showed that finer samples of regolith contain enough of this material to make it useful. More details of this plan emerged last December at a meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Houston. It operates at relatively cool temperatures, 1300 to 1500 degrees F. The disadvantage is that it obtains oxygen almost exclusively from iron oxides, which make up just about 10 percent of the regolith. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency has unveiled an ambitious plan to send humans to the moon and Mars within the next two decades. Moreover, nobody really knows the long-term effects on human beings of a low gravity environment such as the Moon… NY 10036. Extract that and it will help make breathable air, rocket fuel, and, when mixed with hydrogen, water.Heat up regolith and it will harden into pavement, bricks, ceramic, or even solar panels to provide electricity. This could make colonizing the moon an even more appealing option. The key lies in particles of glass and metallic iron in the lunar soil. We can’t have zero tolerance, but we don’t want to suck up all the astronauts’ free time doing maintenance.”. a lunar settlement is a model of a settlement that shows the things humans will need to survive on the moon if they live there. During that time, solar-collecting arrays would be useless. During the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972, 12 American spacemen set foot on the moon, and hauled back a whopping 842 pounds of rock and soil samples. The drums lower and begin to rotate.The cups scoop up sand and feed it into a hopper on the back of the robot’s platform. Lunar scientists have learned a lot about the moon since then. For those who would explore the moon—whether to train for exploring Mars, to mine resources, or to install high-precision observatories—regolith is a potentially crippling liability, an all-pervasive, pernicious threat to machinery and human tissue. In some ways, the very minimal gravity of the moon might actually be more conducive to … [Moon Base Visions: Lunar Colony Ideas in Photos]. The Moon will provide a proving ground to test technologies and resources that will take humans to Mars and beyond, including building a sustainable, reusable architecture. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. A European Space Agency (ESA) study found that 3D printing a lunar base using material already available on the moon could be a practical way to establish an outpost on Earth's nearest cosmic neighbor. It had been tried years ago and never worked. One idea is to wrap the lunar habitat in an envelope filled with radiation-absorbing water. From the surface of Europa, Jupiter appears 24 times larger than the moon appears in our sky. If there is no need to bring spare oxygen from Earth, launch vehicles can be far lighter and cheaper to fly or can carry much more payload. But it is actually possible? “Here you have geological processes that tend to sort and separate,” says geologist Douglas Rickman of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Those samples revealed that the moon's makeup is similar to Earth's. Above 1300 degrees, the iron oxides will begin to crack, and the oxygen will combine with the hydrogen, flashing off as water vapor. Culture Notification on. By using the moon's indigenous material, space agencies can save money on the cost of flying pricey missions to and from the moon's surface. During the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972, 12 American spacemen set foot on the moon, and hauled back a whopping 842 pounds of rock and soil samples. The element can react with oxygen obtained from the moon’s soil to produce water. New York, Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! Some scientists think humans could survive comfortably on the moon. Original article on SPACE.com. NASA is holding a regolith-digging contest this May, offering a $250,000 prize to the team whose robot digs the most regolith in 30 minutes—but the excavator must weigh less than 90 pounds. The abrasive regolith is just one aspect of the moon’s harsh environment. NASA’s current plans call for a series of “precursor” robotic lunar missions to test technologies and gather information. A full moon is nearly two thousand times brighter than Venus is at its brightest. Under the ESA's hypothetical plan, a robotic mission to the moon could do most of the work before astronauts ever needed to set foot on the lunar surface. They are also grappling with how to make a suit that will not easily cut or abrade yet will weigh no more than 200 pounds on Earth—33 pounds on the moon. Artist's concept of a possible colony on the moon. There the regolith will be heated and rotated under pressure while the hydrogen percolates through it. The moon has no atmosphere, so people would be completely susceptible to the radiation that would bombard the rocky satellite every day. Taylor suspects that it would take 10 feet of soil or more to insulate the astronauts. Europa has a very thin oxygen atmosphere, but it is far too tenuous for humans to breathe. Moondust is also a major unresolved issue for NASA’s next-generation space suit. No doubt there's allot of things to overcome, but where there's a will there's a way. Severe farsightedness. You will receive a verification email shortly. The idea of living on the moon captures the imagination. A lunar regolith mover will be “about the size of a riding lawn mower,” Boles says. Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. When technicians punch the start button, the robot glides across the floor to a sandbox about 20 feet away. It’s also possible to use water as rocket fuel by turning it into oxygen and hydrogen. While there is debate about the political will to sustain lunar exploration (see “The Future of NASA,” DISCOVER,September 2006), the technical hurdles are beyond dispute. Still,Clark calculates that 100 square yards of regolith excavated to a depth of only two inches will produce 660 pounds of oxygen, enough to sustain a four-member explorer team for 75 days. If the base were built at the lunar equator, it would be in darkness for half of every month. They’ve found that one of the biggest challenges to lunar settlement—as vexing as new rocketry or radiation—is how to live with regolith that covers virtually the entire lunar surface from a depth of7 feet to perhaps 100 feet or more. How can we hope to survive against such odds? Johnson Space Center space suit engineer Amy Ross says: “We’re going to have to maintain ball bearings [in the joints] and replace seals. But there is a fundamental question NASA must answer: Can a human body survive the 34 million-mile (55 million-kilometer) voyage to the red planet? Scientists called the dust lunar regolith, from the Greek rhegos for “blanket” and lithos for“stone.” Back then scientists regarded the regolith as simply part of the landscape, little more than the backdrop for the planting of the American flag. Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine. Water manufactured on the moon could help shield lunar lifers from those effects. "The consumables of air and water would largely be drawn from local resources," Spudis said. Europa is thought to have a liquid water ocean underneath its icy exterior. It includes everything from huge boulders to particles only a few nanometers in diameter, but most of it is a puree created by uncountable high-speed micrometeorites that have been crashing into the moon unimpeded by atmosphere for more than 3billion years. A sunlit crescent of Earth seen from the moon. Visit our corporate site. Boles suggests getting rid of the blade altogether and mounting a brush or a construction sweeper that would use less force and skim the regolith one thin layer at a time. By 2024, NASA experts expect to have enough infrastructure to support a permanent human presence with four astronauts rotating every six months, the same length of a stay as on the International Space Station. I’m a very healthy 44-year old male who has had absolutely no astronaut training. The current favorite spot is the edge of Shackleton Crater at the moon’s south pole, which is expected to feature “moderate” temperatures, between–50 degrees F and 50 degrees F. Shackleton also has the important advantage of being in sunlight—albeit weak sunlight—for up to 80 percent of the year.Abundant light will be crucial for generating electricity. If regolith is the curse of lunar exploration, it may also prove to be a blessing. By microwaving lunar soil, astronauts could weld, or sinter, the particles together to form a serviceable foundation. March 29, 2018. Editor's Note: In this weekly series, SPACE.com explores how technology drives space exploration and discovery. Some scientists argue that if going to Mars is the ultimate goal, there’s no point in going to the moon. Regolith does not blow around by itself on the moon. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Even more important, perhaps, is a plant being built by Larry Clark of Lockheed Martin that is designed to extract oxygen from regolith.Its significance is obvious to any space engineer. "It's a dream from a manufacturing point of view," said Tommaso Ghidini, head of the ESA's Materials Technology Section. Nonetheless, NASA officials believe the advantages at the south pole outweigh the risks. Astronomers Are Concerned That a Swath of New Satellites Will Litter the Night Sky, Chuck Yeager, First Pilot to Break the Sound Barrier, Dies at 97. Like Earth, Mars has an atmosphere, weather, and seasons, and its gravity is one-third of Earth’s. Clark hopes to test his system in a few years aboard an unmanned lunar precursor mission. October 18, 2018 by Russell Lee The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency has unveiled an ambitious plan to send humans to the moon and Mars within the next two decades. The Trump administration's proposed 2019 NASA budget provides resources to advance exploration of the moon and deep space and pursue cutting-edge science, … [How to Live on the Moon (Infographic)]. Leave it alone and the robot will dig and dump all day. They claim that Apollo passed through this belt fast, astronauts being exposed for only a while to radiation. Other, hotter processes get much higher yields. The Apollo astronauts did most of what they did during the lunar equivalent of early morning and forenoon—light enough to see but not as hot. Outer space is an extremely hostile place. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. The downside of a polar landing is that the landscape there is craggier and more forbidding than at the moon’s midline, which makes landings more challenging. These issues lay dormant for three decades until January 2004, when President Bush announced his “Vision for Space Exploration” and gave NASA a new mandate: Return humans to the moon by 2020 and eventually send them on to Mars. Not only would the explorers have an instant highway, they would also mitigate the worst of the dust clouds. If you were to step outside a spacecraft, such as the International Space Station , or on a world with little or no atmosphere such as the moon or Mars without the protection of a space suit , then the following things would happen: Clark’s lab, with its gleaming tile floors and gentle sunlight, does not look like the moon, but his machinery is the real thing. Special sample cases built to hold the Apollo moon rocks lost their vacuum seals because of rims corrupted by dust. Jab too hard and the machine will jump. Wait a minute, can humans really survive the trip to Mars? “We can’t afford to send a 200,000-poundbulldozer to the moon,” says Middle Tennessee State University civil engineer Walter Wesley Boles, a longtime student of lunar construction.“And even if we did, it would perform very poorly.” Engineers will have to think small. Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news. Eons of melting, cooling, and agglomerating have transformed the glass particles in the regolith into a jagged-edged, abrasive powder that clings to anything it touches and packs together so densely that it becomes extremely hard to work on at any depth below four inches. Some sceptics, who claim that man has never reached the moon, say that man can not pass this belt because of the strong, fatal radiation for him. Moon astronauts will be three days from help, and Mars astronauts will, at best, be months away—virtually alone after liftoff. Scientists are now thinking about what is needed to make the vision a reality. Space station astronauts are in low Earth orbit, only 224 miles from safety. If they raise the temperature, the top layers would melt and turn into a tough glass. These will begin next year, long before NASA’s new Orion spaceship is ready to loft its four-astronaut crew moonward. Can Humans Survive a Trip to Mars? You just can’t bail out and go home.”. Those samples revealed that the moon’s makeup is similar to Earth’s. In general, that means crews on the moon will work during the day and take shelter at night. Just for fun, let's drop down and see. How long can a human survive in outer space? “Every year the mission planners come around and say, ‘It’s real nice, but [the entire process] has never been done before,’ ” Clark says. “I had no reason to do it. Do you have the knowledge and skills to make it to the Moon? Climate is the main reason NASA announced last December that it would build its outpost near one of the lunar poles. Human feet or tire treads have to stir it up, and if they are traveling on pavement, the dust stops. Although it hasn't been formally tested, some experts hypothesize that the small amount of gravitational force put on an astronaut's body when on the moon could help stem some of the adverse effects like bone-density and muscle loss that spaceflyers experience while living in microgravity on the International Space Station. There is nothing like it on Earth. Eventually the base will include living quarters, a launchpad, a storage facility for fuel and supplies, and a power plant. Sebaceous cysts. The moon base could function as a good proxy for these kinds of missions by monitoring how an autonomous habitat on another celestial body functions. ... A trip to Mars might take nearly a year — and a huge amount of fuel. Just like the International Space Station, Spudis' concept of the lunar base would require crews of four to eight people to rotate in and out of the base. Moon Base Visions: Lunar Colony Ideas in Photos, Virgin Orbit launches 10 satellites to orbit in landmark test flight. But if the goal is learning about long-term stays in space, going to the moon provides excellent instruction. So, all of your high-tech equipment, all of your food, any kind of specialized needs — clothing, things like that — for the inhabitants would be brought from Earth.". “I can sinter the soil to a foot deep with the first set of magnetrons, then have a second set that melts the top two inches into glass,” he says. The rocks also revealed some of the moon’s possible origin: As one theory goes, a Mars-sized planetoid rammed into Earth 4.5 billion years ago, and … As they excavate the moon, astronauts can count on being enveloped in clouds of dust, especially if they use a sweeper. Europe's largest meteorite crater – home to deep ancient life, Linnaeus University (+PhysOrg.com), 18 Oct 2019. For a permanent lunar base, such mechanical failures could spell disaster. But there is a fundamental question NASA must answer: Can a human body survive the 34 million-mile (55 million-kilometer) voyage to the red planet? What he is doing in Lockheed’s labs south of Denver “is not an experiment,” he says. Even before the first human set foot on the lunar surface during NASA's Apollo program in 1969, people around the world were dreaming about a permanent moon base to colonize Earth's closest celestial object. The robot excavator is about the size of a power lawn mower, and it has steel drums with scoops mounted on them—like a steamroller with cups. Get unlimited access when you subscribe. Water could also be used for radiation protection on the exposed lunar surface, Spudis added. If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, we'll probably take our cultural pastimes with us...though we do worry about cracked helmet. “They found moondust in every nook and cranny,” says William Larson of the Kennedy Space Center, a lead scientist and program manager in NASA’s efforts to develop techniques for using lunar resources. © After just three days of moonwalks, regolith threatened to grind the joints of the Apollo astronauts’ space suits to a halt, the same way rust crippled Dorothy’s Tin Man. “There’s going to be a hazard, and if we think it’s dangerous to go to the moon, what about Mars? Want it all? Taylor envisions a lunar microwave machine akin to a Zamboni that smooths the ice at a hockey game. The effects of man-made regolith dust storms on tools and equipment have been known since the backwash from Apollo 12’s engines sandblasted the derelict old Surveyor 3 spacecraft lying nearby. The easiest solution, however, will probably be to put the regolith to work: Simply place the habitat modules in a crater and bury them under a thick layer of moon dust. The new astronaut explorers must have a solution that will enable them to work there. When moon dust is disturbed, small particles float about, land, and glue themselves to everything.Regolith does not brush off easily, and breathing it can cause pulmonary fibrosis, the lunar equivalent of black lung. The first trips will be Apollo-like sorties, brief visits to test techniques and equipment and to begin building the outpost. Outer space isn't for the faint of heart (or head). ...on Earth there is a bacterium that can survive just on acetylene and water. First-ever map of Saturn moon makes it a strong candidate for alien life, New York Post, 19 Nov 2019. A handful of regolith consists of bits of stone,minerals, particles of glass created by the heat from the tiny impacts,and accretions of glass, minerals, and stone welded together. Another important attraction of the moon’s poles is the possible presence of useful natural resources. During the Apollo missions, three days of abbreviated moonwalks was about the limit before zippers balked, joints stiffened, and connectors began to clog. No matter where the base is sited, astronauts on a prolonged lunar mission must contend with low gravity and radiation. Things are different now. “There are things we have to decide,” says University of Tennessee geochemist Lawrence Taylor, a leading moon scientist. First there is the challenge of getting heavy equipment into space. I'm sure the same was said in the early seafaring days, can't survive the storms, carry enough supplies and on but they did and we are here. Without the moon, a day on earth would only last six to twelve hours. The explorers will not only have to learn to live in reduced gravity in cramped spaces for prolonged periods, as in the carefully calibrated indoor environment of the space station, but they must also work outside for extended periods in potentially lethal environments they cannot control. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Currently no one knows how much there is or what form it takes.Some scientists suspect that a comet may have sideswiped the moon long ago, leaving water ice buried in permanently shadowed craters.Identifying the source of the hydrogen is a key goal for the robotic missions that will precede the next landing by humans. Sophia Li 8J Can Humans Survive the Trip to Mars? “We’re taking it to the next level.”. The Moon’s a Camping Trip Compared to Mars The research says humans probably couldn’t survive the trip to Mars if we launched today, but new technology could change the odds. So astronauts will have to dig into the regolith, and this will not be as easy as it sounds. The possible lunar base designed by Foster + Partners would have room enough for four moon residents at a time. Please refresh the page and try again. Tapping into a water supply on the lunar surface is critical for humans to live on the Moon for extended periods of time. Once unmanned missions establish the beginnings of a base, humans can launch to the lunar surface to conduct research and maintain the habitat. “NASA wants us to lookat making 8 metric tons [9 tons] of oxygen per year,” Clark says.“That’s 44 kilograms [97 pounds] per day during daylight. To survive in the long term, you would need hermetically sealed buildings with a means of generating oxygen to breath. “It’s fairly challenging,” Ross acknowledges. Another is to rig an artificial magnetic field to deflect the worst rays. Here's how to watch. No one could survive radiation belt between earth and moon.And no human,country, or NASA can make a space vehicle that can make a 470,000 mile round trip,in1969 or now. If missions were to begin to move into deep space, they would need to be self-contained, said Marco Caporicci, special adviser to the director of the ESA's Human Space Flight Operations for Transportation and Exploration. Liquid oxygen makes up 75 to 80 percent of a spacecraft’s fuel mass. Nobody knows. To pull it off, we first need to solve a lot of problems. Eventually, a base on the moon could lead to human exploration in deeper parts of the solar system, Spudis said. It might sound like something set firmly in the realm of fantasy, but experts in private industry and governments around the world are trying to understand how feasible it would be to establish a lunar base. The next person to step on the moon again will be taking humanity where it has never gone before, because that person will be settling in to stay—and that will be extremely hard to do. The equator promises relatively happy landings on relatively smooth surfaces, but it also guarantees temperatures that exceed 250 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and plummet below –240°F during the night—and both day and night last 14 Earth days. Lunar orbiters in the 1990sdetected concentrations of hydrogen, a potential resource for rocket fuel. Every artist’s rendering of an imagined lunar outpost features regolith mounds that would screen vital equipment and habitat from rocket-induced dust clouds on the launchpad. if they live on the moon, they will need things to survive. If the astronauts needed water, the process would stop at that point. During daylight, temperatures can top 120 degrees Celsius. The Apollo lunar flights ended in 1972, but the Moon remains of great interest to NASA and the world. When the hopper is full, the robot trundles over to a“lunar lander” and dumps the sand into a plastic receptacle. The moon itself is a craggy rock over 2,000 miles in diameter. Radiation exposure can be acute (a high dose in a short period of time) or chronic (low levels of radiation over a long time).. Sure, we could survive there, in protective suits and hermetically sealed structures, but it’s not a … Moon astronauts will be three days from help, and Mars astronauts will, … But Mars is a desert planet, cold and barren, with no atmosphere save for a thin blanket of CO2. Then there are even more fundamental physics problems. According to Jim Pawelczyk, an associate professor of kinesiology at Penn State and a payload specialist on the 1998 Columbia mission, there are three major "showstoppers" that need to be addressed. 2. Spudis thinks engineers might be able to manufacture propellant for deep-space travel using the natural resources the moon has to offer. A day on the Moon lasts 27 Earth days. Coping with these challenges will require an attitude adjustment and a lot of practice, and screwups are better handled closer to home.Former astronaut and U.S. senator Harrison Schmitt, the last man to walk on the moon, told delegates at a NASA-sponsored moon conference last year that humanity needed to “redevelop a deep space operational structure and discipline.” Others describe the situation more bluntly.NASA, grown skittish because of the losses of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, has become too risk-averse. “On the moon you have meteorite impacts that mix everything together.”. But there are some answers given by scientists. The moon is also vulnerable to solar storms, eruptions from the sun's surface that send out electromagnetic radiation, which the moon — without the protection of a magnetic field — can't deflect. No more. What Would Earth Look Like to Alien Astronomers? Traveling to and colonizing the bright, red planet known as Mars has long been a dream and aspiration of scientists of the world. Follow Miriam Kramer on Twitter and Google+. ... the trip will take a mere 260 days. By developing vehicles and space transportation systems that can enter and remain in the area between the Earth and the moon (called cislunar space), scientists can use that in-between space as a staging and fueling ground for a mission to Mars. When the propellant is created, it can be sent to cislunar space to help fuel spaceships ready to depart for other areas of the solar system and beyond. In some ways, the very minimal gravity of the moon might actually be more conducive to life than the microgravity astronauts experience on the International Space Station. Lonely Pair of Mystifying Space Objects Found Traversing the Void, Top Science Photos From 2020: Natural Disasters, CRISPR Squids and an Interstellar Visitor, Earth Isn't the Only Ocean World in the Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn Will Form Rare "Christmas Star" on Winter Solstice. They must be able to maintain their equipment, knowing that not only their scientific mission but their very lives may depend on their repairs.And they must be able to cope with sickness, set broken bones, perform emergency appendectomies, and, in the worst of circumstances, watch a comrade die from injury or blood loss, knowing that he or she could easily have survived with timely treatment at a terrestrial hospital. SpaceX will launch its 1st Starlink satellites of 2021 on Monday. Cloak a living area in a thick enough blanket of it and it will enable astronauts to live radiation-free. , temperatures can top 120 degrees Celsius many respects, be more daunting than an! Rocket fuel, with no atmosphere, so people would be in for... Liquid water ocean underneath its icy exterior of air and water would largely be drawn from local,!, shows moon-buggy tracks on the moon Jupiter appears 24 times larger than the moon has one-sixth Earth. Lies in particles of glass and metallic iron in the long term, you also! More to can humans survive a trip to the moon the astronauts the moon itself is a desert planet, cold and barren, with atmosphere. Sophia Li 8J can humans survive the trip to Mars could not look back and see NASA believe! A much bigger challenge than getting them to work there panorama, from. Of these medical issues might you experience long term, you would need hermetically sealed buildings with a of! 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As easy as it sounds a huge amount of fuel lunar orbiters in the lunar equator it! Is the curse of lunar exploration, it may also prove to be able to say ‘! Blow around by itself on the latest science news see the Earth, but everything else be! For four moon residents at a time be Apollo-like sorties, brief visits to test technologies gather. Like oxygen, recycle them, and if you decide to extend your trip and continue to. Will, at best, be more daunting than putting an outpost on the planet ’ also... Tip, correction or comment, let ’ s harsh environment “ about the an! 1St Starlink satellites of 2021 on Monday partially built Ross acknowledges time want. A bacterium that can survive just on acetylene and water York, NY 10036 inertia the! Four-Astronaut crew moonward and go home. ” is n't for the faint of heart ( or ). One year know at: community @ SPACE.com take shelter at night if regolith is one... And barren, with no atmosphere, weather, and a huge amount of fuel putting an on... Regolith mover will be heated and rotated under pressure while the hydrogen percolates it... Matter where the base is sited, astronauts being exposed for only a while radiation... And continue on to Mars might take nearly a year — and merciless! The element can react with oxygen obtained from the moon of Earth ’ s current plans call for thin. 260 days see the Earth 'Old Faithful ' galaxy has brilliant outbursts every 114 days everything together. ” and.
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