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selvaarchi
2014-Jan-09, 05:30 AM
The moon is our nearest neighbor but other then visiting it 40 years ago we still do not have humans living there. China has a active rover on the moon and Russia has plans to further explore the moon. Will China or Russia be the first to have a permanent base there, or will there be an international based team living there? How long before that happens?

Noclevername
2014-Jan-09, 08:55 AM
The moon is our nearest neighbor but other then visiting it 40 years ago we still do not have humans living there. China has a active rover on the moon and Russia has plans to further explore the moon. Will China or Russia be the first to have a permanent base there, or will there be an international based team living there? How long before that happens?

We may never actually colonize the Moon (that is, establish a permanent multi-generational society) due to gravity related issues, but it's possible someone may establish a base there. At present there are long-term proposals to land a manned mission on the Moon, but not specific plans for missions yet and only question marks beyond that.

marsbug
2014-Jan-09, 11:47 AM
Ask this: How long before we colonise Antarctica? It's far nearer, and friendlier, but still to harsh for colonies. What it does have is 1000 to 4000 people living there in research bases, a few of which are comparable in size to small towns, most of which are more like a village or hamlet. The bases are very dependant on the outside world, and folk go home eventually, but some are there for months at a time. At some point we may see something analogous on the Moon - one day, maybe.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-09, 12:24 PM
The moon is our nearest neighbor but other then visiting it 40 years ago we still do not have humans living there. China has a active rover on the moon and Russia has plans to further explore the moon. Will China or Russia be the first to have a permanent base there, or will there be an international based team living there? How long before that happens?

I doubt any time soon, perhaps sixty years from now, may be a hundred.

newpapyrus
2014-Jan-10, 01:27 AM
Ask this: How long before we colonise Antarctica? It's far nearer, and friendlier, but still to harsh for colonies. What it does have is 1000 to 4000 people living there in research bases, a few of which are comparable in size to small towns, most of which are more like a village or hamlet. The bases are very dependant on the outside world, and folk go home eventually, but some are there for months at a time. At some point we may see something analogous on the Moon - one day, maybe.

It's illegal to exploit or to colonize Antarctica.

Marcel

swampyankee
2014-Jan-10, 04:24 AM
It's illegal to exploit or to colonize Antarctica.

Marcel

International law is more like an agreement between crime bosses than something coming out of a legislature.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-10, 05:56 AM
Most here seem pessimistic about a base on the moon. I will give it another 15 to 20 years before the first base is established.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-10, 06:05 AM
Interestingly, there is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Base) a couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Las_Estrellas) Antarctic 'colonies', international law be darned.
To answer the OP question, I'd say about 20-30 years after we decide to do it sounds about right. How long that takes is another question.
The question is not technology, including that that can conceivably be developed. but the will to do so.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-10, 06:29 AM
To answer the OP question, I'd say about 20-30 years after we decide to do it sounds about right.

By "it" I assume you mean a manned landing, not full colonization.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-10, 06:55 AM
By "it" I assume you mean a manned landing, not full colonization.
We* did a manned landing in ten from a much smaller starting point technology wise. Now, admittedly, that was a crash program with limited goals, but, assuming we give it full funding, I do indeed think think we could have something that can be described as a 'colony' in that time. By colony, I mean something that can provide basic needs like most food, water, and oxygen with some limited self-repair capabilities.
*We the human race

swampyankee
2014-Jan-10, 10:40 AM
The one question is "why?" and no one ever gives a satisfactory answer. Historically, colonies need to fill some role, like make money, or allow an ideological group to isolate themselves from larger society (nearly all have had a population of indigenes to exploit, too).

Noclevername
2014-Jan-10, 11:04 AM
(nearly all have had a population of indigents to exploit, too).

Indigents means the poor. I suspect you mean indigenous? (Although the arrival of colonizers usually meant them becoming indigent)

As for why the Moon specifically? I don't know. But people tend to expand to fill the available space.*

EDIT: *Yes, Antarctica, but don't forget it's been only a century since people first set foot on Antarctica.

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 12:06 PM
Interestingly, there is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Base) a couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Las_Estrellas) Antarctic 'colonies', international law be darned.
To answer the OP question, I'd say about 20-30 years after we decide to do it sounds about right. How long that takes is another question.
The question is not technology, including that that can conceivably be developed. but the will to do so.

Holy cow! I did not know about that, thank you very much RC :D

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 12:18 PM
After a bit more thought on this I have to agree with RC: The object is not technology but the will to do so. As the number of volunteers for mars 1 shows, there is no shortage of people who'd like to try living in such an isolated way. But a lunar colony would have significant set up and recurring costs, and so it would need to justify its existance with science, prestige, cheap energy or something else. And the desire to get these things through a lunar colony does not seem to have outweighed the expense in any country or corporations mind so far.

Edit: reading a bit on the Chilean Antartica, it seems that the settlments mainly exists to support a Chilean terratorial claim - yes there's stuff like science and tourism, but it's also a matter of national pride! Perhaps then, when we're looking for motivations for a Lunar colony, we're wrong to think of what might be a rational, material, gain from a manned base/settlement. After all, the original landings were motivated as much by national pride as science, so who has something to prove in space at the moment?

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-10, 12:38 PM
Again most answers seem to be through a US prism. Next person to land on the moon will be either a Chinese or Russian as they already have plans to do that. What I am looking forward to is a base on the moon. As what they could do there can be covered by exploration, scientific research, exploiting the mineral resources etc. etc.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-10, 01:07 PM
Holy cow! I did not know about that, thank you very much RC :D
*salutes* Glad to be of service.:o-default

NEOWatcher
2014-Jan-10, 01:19 PM
Interestingly, there is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Base) a couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Las_Estrellas) Antarctic 'colonies', international law be darned.
Grandfathered in. They existed before the Antarctic treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty_System).

Although; I don't see anything in there that restricts colonization. Just a restriction on military use and a statement of being used for peaceful purposes with add-ons that are meant to preserve the environment.

The outer space treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Treaty) is very similar (not surprising).

The tricky part is going to be when the definition of "peaceful purposes" and "benefit to mankind" starts to get tested.

NEOWatcher
2014-Jan-10, 01:22 PM
We* did a manned landing in ten from a much smaller starting point technology wise. Now, admittedly, that was a crash program with limited goals, but, assuming we give it full funding, I do indeed think think we could have something that can be described as a 'colony' in that time. By colony, I mean something that can provide basic needs like most food, water, and oxygen with some limited self-repair capabilities.
*We the human race
Funny you should put it that way(the bolded), because I was going to add that one of the things that slows down any program is the amount of testing and verifications for safety. Back then, they were willing to take a lot more risks.

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 01:29 PM
As a thought experiment: The Moons relatively deep gravity well makes it a more expensive place to get to than LEO. If there was a one to ten km sort of sized second moon, with the same concentration of volatiles as the lunar poles etc (in other words the lunar pole without the gravity) would the easier acces make it a more inviting target for base builders and colonists?

NEOWatcher
2014-Jan-10, 02:02 PM
As a thought experiment: The Moons relatively deep gravity well makes it a more expensive place to get to than LEO. If there was a one to ten km sort of sized second moon, with the same concentration of volatiles as the lunar poles etc (in other words the lunar pole without the gravity) would the easier acces make it a more inviting target for base builders and colonists?
Probably not for a base, but perhaps for space habitats.

There's already commercial interests talking about asteroid mining.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-10, 02:04 PM
Funny you should put it that way(the bolded), because I was going to add that one of the things that slows down any program is the amount of testing and verifications for safety. Back then, they were willing to take a lot more risks.
They were, and three men paid their lives for it. Maybe 30 years is too short, but I don't think it'd take 30 years to just get to the moon either.

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 03:47 PM
In my mind Apollo was a double edged sword: On the one hand it showed - undeniably - what was possible for a space program with appropriate funding and a consistent political backing. On the other, yes, it took a lot of risks that might not really have been as justified as they seemed at the time, and which definitely wouldn't be seen as justified today. It set an unrealistically high set of expectations for the future, which in some ways has acted against the interests of space exploration (but only in some - in others that high bar has been and still is to aim for). Worst of all it meant that for forty years our attitude towards the Moon was 'been there done that' when we'd barely scratched the surface.

I would not see another Apollo. My hopes for MSF in the 21st century are for sustained and sustainable growth. Having said that: if there is to be a 'next Antarctica in space' I suspect it will be the region between LEO and GEO, especially if a few small chunks of space debris with useable volatiles are eventually shepherded into stable orbits there. Possibility for well heeled tourism, room for nationalistic cod swinging, and lots of great science (especially in things like Earth observation, microgravity research and plasma science) to tag along. The Moon may become our next LEO, with a few government sponsored outposts, but if there is to be colonisation of it I think that will be the 22nd centuries adventure.

Of course I could be very wrong, and if I am I hope it's because I'm being much too pessimistic!

jfribrg
2014-Jan-10, 04:21 PM
As was mentioned several times, the biggest problem is the commitment to a very expensive program. One of the big reasons is that we've become really good at robotic missions. A huge percentage of the cost of the Apollo program was devoted to keeping the astronauts alive and bringing them back to Earth. If you take the cost of a manned lunar mission and spent it on robotic missions, the amount of research and exploration that could be done with the same amount of money is staggering. There are some things that are better done with a manned mission, but in total, you get a much better return on your investment with an unmanned mission. In short, we're a victim of our success. China is trying to do a manned mission for national pride and for political reasons ( which is the same reason that the US did the apollo program). I also wonder if some multi-billionare (or maybe several) will some day bankroll a manned lunar mission. I think that the recent development of using private rocket companies is a good one that will eventually reduce the cost of leaving LEO. How that would play out remains to be seen. I think that it will be some combination of assembly line economies of scale, reusable rocket parts, and even mining the Moon to manufacture ( perhaps with a 3D printer) the fuel and/or vehicle to return to Earth along with improvements to the efficiencies and/or types of engines used to power the rockets.

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 05:50 PM
That's true, but the sad fact is that if we shut down government funded MSF the money would likely not go into UMSF but instead get torn into a thousand shreds by various parties uninterested in exploration.

marsbug
2014-Jan-10, 06:43 PM
I also think that having people in space, even if it's just LEO laboratories or hotels, can be good for space exploration overall as it puts human faces and empathisable human experiences in the mix. Basically it's better PR, and its more inspiring.

For myself, I see extending human presence into space as a worthy goal for it's own sake. But I can respect the opposite view, as I'm happy to admit my position is not entirely rational.

Hlafordlaes
2014-Jan-10, 07:36 PM
I've always wondered if the Moon wouldn't make the best place for a fuel production facility, assuming there's enough water. Most of the weight for missions is fuel, so it seems we could accomplish more if we had an off-planet source.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-10, 09:54 PM
If we ever perfect Aluminium Oxygen rockets, the moon would be practically made of fuel. Not the best ISP, but the sheer availability has advantages. Raw regolith or slag could be used as radiation shielding.

swampyankee
2014-Jan-11, 01:10 AM
Indigents means the poor. I suspect you mean indigenous?

Yes, I meant indigenes. I was tired.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-12, 12:06 AM
If we ever perfect Aluminium Oxygen rockets, the moon would be practically made of fuel. Not the best ISP, but the sheer availability has advantages.

Separating them would IIRC require much more energy than cracking H2O. For that kind of energy cost, we could probably find much better ways to propel our spacecraft.

marsbug
2014-Jan-12, 01:21 AM
Between all the flat land that gets 2 weeks of nonstop sunlight, and all the Thorium, the Moon is not short of potential energy sources.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-12, 02:31 AM
China is doing research to grow food on the moon

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-01/06/content_17216937.htm

Noclevername
2014-Jan-12, 03:35 AM
According to a 2011 article (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/moon-mars/the-future-of-space-farming) in Popular Mechanics:


Researchers at the University of Arizona are operating a moon-farm prototype that yields 1100 pounds of edible plants. per year.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-12, 04:25 AM
The article in Popular Mechanics talks about growing stuff underground on the moon to avoid them from "cosmic rays, micrometeorites and extreme temperatures". The Chinese are taking a different approach and looking for plants that can withstand the harsh radiation and extreme variation of temperatures. Also note the choice of plants - they have rice (an important ingredient in the Asian diet).

Noclevername
2014-Jan-12, 04:30 AM
The article in Popular Mechanics talks about growing stuff underground on the moon to avoid them from "cosmic rays, micrometeorites and extreme temperatures". The Chinese are taking a different approach and looking for plants that can withstand the harsh radiation and extreme variation of temperatures. Also note the choice of plants - they have rice (an important ingredient in the Asian diet).

Maybe at some time there will be many varieties of farms used. It's a big Moon, after all.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-12, 12:10 PM
:D That would indicate more then one moon base. Increases the chances of it developing to a settlement.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-12, 12:12 PM
:D That would indicate more then one moon base. Increases the chances of it developing to a settlement.

I don't doubt that in time, there will be multiple bases. Both poles, at least. I can't predict how long that will take, though.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-12, 02:58 PM
Separating them would IIRC require much more energy than cracking H2O. For that kind of energy cost, we could probably find much better ways to propel our spacecraft.
Perhaps, but any self-expanding installation is likely going to want to be refining aluminium any way.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 01:19 AM
This scifi tv promo gives the exact impression of an illusion. "For decades we have dreamed of travelling beyond our own solar system."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejOkf_C-mo0

Just like Space Odessy of what ever, its just an illusion.

And sure, I know its all scifi, but it isn't that different without a security object set first to get somewhere out there.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-13, 01:42 AM
And sure, I know its all scifi, but it isn't that different without a security object set first to get somewhere out there.

I don't understand what you're saying here.

What does an ad for Star Trek Enterprise have to do with this thread?

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-13, 06:02 AM
The next phase of China's exploration of the moon has started.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-01/12/c_133038491.htm

I could not find any new pictures. Does anyone know if they have been published.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 10:25 AM
I don't understand what you're saying here.

What does an ad for Star Trek Enterprise have to do with this thread?

Exactly what I've quoted, that going anywhere in the space frontier concerning Astronauts is an image of power, not a lovely walk in the park. We can blur entertainment and reality with illusions of ourselves, ofcourse the former being just that entertainment.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-13, 10:41 AM
Exactly what I've quoted, that going anywhere in the space frontier concerning Astronauts is an image of power, not a lovely walk in the park.

I think you are attributing meanings to this discussion that no one actually said. If you mean that space travel is extremely difficult, well, yes. We already know that. "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

As for it being an "image of power", it is that to some people, yes. But it has far more value than that to many others. It represents the potential of the future human race to expand beyond our nest, create new homes, access open-ended resources, increase the chances of human survival, and discover much more about the Universe than we can from our limited view at the bottom of Earth's gravity well.

Everything in the universe that is not on our one planet, requires space travel to reach. The Moon is a good first step, and a giant leap.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 10:57 AM
I'm starting to ponder if your in denial, that is what I'm getting at overall, none of what you have typed will happen without a driving factor such as security.

Its exactly like this great tribute clip to Apollo 17, but its pure fantasy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMCjCgbZxCo

Noclevername
2014-Jan-13, 11:09 AM
I'm starting to ponder if your in denial, that is what I'm getting at overall, none of what you have typed will happen without a driving factor such as security.

Its exactly like this great tribute clip to Apollo 17, but its pure fantasy!

There are many driving factors, as I said.

"It's pure fantasy" sounds like being in denial to me. Look at what's currently happening, private space stations are under development, private human-rated spacecraft are in development, and both are making solid progress. Launch costs are coming down, and reusable stages and craft are being actively researched by the same companies that successfully now supply the ISS, which will lower costs even further.

These are the first baby steps towards human expansion into space that is not limited by government agendas. It won't happen soon, but it is rapidly becoming possible.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-13, 02:18 PM
Looks like India has plans to join the moon party on 2017

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/India_to_launch_second_mission_to_moon_by_2017_999 .html

Anyone has information if Japan and Europe have any plans to land on the moon.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 04:26 PM
There are many driving factors, as I said.

"It's pure fantasy" sounds like being in denial to me. Look at what's currently happening, private space stations are under development, private human-rated spacecraft are in development, and both are making solid progress. Launch costs are coming down, and reusable stages and craft are being actively researched by the same companies that successfully now supply the ISS, which will lower costs even further.

These are the first baby steps towards human expansion into space that is not limited by government agendas. It won't happen soon, but it is rapidly becoming possible.

No it won't happen. That is another illusion. Galactic may very well happen orbital only.

That is long way off, may be never.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-13, 04:30 PM
No it won't happen. That is another illusion.

And your reason for believing this?

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 11:00 PM
As I've typed previously is the answer. If you have viewed the Apollo 17 forty years clip the narrator has a very humble view of space flight, and I share it.

But the true realisation is that it only happened because of a security threat. So like the clip above or the promo it portrays an illusionary view of space flight. Only those probes such as Pathfinder can give us that sense of good will exploration.. I personally created a clip on youtube portraying a path of exploration, very short edited some clips and put it together. I even thought Pathfinder had taken color/colour video footage, as I found out from a NASA mission media specialist via email, there never was. It was only scifi portrayal from the tv series shown in the promo clip, that tv's show theme tune is the illusionary view of humanity's reach for the stars, we are all, or most of us are far too Earth bound to see it differently.

Eric Jones the Apollo Lunar historian clearly states the whole purpose of going to the moon was of a security, but also additionally it cost too much to continue and any future mission is again costly. So the only way that Apollo could be repeated by public backing is another security threat or some energy resource grab. Fusion has its problems, so it may not really be an answer to our planet's problem.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-13, 11:20 PM
Eric Jones the Apollo Lunar historian clearly states the whole purpose of going to the moon was of a security, but also additionally it cost too much to continue and any future mission is again costly. So the only way that Apollo could be repeated by public backing is another security threat or some energy resource grab.

Apollo is a poor example to follow for the very reasons you describe. The original stepping stone model is a much more do-able and repeatable (if more time-consuming) form of Moon landing than a one-shot surface to surface giant rocket. Remember, Apollo had a hard time limit of one decade due to JFK's speech. They chose the fastest method to reach the Moon, not the best.

I completely disagree about what you think are the "only" possible motives. Science, adventurism, expansionism, national prestige, private accomplishment, non-energy resource acquisition, are also all potential drivers.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-13, 11:57 PM
Nothing has happened since then, January 14 2004 is the date the former leader announced a plan to send Astronauts to the moon, and it ended in tatters. You can view it on youtube, the complete version not the short NASA site one that was there in 2005 - 2009. Similar to his dad's idea nearly twenty five years ago, the congress wouldn't fund it. Which I have already mentioned that about Mars in the thread.

Longterm space program such as a moon mission won't happen. A one off landing, just to collect rocks, could be possible, but still costs money.

Private enterprise won't do the above.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-14, 12:14 AM
Nothing has happened since then...

Wrong, things are happening now. The circumstances are, as I said, very different than they were then. And the US does not hold a monopoly on space access or Moon missions, as China is currently proving.



Longterm space program such as a moon mission won't happen
...
Private enterprise won't do the above.

In your opinion. I disagree.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-14, 12:30 AM
The only rocket built that took those Astronauts to the moon is in a museum.

The idea that private companies will make that happen is not realistic. It is exactly ten years since W Bush announced Human beings are going into the cosmos. He'll be remembered and who ever wrote that speech for him as illusionary power projecting strategist for American dominace of the solar system. How ever since there was no actual contest or conflict, only with Al-Qaeda. I don't remember Bin Laden announcing the spread of militant Islam against America's capitalism or what not out to the Solar system.

I know I have to be careful with making any political assertions. But history is now history, just putting my view into view.

Government, private companies, and security threat is what will get a mission to the moon again.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-14, 12:42 AM
The only rocket built that took those Astronauts to the moon is in a museum.

The idea that private companies will make that happen is not realistic. It is exactly ten years since W Bush announced Human beings are going into the cosmos. He'll be remembered and who ever wrote that speech for him as illusionary power projecting strategist for American dominace of the solar system.


Look at what is actually happening now, not at what happened ten years ago, twenty-five, or in 1969. Do some research into current space access technology and plans. History, for all that it sets the foundations for the present, is in the past. We will not reach the Moon by re-enacting history; that time is gone. We are now seeing new, unprecedented alternate pathways being laid down. The first stepping stones are already quarried, they just have to be shaped and placed on the path.


Government, private companies, and security threat is what will get a mission to the moon again.

Again, I disagree. To think that the way things were done once is only one way to do things, is to ignore the events unfolding around you.

Swift
2014-Jan-14, 02:11 AM
<snip>
How ever since there was no actual contest or conflict, only with Al-Qaeda. I don't remember Bin Laden announcing the spread of militant Islam against America's capitalism or what not out to the Solar system.

I know I have to be careful with making any political assertions. But history is now history, just putting my view into view.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon,

This is not the place to put your view into view. You were warned previously about similar comments (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?136855-How-long-until-we-have-colonize-Mars&p=2181854#post2181854). Ignoring that warning will earn you an infraction.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-14, 06:26 AM
I agree with Noclevername. After 40 years we now have a lander on the moon and it is from China. Russia has indicated it too wants to go to the moon and India has plans to put a lander on the moon in 2017. Maned missions will follow from these countries. The US will have to make up their mind if want to join or go after new destinations.

Isn't there also a race to have a lander on the moon by 2015?

swampyankee
2014-Jan-14, 11:27 AM
Unless there is a massive change in corporate culture, free enterprise won't colonize anyplace: the returns will take decades to show up, not the weeks demanded by most boards. There is money to be made in space, but not beyond geosynchronous orbit for decades, if ever.

Local Fluff
2014-Jan-14, 11:28 AM
Isn't there also a race to have a lander on the moon by 2015?
That might be the Google Lunar Prize, just look at the designs of all those teams! Hopefully some of them will fly, and land, and roll or jump!:
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/

NASA seems to have finished the Moon. Like you won't see an ex president step down to the post of foreign secratary under another president, NASA seems to think it is below them to land a probe on the Moon. The closest they will get is the meteropid retrieval mission, if it is followed through, which I think is unlikely since it has no value with regard to science, planetary defence, asteroid mining, exploratory human space travel or public inspiration.

marsbug
2014-Jan-14, 12:31 PM
Agreed. However if there is money to be made from orbital tourism then the technology to keep people alive in space with fewer resources from Earth may advance quite a bit, the price per person to orbit may drop, and the public perception of space as being for the very, very, very few may change to it being for the few. All of which would help ease the way for some future philanthropist or government to fund a colony for the sake of colonisation rather than profit.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-14, 01:22 PM
Just like the ISS and Antarctic colonies, the first moon colony will be for research. Only when they find things that can be exploited (like minerals or strong interest of tourism etc) will we get commercial interest to form colonies.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-14, 01:30 PM
Only when they find things that can be exploited (like minerals or strong interest of tourism etc) will we get commercial interest to form colonies.

Colonies will probably not be formed by commercial interests per se; Vacation sites, temporary settlements, boomtowns or work camps, perhaps. If the Moon is actually colonized, truly permanently settled (gravity allowing), it will be by people who want to spend their entire lives there and raise kids there, idealists of one stripe or another. And that will have to wait until the costs of reaching the Moon become affordable for large amounts of people, which will first require the development of Near-Earth orbital and Lunar infrastructure.

marsbug
2014-Jan-14, 01:38 PM
WRT developing LEO to GEO space, have there been any hard studies on how enabling moving a volatile rich asteroid into that volume of space would be, vs using lunar volatiles or terrestrial voltiles?

NEOWatcher
2014-Jan-14, 01:47 PM
I agree with Noclevername. After 40 years we now have a lander on the moon and it is from China. Russia has indicated it too wants to go to the moon and India has plans to put a lander on the moon in 2017. Maned missions will follow from these countries. The US will have to make up their mind if want to join or go after new destinations.

Being that TheyDidGo seems to be talking US-Centric, let's look at it from that angle.

Other countries are just getting their feet wet with probes around and on the moon. We are the only one that has had success with Mars landers.
Yes; that's all unmanned stuff, but those are preliminary to any manned missions. And we are still leading.

NASA is already planning manned destinations. Mars, asteroids, just maybe the moon as a practice for Mars.

In the meantime, ISS has been extended to allow NASA time for more research into long term space affects on astronauts.
Orion is continuing alongside the COTS program. It may fly as soon as next year.
SLS (a sore spot for some on this board) is continuing. Engines are being tested, rocket body components are being tested. What else could such a massive rocket be used for except to support manned missions.

Things are moving forward. Maybe not at the pace that many expect, and I understand skepticism when it comes to hitting dates, but the initiative and current funding exist.

And I see no sign of international security issues that are driving all these projects.

marsbug
2014-Jan-14, 02:06 PM
This may be of interest wrt NASA/US led efforts to Mars: http://www.space.com/24268-manned-mars-mission-nasa-feasibility.html

Now, beyond any doubt, the USA is still the world leader in space. But recently it has felt like gap is starting to close, in part because of political disinterest in space exploration. With a strong political will the gap could open up again greatly, and provide a rebuttal to those claimin g that the US is a declining power. That might do wonders for world stability, especially if the US was the lead nation of an international effort to the Moon or Mars: The US would be doing everyone favour if they made up their minds on a goal (held in place by international treaties), and went after it - and I don't just mean in terms of exploration.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-14, 06:15 PM
Unless there is a massive change in corporate culture, free enterprise won't colonize anyplace: the returns will take decades to show up, not the weeks demanded by most boards. There is money to be made in space, but not beyond geosynchronous orbit for decades, if ever.

You are correct. As I typed it can only be the old way.

Jens
2014-Jan-14, 11:19 PM
Government, private companies, and security threat is what will get a mission to the moon again.

I'm not sure what you mean by security threat. Wasn't it an issue of national prestige? What was the threat that going to the moon would solve? And I'm not sure what you are imagining as a future threat. An alien invasion or something like that?

galacsi
2014-Jan-14, 11:27 PM
I've always wondered if the Moon wouldn't make the best place for a fuel production facility, assuming there's enough water. Most of the weight for missions is fuel, so it seems we could accomplish more if we had an off-planet source.

H2 & O2 fuel is great to escape the Earth gravity , but if you are already in space,LEO or higher like GEO or L2 you better have an electric rocket ,solar powered IMO or otherwise and use much less fuel.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-15, 03:40 AM
Unless we perfect human hibernation and/or get over our nuclear phobia, any mass savings on fuel from low thrust, high ISP rockets for a human mission would probably be spent on consumables.

swampyankee
2014-Jan-15, 09:42 AM
I think at least two technologies are needed for a non-terrestrial settlement: cheap launch to orbit (adjusted for inflation, first-class trans-Atlantic ticket in the 1840s were about $100/kg) and reliable closed life support systems. Since all the money likely to be made from space is going to come from no higher than geo-synchronous orbit and cheap launch to orbit reduces the need for closed life support systems, it will be a very long time unless there is massive government support.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-15, 10:37 AM
Governments are already spending a lot of money on closed life support systems. Where will they use that knowledge - my guess will be first the moon and once that concept is perfected, ship it out to Mars etc.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Jan-15, 11:29 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by security threat. Wasn't it an issue of national prestige? What was the threat that going to the moon would solve? And I'm not sure what you are imagining as a future threat. An alien invasion or something like that?

Remember John Kennedy, going to the moon wasn't about prestige it was about military contest. The only reason the citizenry would be taxed more and explained by John that people smoked plenty of Cigars every year more and that more taxation for the great effort to put a citizen on the moon was so that it would place the soviet empire into position as not being as great as America was.

I have already stated this in previous posts, I can't do politics here because its against the rules, which to be fair is rather silly. As putting the point across that Space Expo won't happen in the science fiction fuddy duddy way, in the real world its economics/security that make our species go around.

Just like crude oil powers are societies, and all possible renewable alternatives. There is already a peak decline in resources, so a moon outpost in say, half a century seems unlikely, a booming world population.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-15, 01:57 PM
Will have to disagree there. Russia and China already have plans to put a man on the moon. I have above, given a link to where China is trying to "breed" crops that will survive the moons extreme temperatures and radiation. India has just managed to put a 2Ton satellite into orbit 10 days ago. In 2 to 3 years they will have the capability to put man into space. They too have their eye on the moon. So while I agree with you that the US seem to be loosing interest in man space exploration the new players are rearing to go (also at much less cost compared to what the US spent).

galacsi
2014-Jan-15, 11:10 PM
Unless we perfect human hibernation and/or get over our nuclear phobia, any mass savings on fuel from low thrust, high ISP rockets for a human mission would probably be spent on consumables.

No , electric rockets can be must faster than the Dawn spacecraft , a reliable closed life support system can minimize consumables and anyway people are not such big consumers when compared with chemical rockets.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-15, 11:25 PM
For trips totaling shorter than 2 years, it's more mass-efficient to use stored consumables than CELSS. So if you have a faster spacecraft, you need less life support. (At present, of course, all interplanetary trips are long and time spent on Mars' surface is considered part of the trip and so a closed system is required. But later, if human settlements are established on Mars and spacecraft get faster, the opposite will be true as Martian farms will be able to resupply spacecraft.)

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-16, 02:33 AM
This is a summary of the "Global Exploration Roadmap" by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group

The roadmap reflects a common long-range human exploration
strategy that begins with the ISS and expands human presence
into the solar system, leading to human missions on the surface
of Mars. It focuses on the first steps in implementing this
strategy: utilizing the ISS, continuing to expand the synergies
between human and robotic missions, and pursuing discoverydriven
missions in the lunar vicinity that evolve capabilities
and techniques needed to go further. By taking these first steps,
missions into deep space and the Mars system would be enabled
in a sustainable manner.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-16, 03:25 AM
No , electric rockets can be must faster than the Dawn spacecraft , a reliable closed life support system can minimize consumables and anyway people are not such big consumers when compared with chemical rockets.
You need a butt load of electricity then, which implies nuclear reactors, if you are going to get the kind of ISP that makes a re-fuelling station filled from lower-delta-v sources unneeded.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-16, 04:25 AM
It seems China is moving forward with developing methods for a manned Moon landing.

http://www.universetoday.com/107716/china-considers-manned-moon-landing-following-breakthrough-change-3-mission-success/


The People’s Daily reports that “Chinese aerospace researchers are working on setting up a lunar base,” based on a recent speech by Zhang Yuhua, deputy general director and deputy general designer of the Chang’e-3 probe system.

Right now China is actively at work on the critical technology required to conduct a manned landing on the Moon, perhaps by the mid-2020’s or later, and scoping out what it would accomplish.

“In addition to manned lunar landing technology, we are also working on the construction of a lunar base, which will be used for new energy development and living space expansion,” said Zhang at a speech at the Shanghai Science Communication Forum. Her speech dealt with what’s next in China’s lunar exploration program.


While they have not yet secured full approval, the fact that they have publicly announced it and dedicated such resources to it means that it's being taken very seriously.

galacsi
2014-Jan-16, 10:18 AM
You need a butt load of electricity then, which implies nuclear reactors, if you are going to get the kind of ISP that makes a re-fuelling station filled from lower-delta-v sources unneeded.

No , it does not ,new solar panels will be enough. (This is true onlyfor the inner solar system only ,of course). I will stop here , with my pet peeve : this is not the subject of the thread ,but I think that that ought to be said.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-16, 10:38 AM
Perhaps by the time we colonize, nuclear power sources in spacecraft will not require Earth launched isotopes, but rather something like Lunar-mined thorium. Thus it might help us get over fears of nuclear spacecraft, because the reactors will not be a danger for Earth's population, and space populations will live in enclosed environments, sealed off from radioactive leaks.

marsbug
2014-Jan-16, 11:58 AM
It seems China is moving forward with developing methods for a manned Moon landing.

http://www.universetoday.com/107716/china-considers-manned-moon-landing-following-breakthrough-change-3-mission-success/



While they have not yet secured full approval, the fact that they have publicly announced it and dedicated such resources to it means that it's being taken very seriously.

If in 2030 we have private concerns operateing multiple space stations in LEO, and a chinese Moon base, I would say that NASA must either aim for people on Mars or admit it has lost its place as the worlds premier MSF agency.

That said, it'd be a noble form of moonlighting if they restructured as a technology research and UMSF long range exploration agency. A national MSF program does seem to need a great deal of jingoism, and the US might just decide to claim it had outgrown that sort of thing and would rather focus on pure science.

EDIT: On further thought: If there is a thriving manned spaceflight LEO industry as early as 2030, and it has come about in part due to the support of NASA, then NASA will have done great in my book. Especially if the Chinese only go to the moon apollo style, with no permanent presence. Helping develop LEO and widen MSF access may not be as cool or media friendly as flags'n'footprints on the Moon, but it would be a much bigger step to establishing humanity a truly permanent presence beyond Earth, and IMHO that is a more worthy goal than ther national cod swinging of a one off manned landing.

ravens_cry
2014-Jan-16, 01:47 PM
No , it does not ,new solar panels will be enough. (This is true onlyfor the inner solar system only ,of course). I will stop here , with my pet peeve : this is not the subject of the thread ,but I think that that ought to be said.
Perhaps, though I am not entirely sure.
Nuclear power does have the advantage of working the same, anywhere, which means a craft designed to go to Mars can also go to the moon and even Venus, with, perhaps, a different paint-job.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-18, 11:55 AM
The US is now getting back into the moon business :-

http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst/#.Utpq7_uwpkg

marsbug
2014-Jan-18, 04:23 PM
So... is this just a knee jerk reaction to the Chinese Jade Rabbit rover, or do they actually want to do this?

I'll be glad if there's a new push for lunar exploration, don't get me wrong, but where has this come from and is it a indication of a real effort or just an attempt to save face?

marsbug
2014-Jan-18, 04:25 PM
I hope this is the result of some Lunar exploration advocates seizing on Jade Rabbit as the right moment to make their move, and trying to drum up interest and support by calling for proposals.

Local Fluff
2014-Jan-18, 04:29 PM
Forces in NASA need to motivate the SLS and Orion with something. I think that the Moon has strong advocates in place. Pulling that meteoroid there and such.
(But it's still only geocentric space! Bob Zubrin would comment...:mad:)

marsbug
2014-Jan-18, 04:51 PM
Sometimes I think Zubrin believes that Mars is the only interesting destination in the solar system. I'm not a fan. If something real comes out this then there's plenty of scope for damn good science on the Moon.

Local Fluff
2014-Jan-18, 08:56 PM
Sometimes I think Zubrin believes that Mars is the only interesting destination in the solar system. I'm not a fan. If something real comes out this then there's plenty of scope for damn good science on the Moon.
I actually agree with Zubrin that it is the only reasonable target for a manned exploration! It has an Earth like history with a chance of finding traces of life. It's too far off for remote controlling geological robots (just look how slow MSL is). It is the only rock besides Earth which has a gravity with a chance of being benign to humans.

The Moon might be interesting to a few specialized geologists. But Mars is interesting to all of humankind and discoveries of ancient life there could potentially revolutionize biology with enormous consequences for health, agriculture, environment on Earth.

Anyway, with SLS and Orion they only lack a mission to use them for. Doing something, whatever, with the Moon is better than scrapping them. because that equipment could become components in a Mars mission.

marsbug
2014-Jan-18, 11:09 PM
I actually agree with Zubrin that it is the only reasonable target for a manned exploration! It has an Earth like history with a chance of finding traces of life. It's too far off for remote controlling geological robots (just look how slow MSL is). It is the only rock besides Earth which has a gravity with a chance of being benign to humans.

The Moon might be interesting to a few specialized geologists. But Mars is interesting to all of humankind and discoveries of ancient life there could potentially revolutionize biology with enormous consequences for health, agriculture, environment on Earth.

Anyway, with SLS and Orion they only lack a mission to use them for. Doing something, whatever, with the Moon is better than scrapping them. because that equipment could become components in a Mars mission.

I entirely agree with the bit I've bolded, and the rest is a discussion for another time - and since we agree on the bolded bit, an entirely moot discussion, at least for the moment. Lets be unified on NASA doing something good with manned space exploration, whether it's our personal ideal target or not. Although, FWIW, I would hardly be heartbroken to see a manned mission to Mars, or anywhere beyond LEO.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-19, 09:17 AM
Start with the moon and prove the concept (with earth only 3 days away), before going further.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-19, 10:18 AM
Start with the moon and prove the concept (with earth only 3 days away), before going further.

Which concept? If you mean colonization, that probably will take place long after we have well-established bases on both bodies (and Mars' moons and perhaps some of the nearer asteroids).

cjameshuff
2014-Jan-19, 01:28 PM
I actually agree with Zubrin that it is the only reasonable target for a manned exploration! It has an Earth like history with a chance of finding traces of life.

That's a reason to bump it down the list. We're less likely to find something really new and different, and more likely to accidentally contaminate it. The measures to avoid the latter will make manned operations vastly more difficult and limited.



It's too far off for remote controlling geological robots (just look how slow MSL is).

It's hardly the only target where this is the case. And you assume remote control/monitoring and human activities are mutually exclusive...I see them as complementary.



It is the only rock besides Earth which has a gravity with a chance of being benign to humans.

We don't know what the long term effects of lunar gravity would be. And Mercury has essentially the same surface gravity as Mars, Venus has nearly the same as Earth, and operations near asteroids can use rotational gravity.



The Moon might be interesting to a few specialized geologists. But Mars is interesting to all of humankind and discoveries of ancient life there could potentially revolutionize biology with enormous consequences for health, agriculture, environment on Earth.

The moon is of interest to anyone interested in sustained exploration deeper into the solar system.



Anyway, with SLS and Orion they only lack a mission to use them for. Doing something, whatever, with the Moon is better than scrapping them. because that equipment could become components in a Mars mission.

No, we'd be much better off scrapping them. If we had the finished system today, it'd still be more cost effective to fly something else. We could do an order of magnitude more by putting the same money into alternatives. The sooner we scrap them, the sooner we can start putting money into manned moon or Mars missions.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-19, 01:56 PM
We have to start with exploration. Then bases then develop them to colonies over time. I see ISS as a base. That can only become a colony when it can become self supporting. e.g. at some point in the future, it becomes economical to have a space hotel. Then the people stationed on the base to support the hotel, will become the seeds of that future colony. On the moon it could be mining, tourism etc. Right now the ISS is only a scientific base, like what we have on the Antarctic continent with government support.

marsbug
2014-Jan-19, 02:18 PM
The US is now getting back into the moon business :-

http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst/#.Utpq7_uwpkg

If I understand that right it's asking for proposal from private companies as to how they might land unmanned caro carryin craft on the Moon. That doesn't have to mean it's part of a push for manned exploration, they could just be looking at dropping rovers of various kinds. Something MSL's size landed on the north pole could do a lot of good science. NASA is already strapped for cash, I doubt using commercial providers could provide enough of a saving right now to make a massive lunar return feasible.

The Chinese seem to be leaning towards manned landings to prove they can equal the US, and maybe they'll set up a base to get one upon the US, but that's a long way out, and this is just a call for proposals. No offence meant to anyone, but let's not all start throwing our toys out of the pram over where and how (which is how these discussions always seem to go), when even a couple of lunar rovers from NASA would be a great little adventure.

Local Fluff
2014-Jan-20, 12:52 PM
The moon is of interest to anyone interested in sustained exploration deeper into the solar system.
Not if it's used as a must-go-to-first tollbooth for exploring the rest of the Solar system.


No, we'd be much better off scrapping them. If we had the finished system today, it'd still be more cost effective to fly something else. We could do an order of magnitude more by putting the same money into alternatives. The sooner we scrap them, the sooner we can start putting money into manned moon or Mars missions.
Heavy lift is more economical than multiple medium lifts, ceteris paribus. But everything government does is less economical than what the market does. That's why people can say that the vision of Falcon Heavy is cost efficient per ton compared with the vision of the SLS. However, now it is only government which does heavy lift, that's why it comes with a price tag, it has no competition.

The alternative to the SLS is not a Falcon Really Heavy launcher 100+ tons-to-LEO. The alternative is no heavy launcher at all. Men went to the Moon with Saturn V. Without a heavy launcher in that class, not even the Moon will be explored by manned crews to any extent. And you who like to see people jumping on the Moon should be happy for the Orion, it's good enough for a Moon mission. No other manned capsule is. Scrap Orion and you scrap manned Moon missions for another 10 years or so. To go to Mars, the Orion would only be a component of a flying habitat of some kind.

To the point:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjN5snE4COg

(Heavy launcher versus smaller launchers should maybe be discussed in another thread, and probably already has)

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-23, 02:19 PM
some support for colonizing the moon

http://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/colonizing-the-moon/

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-23, 02:25 PM
Golden Spike Partners With Draper Lab to Conduct Lunar Landing Site Studies

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/01/22/golden-spike-partners-draper-lab-conduct-lunar-landing-site-studies/#more-51436

publiusr
2014-Jan-27, 11:31 PM
No, we'd be much better off scrapping them. If we had the finished system today, it'd still be more cost effective to fly something else. We could do an order of magnitude more by putting the same money into alternatives. The sooner we scrap them, the sooner we can start putting money into manned moon or Mars missions.

That is just a wasteful suggestion and it would cause a backlash.

Besides SLS is not going away: http://www.americaspace.com/?p=50041
As it stands, heavy lift has powerful friends and higher volumetric efficiency than anything Musk has:
http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/2013/05/02/falcon-heavy-uncertain-case-lunar-exploration/



Heavy lift is more economical than multiple medium lifts, ceteris paribus. Without a heavy launcher in that class, not even the Moon will be explored by manned crews to any extent. And you who like to see people jumping on the Moon should be happy for the Orion, it's good enough for a Moon mission. No other manned capsule is.

Thank you for understanding all this:

Even according to SLS basher John Strickland:
"Now the cost for the SLS is $21.7 million per metric ton and $8,831 per pound, close to the estimated cost of a Delta IV Heavy launch"
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2432/1

If you scroll down though, you will see aerospace historian Dwayne Day took a dim view of some of the other things in the article:

"So to summarize: all the rocket engineers who are building the rocket are wrong and should instead build a fully reusable rocket (which has not been done before) that is recommended here based upon a bunch of assumptions that have been conjured out of thin air."

Others have a more positive view
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2410/1
http://www.zerognews.com/2014/01/15/space-launch-system-could-enable-transformational-missions-scientists-say/#more-2945
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/praise-maf-transition-ahead-sls-production/

Falcon beats EELV on cost. SLS beats EELV on hydrogen storage, shroud diameter, simplicity of assembly, etc.

Therefore the rational thing to do is support SLS and Falcon, and kill off the EELVs.

ULA has a lot of political power, and in the same way they they went after Constellation, the Aerospace Corporation, which also helped push EELVs to begin with, attacked Commercial Space: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=33167

I remember an article in Av Week and Space where Musk was concerned about the chummy relations between the EELV lobby of ULA and the Air Force. We saw what can happen with that following the Druyen Tanker scandal. It was ULA that pushed the whole anti-HLV Pro-depot deal anyway, even though one of their own guys didn't buy into it: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1447/1

Strickland himself once supported HLVs: http://www.space.com/1651-mega-module-path-space-exploration-hlv.html
The points he made there are still valid. I'm thinking the same "merchants of doubt" who poisoned HLV support will ALSO go after commercial space if given the chance, as we have seen above.

It wouldn't be the first time we saw dirty pool with EELVs
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/press-releases/2003/branchCharge.htm

I'm thinking what happened was this. The teledesic internet in the sky fell through, the DOT.COM bubble burst, and the USAF was left with two launch vehicles they tried to foist on Mike Griffin, and he would have none of it. So EELV supporters first argued against NASA in house capability and for commercial rockets, until Musk--a real commercial success--came along, and now we see the usual suspects close ranks.

The U.S Army also faced the same problem Mike Griffin faced, with contractors trying to tell the Army what it needed in terms of new helicopters i.e. try to sell existing products.

I wrote a Space Daily article about John Jumper, who was later involved in the Thundervision scandal:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._Jumper The article "Is The Air Force The Enemy Of Space?" was taken down rather quickly.

Anything that upsets the status quo, HLVs that reduce the need for multiple EELV launches, or cheaper EELV-class Falcon rockets, will be attacked. Add to that planetary scientists who don't like to compete with rocket development, and ideologues who want to wreck NASA and privatize it, show the real opposition to HLVs to be not technical but political.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33379.0

O/T I must also say that the Science Channel movie was unfair to Marshall Space Flight Center, and in trying to make Donald J. Kutyna a hero.

You must remember that the United States Air Force is the entity that pushed for segmented solids to begin with. The Titan II is underpowered as a launch vehicle, and Kutyna and others pushed for segmented solid augmentation that turned an ICBM that was SS-9/R-36 sized into something with UR-500 type capability. In the end, Titan IV with some DoD payloads cost as much as a Saturn V moonshot.

Marshall Space Flight wanted to keep the Saturns, especially the Saturn IB, an all liquid vehicle that could also loft the USAF X-20 minispaceplane. It was the Air Force who wanted the Saturns dead, and pushed for segmented solids used first on the Titans, then later on Challenger:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_I_(rocket)#Near-cancellation

Had there been no Air Force interference, we could have had the Saturn Shuttle concept.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn-Shuttle

America would have been far better off.

selvaarchi
2014-Jan-29, 02:00 AM
Russia plans two missions to the moon in 2015/16. Looks like we will have to wait afew more years before we get Russia feet on the moon.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_space_programs_fully_financed_until_2016_99 9.html

publiusr
2014-Jan-31, 10:51 PM
They are talking a good game:
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/rockets_launchers_2010s.html#superheavy
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russian_Space_Agency_Plans_Worlds_Biggest_Rocket_9 99.html

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-01, 07:37 AM
NASA has plans for a rover on the moon in 2018. If successful it will give a boost for lunar bases.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/175757-nasa-is-planning-to-make-water-and-oxygen-on-the-moon-and-mars-by-2020

marsbug
2014-Feb-01, 12:43 PM
I like that idea - a rover that'll go prospecting in that thar lunar desert!

Noclevername
2014-Feb-01, 07:39 PM
Does anyone know where on the Moon this water-sniffing buggy will be searching? Polar regions, equator, near one of the old landing sites...?

swampyankee
2014-Feb-01, 08:02 PM
Had there been no DoD involvement, Nixon may well have defunded the Shuttle program. Space was not high on his priority list. The funding NASA was allocated was probably insufficient to develop the Shuttle without DoD involvement, which may have been Nixon's intent.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-04, 05:17 AM
Push for US to target the moon with the SLS :-

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2445/1

marsbug
2014-Feb-04, 01:16 PM
Paul Spudis, who worked on the Clementine mission that first hinted at the presence of lunar polar ice, provides two retrospectives on that mission, and on the attitudes at NASA and in space expoloration of that time. Here (http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/clementine-legacy-twenty-years-180949523/), and here (http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/clementine-the-mission-twenty-years-later/).

While I sense a fair whack of emotion in the articles, that may be distorting Spudis recollection, it's enlightening to hear of some of the shenanigans that can happen:

As Clementine finished its global mapping and prepared to leave the Moon, a Science Team press conference was scheduled. With Clementine, we’d successfully returned to the Moon, made significant discoveries and mapped it globally. At the last minute, NASA intervened and cancelled the briefing. Several (mutually exclusive) excuses were given for its cancellation. It was clear that some in the agency wanted to “keep a lid” on the mission and its success.

...and to hear an insiders opinion on ideas like the much derided 'faster, better, cheaper' paradigm:

The concept is not that cheap missions are inherently “better” but that by carefully restricting mission objectives to only the most essential information, we can fly smaller but capable missions that return 80-90% of the most critical data. Sometimes resources are squandered attempting to achieve the last 10% of performance. Maybe FBC should be renamed Faster-Cheaper-Good Enough.

Spudis is big time lunar exploration advocate, and also a fan of the bush administrations Vision for Space Exploration. I am bang alongside greater lunar exploration, not sure about manned lunar exploration, and I am definately not a fan of the VSE or like minded projects. However I'd still recommend everyone have a read, and consider Spudis's recollections and ideas seriously, as this a clever guy who has worked in space exploration - something most of us here have not done.

marsbug
2014-Feb-06, 01:42 PM
China is doing research to grow food on the moon

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-01/06/content_17216937.htm

The russians have grown vegetables for their supper (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2549666/Russian-space-farmers-successfully-grow-cosmic-VEG-PATCH-theyve-harvested-leafy-greens-wheat-peas.html)on the ISS

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-06, 01:51 PM
Read Doctor Spudis latest views on why the moon:-

http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/tacking-toward-the-moon/



While parroting President Obama’s well-known disinterest in the Moon, SpaceX founder Elon Musk begrudgingly acknowledged its utility during a recent CBS News interview. In his view, a stepwise incremental approach to Mars “colonization” would involve “possibly” landing on the Moon with people. He is careful to remind us that he’s not personally “super-interested” in the Moon because “obviously we’ve done that,” but feels that a lunar landing will test needed capability.

marsbug
2014-Feb-06, 02:07 PM
I don't buy everything Spudis sells, but I think he's right about there being a recent shift in attitudes towards a manned lunar return. Whether anything will come of it time will tell, but I can hope that some lunar rover missions and attempts to test ideas of ISRU may come of it.

I also agree with Spudis that a manned Mars landing is too far into the future to be a realistic political objective, and so a focus on goals that could be met in under a decade is more likely to produce results.

Unlike Spudis I'm happy that Mars could still be regarded as the long term scientific goal for MSF, but the difficult political and financial realities surrounding that should be acknowledged, and what goals can be accomplished within those limits considered first. My opinion is that evcen a manned return to the Moon may well be too ambbituos, but I'm happy to be proven wrong by either a Moon return or a Mars landing :D

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-06, 02:28 PM
Read Doctor Spudis latest...

I don't buy everything Spudis sells...
Who is this guy and what kind of clout does he have?
To me (especially after not being able to find an "about" page), all I see is another blogger.

marsbug
2014-Feb-06, 02:38 PM
Try here: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpi/spudis/

His actual clout is probably minimal, but he's a smart guy with a track record in space science/planetary geology (and his goals seem, to me, somwhat more achievable than those iof others) so I try to consider what he says sans his very clear feelings, before I deem it the rant of someone too emotionally invested.

marsbug
2014-Feb-07, 01:15 PM
I hadn't realised, but the Morpheus lander is still being developed, with a powered test flight scheduled for today at some point (US time). Here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5FXAZd-Xg)a test flight from january.

rtroxel
2014-Feb-10, 02:05 PM
The moon is our nearest neighbor but other then visiting it 40 years ago we still do not have humans living there. China has a active rover on the moon and Russia has plans to further explore the moon. Will China or Russia be the first to have a permanent base there, or will there be an international based team living there? How long before that happens?

Accoding to this article, money isn't the real problem:
http://costsmorethanspace.tumblr.com/

Roy in Taos

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-10, 02:41 PM
Accoding to this article, money isn't the real problem:
http://costsmorethanspace.tumblr.com/

Roy in Taos
When people don't want to allocate the money, then YES, money is the real problem.
Beside, a lot of those examples are apples to oranges. (not quite apples to orangutans though).

Those items that generate direct profit (sports, razors, pet foods, etc) are direct investments with measurable return on investment.

The other items in that list are security related. I don't think anyone can really put a value on security. This is also why we don't compare science to it here. It's just too controversial because the measure is an opinion.

marsbug
2014-Feb-10, 02:42 PM
Yep. It's worth adding that space industry (so non exploration activities such as earth observation satellites or even space tourism*) is worth upwards of a hundred billion USD a year worldwide. Our civilisation is (by that measure) pretty dependant on near-earth space as a resource.

* Space tourism is probably less than a single percent of the value of unmanned earth observation satellites, at the present time.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-10, 10:36 PM
Some updates on US status

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2449/1


As covered in Part 1 of this article last week, the progress on the Space Launch System (SLS) and its eventual capabilities is reviving interest in a potential return to the Moon for America’s human spaceflight program. There is currently no mission mandate by NASA to do this, of course. The fully funded SLS program, however, now makes such a debate realistic, which was a moot point with the end of the Apollo era and during the long Space Shuttle era.

marsbug
2014-Feb-10, 11:24 PM
I hadn't realised, but the Morpheus lander is still being developed, with a powered test flight scheduled for today at some point (US time). Here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5FXAZd-Xg)a test flight from january.

Test flight was a success (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/02/project-morpheus-free-flight-7/). After reading the space review article linked by Selvarachi, and how it mentions the NASA CATALyST call for partnerships in developing American commercial lunar landing ability, I'm not surprised to read on the project Morpheus article that Armadillo aerospace are a partner with NASA on the project.

marsbug
2014-Feb-11, 12:00 PM
I'll also add this recent paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103513003412), which describes a lab experiment showing that volatiles in lunar ice may be undergoing reactions to produce (very) pre-biotic organic chemistry.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-13, 11:49 AM
Test flight was a success (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/02/project-morpheus-free-flight-7/). After reading the space review article linked by Selvarachi, and how it mentions the NASA CATALyST call for partnerships in developing American commercial lunar landing ability, I'm not surprised to read on the project Morpheus article that Armadillo aerospace are a partner with NASA on the project.

A video of the successful fifth free-flight mentioned

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/02/11/awesome-video-morpheus-flight/

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-16, 12:22 AM
India taking it's next small step towards exploring the moon.

http://www.dnaindia.com/ahmedabad/report-chandrayan-ii-s-rover-will-close-moon-isro-gap-1961550


India’s Chandrayan-II mission will see the country sending a rover and a lander on the moon surface

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-20, 12:59 PM
Looks like the next crafts to land on the moon will be from Google teams race to land a craft on the Moon by end of next year. One team in the race is surprisingly from India. Read their story:-

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Indian-team-among-leaders-in-Google-prize-to-land-a-craft-on-the-Moon/articleshow/30688173.cms



This is turning out to be a David vs Goliath story. A poorly funded, rag-tag team in India is now among the top contenders for the Google Lunar XPrize, the grand global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon by December next year.

marsbug
2014-Feb-20, 05:24 PM
Among the top contenders. There are still other teams in the running (http://www.space.com/24736-google-lunar-xprize-bonus-prize.html)......

Hop_David
2014-Feb-21, 04:46 AM
Who is this guy and what kind of clout does he have?
To me (especially after not being able to find an "about" page), all I see is another blogger.

What, you haven't heard of Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=Paul+Spudis)?

Spudis is a well known lunar scientist. As others have noted he has a track record in space Exploration -- he was part of Clementine as well as Chandrayaan-1's orbiter.

I used to be a fan. But Spudis' moon club is becoming almost as obnoxious as Zubrin's Mars cult. Moon First, Mars First, Asteroids First: they're all different versions of a one legged stool (http://hopsblog-hop.blogspot.com/2013/09/one-legged-stools.html).

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-21, 12:58 PM
What, you haven't heard of Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=Paul+Spudis)?
Yes; I googled him (I'm not an idiot), but the results did not give me a feel for reputation or if people would actually listen to what he says. That is why I asked about his clout.

marsbug
2014-Feb-21, 02:08 PM
What, you haven't heard of Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=Paul+Spudis)?

Spudis is a well known lunar scientist. As others have noted he has a track record in space Exploration -- he was part of Clementine as well as Chandrayaan-1's orbiter.

I used to be a fan. But Spudis' moon club is becoming almost as obnoxious as Zubrin's Mars cult. Moon First, Mars First, Asteroids First: they're all different versions of a one legged stool (http://hopsblog-hop.blogspot.com/2013/09/one-legged-stools.html).

A point that needs making is that Spudis, like Zubrin, is just one more voice, and while his background makes him worth listening to it doesn't mean anyone should assume anything he says is on the money. Google won't give anyone a feel for who he really is and what he really wants (it could just be an ego trip to him).

But I hear you wrt the 'Mars cult' and the 'Moon club'. I'm always very, very, suspicious of a large mass of folks following the directives of a single charismatic personality, and it seems to be a recurring theme throughout every field of human endeavour. The followers, of course, will claim the top guy is representing them, while automatically reading and supporting whatever they're told to.

That all said, I'm still more inclined to support a push for the Moon or asteroids over a push to Mars because a push to Mars seems (IMHO) much more likely to result in an expensive and politically damaging backfire.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-21, 02:50 PM
Looks like China has more serious plans for the moon

http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/NASA-space-Jinping/2014/01/06/id/545396


It’s important to note that China’s lunar lander is far too big to have been designed for tiny rovers. Its size is 40 percent larger than a NASA Apollo module descent stage, suggesting that it must have been engineered for the addition of an ascent stage and crew cabin module to carry astronauts. The Chinese are building as many as six of such landers on an assembly line basis.

publiusr
2014-Feb-24, 11:36 PM
Enter the CZ-9 HLLV
http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/world/china/cz-x.htm

Number 16 Bus Shelter
2014-Feb-25, 10:10 PM
I don't think that colonizing the moon is worth the money and effort for a couple of reasons.

-The moon is pretty much an extention of Earth. It is orbiting around our planet.
-The gravity is too weak. People will have problems living there because of the lack of weight.
-The moon.... ugh... isn't a beautiful place. Also, it has no atmosphere, the skies will always be black.

Why we should go to Mars instead:

-It is a safer place.
-About 8x the gravity of the moon
-It has an atmosphere and the sky has a color.
-It is much more interesting to explore and study.

I say that, if we ever colonize another celestial body, then it has got to be Mars.

cjameshuff
2014-Feb-26, 01:45 AM
I don't think that colonizing the moon is worth the money and effort for a couple of reasons.

-The moon is pretty much an extention of Earth. It is orbiting around our planet.
-The gravity is too weak. People will have problems living there because of the lack of weight.
-The moon.... ugh... isn't a beautiful place. Also, it has no atmosphere, the skies will always be black.

Why we should go to Mars instead:

-It is a safer place.
-About 8x the gravity of the moon
-It has an atmosphere and the sky has a color.
-It is much more interesting to explore and study.

I say that, if we ever colonize another celestial body, then it has got to be Mars.

So we shouldn't go to the moon because it's too close to Earth and not enough like Earth, and we should instead go to Mars because it's further away and more like Earth?

Yes, the moon is orbiting around Earth. This puts it at a constant few days travel, enabling emergency deliveries of supplies, near real-time communications, and, if necessary, evacuation of personnel. On Mars, you're on your own. How is this safer?

Yes, the gravity on the moon is weaker. We don't know if it's too weak, we only have experience with freefall and full Earth gravity.

That sky is colorful because the dusty atmosphere is scattering sunlight...that's about all it can do, it's not going to do much to keep you alive. If you're reliant on solar power, black skies are a good thing. On top of not having an atmosphere in the way, the moon has about double the sunlight.

The aesthetics of a colored sky make for a rather weak argument for taking on the additional difficulties and dangers of Mars.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-26, 04:19 AM
I don't think that colonizing the moon is worth the money and effort for a couple of reasons.

-The moon is pretty much an extention of Earth. It is orbiting around our planet.

I say that, if we ever colonize another celestial body, then it has got to be Mars.

We need to get our feet wet before we undertake more ambitious tasks. We have 6 billion people on earth and growing rapidly. We will need extra resources. What better way, then to start mining our nearest neighbor. Because it is an extension of earth, we are likely to find the same minerals as on earth. The experience we gain from that will eventual lead to Mars and other bodies in our solar system.

Van Rijn
2014-Feb-26, 07:59 AM
That sky is colorful because the dusty atmosphere is scattering sunlight...that's about all it can do, it's not going to do much to keep you alive. If you're reliant on solar power, black skies are a good thing. On top of not having an atmosphere in the way, the moon has about double the sunlight.


There's also the worldwide, long dust storms. If you use solar, you're going to need either substantial overcapacity or storage. It would certainly complicate keeping crops too. Nuclear looks very attractive there - no worry about sunlight, and the heat source would be very useful too. It might be easier not to bother with direct sunlight for crops, and use fully artificial lighting.

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-26, 12:46 PM
-The moon is pretty much an extention of Earth. It is orbiting around our planet.
Good for trading resources.


-The gravity is too weak. People will have problems living there because of the lack of weight.
Good for transporting resources from the surface.


-The moon.... ugh... isn't a beautiful place. Also, it has no atmosphere, the skies will always be black.
Great for astronomers and star gazers.

They both have their advantages. Over time, we may get more involved with Mars, but we need to make intermediate steps.



-About 8x the gravity of the moon
0.38G / 0.165G = 8 ? :confused:

Hop_David
2014-Feb-27, 02:43 AM
Yes; I googled him (I'm not an idiot)

And the Google results convinced you Spudis is just another blogger?

Hop_David
2014-Feb-27, 02:54 AM
I don't think that colonizing the moon is worth the money and effort for a couple of reasons.

-The moon is pretty much an extention of Earth. It is orbiting around our planet.

Correct. But that's not a reason against colonization.


-The gravity is too weak. People will have problems living there because of the lack of weight.

We have only two data points: full g and 0 g. Effect of partial gravity are still unknown. It may be 1/6 gravity can keep us healthy. Or maybe Mars 2/5 gravity is insufficient.


Why we should go to Mars instead:

-It is a safer place.

Wrong.



-About 8x the gravity of the moon

Wrong.



-It has an atmosphere and the sky has a color.

The "atmosphere" is virtually vacuum.



-It is much more interesting to explore and study.

I am more curious about the moon's polar cold traps. Being colder than Pluto, they must be some of the strangest patches of real estate in the inner solar system. And they're in our back yard.

But let's dedicate all our budget to Mars. We don't have enough footage of rocks and sand.

selvaarchi
2014-Feb-27, 04:29 AM
India plans to have a moon lander in 2016/17

http://indianspacestation.com/research/general/457-landing-spots-for-chandrayaan-2-identified


Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of Chandrayaan-1, and it aims to demonstrate Isro's capability to soft-land on the lunar surface. Minister of state for PMO V Narayanaswamy recently announced in the Parliament that the mission, which is likely to take place in 2016-17, is progressing well with Isro having identified landing spots on the lunar surface.

NEOWatcher
2014-Feb-27, 01:07 PM
And the Google results convinced you Spudis is just another blogger?
Read the entire post. I explained my reasoning.
I said nothing about convinced or anything of the sort.

marsbug
2014-Feb-27, 02:13 PM
The "atmosphere" is virtually vacuum.



I am more curious about the moon's polar cold traps. Being colder than Pluto, they must be some of the strangest patches of real estate in the inner solar system. And they're in our back yard.



Forgive my pedantry, but while the Martian atmosphere is as good as a vacuum for any poor sod caught outside without a suit, in the lowlands it is substantial enough to exceed the triple point of water. In other words, liquid water can exist (fairly briefly and only when all the conditions are right, but it can exist) on or near the surface of mars. This is a significant difference from the hard vacuum surrounding many worlds.

The polar cold traps could give us great insights into the kinds of low temperature organic chemistry that go into making the ingredients of life in the interstellar medium and the prooplanetary disk, as well as holding preserved pre biotic materials from comets and asteroids - and that could well be as important to understanding how life originated as finding any alien microbe.

Even so: Mars exploration has it's place, and IMHO it is a worthy undertaking. I really dislike the tendency in recent years for space exploration to have tunnel vision over the search for alien life (there are other equally worthy fields of exploration and endeavour in space folks), and over Mars in particular. I think the proportion of our budget and effort that goes into exploring Mars is disproportionate to it's real importance. But history will show me right or wrong on that.

What I am trying to say is that I entirely get where you're coming from, but to dismiss all the interesting stuff discovered by Mars exploration with:
We don't have enough footage of rocks and sand seems a bit too harsh to me. Even though the next time I hear someone declare the search for fossils of microbial Martians to be the be all and end all of space exploration I will probably end up saying something very similar.

Aristarchusinexile
2014-Feb-27, 04:11 PM
What, you haven't heard of Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=Paul+Spudis)?

Spudis is a well known lunar scientist. As others have noted he has a track record in space Exploration -- he was part of Clementine as well as Chandrayaan-1's orbiter.

I used to be a fan. But Spudis' moon club is becoming almost as obnoxious as Zubrin's Mars cult. Moon First, Mars First, Asteroids First: they're all different versions of a one legged stool (http://hopsblog-hop.blogspot.com/2013/09/one-legged-stools.html).

David you need to update your vision. One legged stools are fine when equipped with gyroscope enclosed in the seat and drawing power from quantum non-locality power pumps.

Venus is another great place to look for life .. gasbags beings probably. http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/are-venus-clouds-a-haven-for-life-130516.htm

Hop_David
2014-Feb-27, 07:45 PM
Forgive my pedantry, but while the Martian atmosphere is as good as a vacuum for any poor sod caught outside without a suit, in the lowlands it is substantial enough to exceed the triple point of water. In other words, liquid water can exist (fairly briefly and only when all the conditions are right, but it can exist) on or near the surface of mars. This is a significant difference from the hard vacuum surrounding many worlds.

Yes. And the 96% carbon dioxide could be valuable as well as the 2% argon and 2% nitrogen. Also useful for aerobraking (but adding to ascent penalty).

I guess my reaction was harsh. But there seem to be some Mars advocates that imagine having an atmosphere means you can walk around in your shirt sleeves.


The polar cold traps could give us great insights into the kinds of low temperature organic chemistry that go into making the ingredients of life in the interstellar medium and the prooplanetary disk, as well as holding preserved pre biotic materials from comets and asteroids - and that could well be as important to understanding how life originated as finding any alien microbe.

Even so: Mars exploration has it's place, and IMHO it is a worthy undertaking. I really dislike the tendency in recent years for space exploration to have tunnel vision over the search for alien life (there are other equally worthy fields of exploration and endeavour in space folks), and over Mars in particular. I think the proportion of our budget and effort that goes into exploring Mars is disproportionate to it's real importance. But history will show me right or wrong on that.

What I am trying to say is that I entirely get where you're coming from, but to dismiss all the interesting stuff discovered by Mars exploration with: seems a bit too harsh to me. Even though the next time I hear someone declare the search for fossils of microbial Martians to be the be all and end all of space exploration I will probably end up saying something very similar.

Yeah it was harsh. Wrestling with some of the more belligerent of Zubrin's followers has left me with a habitual chip on my shoulder. I acknowledge there's more to Mars exploration than reruns of sand and rocks videos.

Hop_David
2014-Feb-27, 07:51 PM
David you need to update your vision. One legged stools are fine when equipped with gyroscope enclosed in the seat and drawing power from quantum non-locality power pumps.

lol


Venus is another great place to look for life .. gasbags beings probably. http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/are-venus-clouds-a-haven-for-life-130516.htm

Interesting article! And I recall an Arthur C. Clarke story where lifeforms existed in strata of Jupiter's atmosphere where pressure and temperature where hospitable. I also seem to recall a story by Robert Forward where life dwelt in a cloud layer of Saturn.

And of course there are Geoffrey Landis' stories of the cloud cities of Venus.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-01, 10:52 AM
China just announced it's next step for their moon exploration

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-03/01/c_133152111.htm


Preparation for the 2017 launch of China's lunar probe Chang'e-5 is going as planned, the country's leading space scientist Ye Peijian told Xinhua on Saturday.

Chang'e-5, as part of China's third-phase lunar program, is expected to bring back moon rock samples to Earth, a move hailed by Ye as "a historic moment" for the country.


To make sure the returning mission is a success, a Chang'e-5 test probe will be launched this year to rehearse the route, Ye disclosed.

Timothy Brummer
2014-Mar-03, 06:23 AM
-The gravity is too weak. People will have problems living there because of the lack of weight.

Why we should go to Mars instead:
-About 8x the gravity of the moon


Actually only 2.5x gravity of moon. But still you are right, Mars should be our colony destination.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-03, 11:37 AM
China's lunar probe Chang'e-5 planed for in 2017 might have company.

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/3qwUhsapHttXjxcXSGzYlN/ISROs-Aditya-mission-to-probe-Sun-before-2020.html


Isro would focus on ASTROSAT — a project aimed at design, development, fabrication and launch of an astronomical observatory for studies of cosmic sources — and Chandrayaan-2 between 2014 and 2017. “We are planning to have an indigenous lander and rover for Chandrayaan-2 mission,” he said.

The more countries that explore the moon, the sooner we will have human footsteps again on the moon :D

Noclevername
2014-Mar-03, 11:43 AM
I say that, if we ever colonize another celestial body, then it has got to be Mars.

And I say that by the time we have reliable enough large-scale access to space and enough of an off-Earth infrastructure an economy to allow true colonization, we'll not be limited to "just" those two choices. The Moon, Mars, orbital habs, deep space habs, asteroids, Jovian moons, Mercury's poles, anywhere and everywhere we can.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-04, 11:23 AM
Lunar ownership laws: a future necessity?


http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Lunar_ownership_laws_a_future_necessity_999.html


Private settlements and raw materials extraction enterprises could appear on the Moon in the future, thus leading to territorial disputes between their owners. In order to avoid that one must now register the property rights to the land plots on the Moon and other space objects and set up special preservation zones, US entrepreneur Robert Bigelow believes.

NEOWatcher
2014-Mar-04, 01:02 PM
Lunar ownership laws: a future necessity?
This is nothing new. It's been discussed countless times here. Mostly in relation to the land on the moon (as they say in the link), but there are a few threads about the issue related to colonization.

Just because Bigelow is adding his 2 cents, I don't think it's going to matter until there is some real settlements there, or as other nations start sending manned missions there.

What it boils down to is how you can enforce it.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-08, 02:40 AM
This development will certainly help long term (more then a stay 0f 14 days) moon exploration and settlement.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/scientists-propose-new-heat-engine-second-lunar-exploration-mission-to-moon-chandrayaan-2/1/332480.html


Scientists have proposed a system of mirrors, processed lunar soil and a heat engine to provide energy to rovers and crew during the lunar night.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-10, 06:10 AM
Some more good news on the moon front :rimshot:

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_to_launch_three_lunar_rovers_from_2016_to_2 019_999.html


Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, will send three automated rovers to the moon from 2016 to 2019 as part of its plan to eventually send a manned mission to Mars, according to agency head Oleg Ostapenko.

NEOWatcher
2014-Mar-10, 03:03 PM
This development will certainly help long term (more then a stay 0f 14 days) moon exploration and settlement.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/scientists-propose-new-heat-engine-second-lunar-exploration-mission-to-moon-chandrayaan-2/1/332480.html
That article certainly says nothing.
I would be interested in knowing the logistics of it. Sure, you can concentry heat onto the regolith and it's various components, but how much is needed, what is needed to convert it, and how it gets moved into the sterling engine and carried around by a rover is an entirely different issue.

Sounds like by the time you do all that, you can just send a bigger battery for each rover.
I don't see it being feasible until we get some serious moon activity going that can take advantage of scale for havnig the technology up there.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-26, 07:50 PM
Dangers of staying on the surface of the moon have been increased with new knowledge

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Expeditions_to_the_Moon_beware_of_meteorites_999.h tml


Experts say that future expeditions to the Moon may face quite a few dangers. One of them is meteorite attacks. The Moon has practically no atmosphere that would have braked the flights of meteorites, and the possibility that a meteorite may seriously injure an astronaut or damage a spaceship or another faciliy is rather high on the Moon. However, experts also suggest some measures to minimize these risks.

NEOWatcher
2014-Mar-26, 09:08 PM
I swear I've read that exact story here in the last month or so. It sounds too familiar, but I can't find it.

The only said that the risk was underestimated 40 years ago. They don't say by how much, nor do they say what particular danger was underestimated (larger strikes, smaller strikes, etc). There always was a risk.

I thought that the analysis of the surveyor camera was a good indicator of the dangers on the moon.

marsbug
2014-Mar-26, 09:37 PM
I don't think there's a lot new there, but if the risks are higher than expected it's good to know. A bit nonspecific though, that article. though.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-26, 11:42 PM
The only said that the risk was underestimated 40 years ago. They don't say by how much, nor do they say what particular danger was underestimated (larger strikes, smaller strikes, etc). There always was a risk.

I thought that the analysis of the surveyor camera was a good indicator of the dangers on the moon.

The part that got my eye is on microscopic grain. I do know from literature that earth is bombarded with it all the time but all get burnt up in our atmosphere. With no such cover on the moon the space suits will be at risk. I wonder if there are any statistics on satellites being hit here around earth, moon or other planets.



"A microscopic grain flying at a very high speed is able to perforate an astronaut's spacesuit, and the astronaut may suffocate. The Moon is being bombarded by small particles from space practically every moment. We cannot see this from the Earth because these particles are too small. But astronauts on the Moon would feel it sooner or later."

cjameshuff
2014-Mar-27, 03:03 AM
The fall into Earth's gravity well means objects will be moving somewhat faster in LEO impacts. And a slightly higher amount of the sky is shielded by the Earth from the lunar surface than by the moon from Earth orbit. The environment is nearly the same, with LEO being a slightly harsher environment, ignoring the additional orbital debris issue. And we've been operating satellites and manned missions in LEO for quite a while, and satellites and probes in higher orbits where impactors can come from all directions, instead of half the sky being blocked by the ground.

There's certainly a risk, but it's nothing new or unusual.

MVAgusta1078RR
2014-Mar-27, 03:21 AM
Helium 3 That's why. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

NEOWatcher
2014-Mar-27, 12:06 PM
Helium 3 That's why. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3
We are a lot farther from getting any benefit from that than we are from other resources on the moon.

Even those other resources are valuable only to a space infrastructure since we are at the point where transportation costs far outweigh the resource cost.

I suggest you search the site for "helium 3" and for "lunar mining". There has been exhaustive discussion about both topics.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-01, 09:35 AM
Proposal to have fuel depots at at Lagrange points for exploring the moon

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/MIT_team_proposes_storing_extra_rocket_fuel_in_spa ce_for_future_missions_999.html


Future lunar missions may be fueled by gas stations in space, according to MIT engineers: A spacecraft might dock at a propellant depot, somewhere between the Earth and the moon, and pick up extra rocket fuel before making its way to the lunar surface.

Orbiting way stations could reduce the fuel a spacecraft needs to carry from Earth - and with less fuel onboard, a rocket could launch heavier payloads, such as large scientific experiments.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-01, 10:22 AM
I don't think there's a lot new there, but if the risks are higher than expected it's good to know. A bit nonspecific though, that article. though.

Interesting to read from another unexpected source on the impact of the meteors

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/NASA_Extends_Moon_Exploring_Satellite_Mission_999. html


The Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) recorded dust impacts as soon as its cover opened and has measured the dust tossed up by a fairly steady "rain" of meteoroids on the lunar surface.

LDEX occasionally sees an increase in dust impacts due to meteoroid showers, such as the Geminids, and "dust bursts" that may be due to LADEE flying through plumes kicked up from nearby meteoroid impacts.

NEOWatcher
2014-Apr-01, 12:25 PM
Proposal to have fuel depots at at Lagrange points for exploring the moon
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/MIT_team_proposes_storing_extra_rocket_fuel_in_spa ce_for_future_missions_999.html

I'd like to see some numbers on that. The idea is interesting, but the story is gravely lacking in details.
I'd like to know what rendezvous would do to fuel usage, launch windows and time in open space.
They also mention issues of their own. It just doesn't sound like a good plan for just some "contingency" fuel.

NEOWatcher
2014-Apr-01, 12:28 PM
Interesting to read from another unexpected source on the impact of the meteors
Another unexpected source? What is that?
It's just extending the mission that found the dust we've been talking about.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-01, 01:49 PM
Another unexpected source? What is that?
It's just extending the mission that found the dust we've been talking about.

That was from the article on risk to space suits and this article talks about a fairly steady "rain" of meteoroids on the lunar surface.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-04, 11:53 AM
The chances of the moon being colonized 1st just got brighter. There is a lot more obstacles for Mars. Like the one below.

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/NASA_should_use_Ethics_Framework_for_decisions_abo ut_long_duration_spaceflight_health_standards_999. html


NASA should use an ethics framework when deciding whether, and under what conditions, spaceflights that venture outside low Earth orbit or extend beyond 30 days are acceptable if they do not meet current health standards, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

The only location for a journey that is less then 30 days that I know off is the moon.

NEOWatcher
2014-Apr-04, 01:15 PM
The only location for a journey that is less then 30 days that I know off is the moon.
That's not much of a colony if you can only stay 30 days.

The important thing is that this is a continuation of the research into long duration BEO spaceflight.

I don't think this really gives a long term moon or any other mission better odds of continuing, but lays the foundation of what they need to consider when planning out the mission, and what research in long duration spaceflight they need to perform.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-04, 02:05 PM
Agreed but it lays the foundation for more human work on the moon before progressing else where. That may just be jolt need to start the 1st moon base from which can grow ----- use your imagination :D

NEOWatcher
2014-Apr-04, 02:42 PM
Agreed but it lays the foundation for more human work on the moon before progressing else where. That may just be jolt need to start the 1st moon base from which can grow ----- use your imagination :D
Or it could hinder it.
With guidelines in place, they may find that a mission is too dangerous or may need additional protection designed into the mission (which may mean drastic payload issues or delays due to equipment modifications)

ETA:
In "From the Earth to the Moon: We have cleared the tower", they depicted Apollo 7 as having no wind guidelines at first. Then, after determining the guidelines, the mission was almost delayed because of the winds.
I don't know how much of that really happened*, but it's an example of what I am pointing out.

*there were guidelines and the wind was near them and gusting higher. Besides FTETTM was probably the most accurate depiction of Apollo for a show or movie.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-04, 03:00 PM
True, but first we have to do something. Only then will we get progress. I have been waiting 40 years is see man again on the moon and this might be just the input. eg if this restriction means the asteroid mission is off, then the US will again focus on the moon to give the SLS and Orion something to do.

NEOWatcher
2014-Apr-04, 03:14 PM
True, but first we have to do something. Only then will we get progress. I have been waiting 40 years is see man again on the moon and this might be just the input. eg if this restriction means the asteroid mission is off, then the US will again focus on the moon to give the SLS and Orion something to do.
Nope; the asteroid mission is less than 30 days and it would incur similar health risks as a moon mission.

I know you are eagerly awaiting missions of the sort, but this is just another step in a long line of development. It's just update information, not something to "hang your hat on" as something that changes the picture. It doesn't mean they are any further on, or behind in anything.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-04, 08:42 PM
Only time will tell. Do not expect any action till 4 to 8 years from now :(

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-07, 03:20 PM
Pros and Cons of lunar and asteroid missions discussed at two different forums in the States

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2485/1


There’s been a lot of debate about NASA and what the next step in human spaceflight should be. Now that humanity has established something of a foothold in low Earth orbit, we have the opportunity to broaden our horizons. In an attempt to make the most of this opportunity, a political, economic, and scientific tug-of-war between the “asteroid path” and the “Moon path” has emerged in recent years. This debate is illustrated by a pair of competing forums held in late March by the George C. Marshall Institute and NASA.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-10, 10:12 AM
Russia is flashing out it's plans for the moon.

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russian_Federal_Space_Agency_is_elaborating_Moon_e xploration_program_999.html


The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has created a team of specialists, which will elaborate the Moon program. The scientists plan to launch three spacecraft - two landing and one orbital - to the Moon to the end of this decade.


Lev Zelenuy, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, says that Roscosmos plans to build a lunar base on the Moon to the end of 2030.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-12, 06:21 AM
The only party that does not like the idea of going to the moon first before going to Mars is NASA. There is also a hint from one of the panel that a Mars trip is at least 20 years away.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/40176human-lunar-missions-subject-of-debate-at-exploration-workshop


While a dozen space agencies, including NASA, have agreed upon a Global Exploration Roadmap that lays out general plans for human missions leading up to Mars, an April 10 workshop revealed continued disagreement on the best way to get there, particularly regarding the role of human missions to the surface of the Moon.


He also argued that missions to asteroids and other locations in deep space may not be interesting enough to maintain public interest. “I don’t think you can do missions to deep space, the lunar vicinity, or asteroids for a period of 20 years without sending humans to a planetary body like the lunar surface,” he said. “It will not be inspiring enough. You will not keep the public engaged.”

publiusr
2014-Apr-12, 03:48 PM
This is why a NASA Chief Admin needs a solid 1% and a lifetime appointment. When was the last time anything in the Air Force got canceled due to lack of interest? You do these things interest or no. NASA has to be a strong agency, with legislation done in such a way that need not change direction even as administrations come and go.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-13, 08:43 PM
May be cost will kill it - Orion

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/04/12/sad-cost-sls-deep-space-operations/#more-52101


NASA really hasn’t made much progress in bringing down operating costs. The annual program cost of the Space Launch System will be about $3 billion. This is:

roughly what NASA is spending annually to develop the Space Launch System and its Orion deep-space vehicle;
roughly what NASA is spending on station operations
approximately what it cost to maintain the space shuttle program when it was operating.

NASA officials are claiming that launches will cost about $500 to $700 million each. That sounds fairly reasonable given the massive payload SLS would be able to place into orbit. And you might think, well, in a good year NASA might be able to launch two of them? Wrong.

neilzero
2014-Apr-13, 09:45 PM
One per year seems reasonable until it proves highly reliable, then ten per year should be possible if there are customers to pay for the launches. Populating the inner solar system with humans in less than 1000 years requires many heavy launches, unless the colonies and outposts are close to self sufficient.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-13, 09:53 PM
Populating the inner solar system with humans in less than 1000 years requires many heavy launches, unless the colonies and outposts are close to self sufficient.

Why heavy launches? If a six-pack of beer costs less per ounce than a huge keg, the smaller cans are still a better deal.

Surface to LEO, then ferry to anywhere. Stepping stones are the key to building truly sustainable space access. And ISRU and space-based industry is the key to building non-Earth-dependent space habitats in a lot less than 1000 years.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-16, 08:12 AM
Russia is coming out strongly for a moon base

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_plans_to_get_a_foothold_in_the_Moon_999.htm l


Russia plans to organize a permanent base on the moon rather than leave it after several successful missions, the Russian deputy defense minister in charge of defense and space industries said. "The moon is not an intermediate point in the [space] race, it is a separate, even a self-contained goal. It would hardly be rational to make some ten or twenty flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-17, 02:59 PM
The Russians are putting a lot of effort on their BEO plans with an eye on the moon

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ptk_2013.html#kd


On October 23, Roskosmos finally committed to a new phase in the development of the Soyuz replacement. A 9.536-billion-ruble contract would cover the production of the design documentation and the experimental version of the next-generation spacecraft by November 2015. Although the move was announced as a "tender," the contract was practically guaranteed to go to RKK Energia.

The technical assignment accompanying the tender specified the ability of the PTK NP spacecraft with a crew of four to conduct a month-long missions beyond the Earth orbit with a nominal duration of lunar expeditions reaching 22 days. The lunar (interplanetary) expeditionary complex was listed as a destination for the PTK NP spacecraft in the lunar orbit.

swampyankee
2014-Apr-19, 09:46 PM
One advantage to a lunar settlement is that it's close enough so that it's conceivable to get emergency supplies from Earth. This does not apply to those on Mars, where it's not realistic: a minimum of a six month time to resupply makes this a bit problematic. It's also close enough to Earth so that if there are unforeseen health problems that are untreatable in situ, then it's possible, albeit barely, to medevac somebody out.

However, as I've said many times before, there is absolutely no conceivable business reason for establishing a Lunar (or Martian) colony: the payoff is too uncertain and too long-term to be of interest in the current economic environment.

selvaarchi
2014-Apr-19, 09:55 PM
However, as I've said many times before, there is absolutely no conceivable business reason for establishing a Lunar (or Martian) colony: the payoff is too uncertain and too long-term to be of interest in the current economic environment.

The same argument could be used against the ISS but we have operated it for over 10 years and advanced our knowledge considerable. A moon base or equivalent to the ISS around the moon would also give us equivalent benefits or more.

danscope
2014-Apr-20, 02:48 AM
At considerable expense.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-20, 06:51 AM
At considerable expense.

Nothing worth having is cheap.

Jens
2014-Apr-20, 07:08 AM
The same argument could be used against the ISS but we have operated it for over 10 years and advanced our knowledge considerable. A moon base or equivalent to the ISS around the moon would also give us equivalent benefits or more.

Sure. There's no business reason, though, which is why the ISS is funded by governments. A moon base could be a worthwhile scientific endeavor.

publiusr
2014-Apr-26, 07:34 PM
May be cost will kill it - Orion

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/04/12/sad-cost-sls-deep-space-operations/#more-52101

It went on to say that; "Just like the shuttle program cost about $3 billion per year whether NASA launched once or five times."

And if SLS can launch 120 times, so can SLS.

We just need more NASA funding so folks won't be trying to kill each others programs and creating all kinds of ugly talk.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-29, 12:47 AM
Getting back to colonizing the Moon, a lot will depend on what volatiles we find in the polar ice traps. I'm hoping for water and hydrocarbons, perhaps some ammonia to provide nitrogen.

selvaarchi
2014-May-01, 04:05 PM
Another development, that shows NASA has not given up on the moon

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/05/01/astrobotic-nasa-partner-develop-commercial-lunar-landing-capability/#more-52258


Astrobotic was selected by a panel of experts from NASA based on its proposal to develop a commercially viable lunar cargo delivery capability. Proposals were judged on the achievability of lander development and performance, and likelihood of success. Astrobotic will now negotiate a Space Act Agreement with NASA that makes personnel, facilities, and expertise available to the company to support its lunar lander development. - See more at: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/05/01/astrobotic-nasa-partner-develop-commercial-lunar-landing-capability/#more-52258

NEOWatcher
2014-May-01, 05:00 PM
Another development, that shows NASA has not given up on the moon
They never did give up on the moon.
What they did give up was the vision for space exploration that called for an outpost on the moon. The moon is still in the current Mars plan as a stepping stone.

Besides, while CATALYST can help support manned moon missions, it is also just a general lander much in the same way they are developing a common Mars lander platform.

selvaarchi
2014-May-08, 12:02 PM
Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia, is all for the US to go back to the moon

http://www.leonarddavid.com/return-to-the-moon-backed-by-u-s-congressman/


Speaking April 28 at the Space Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Wolf said, according to a press statement: “I still believe that our future in space lies in President Kennedy’s call to go to the Moon. This remains as compelling a destination today as it did in the 1960s.”

NEOWatcher
2014-May-08, 12:36 PM
Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia, is all for the US to go back to the moon
Are we going to get a new story every time some politician opens their mouth now?

He doesn't say anything about why the moon is a better path than what's in the plan now, except equating it to other nations' ambitions. Nor; does it seem apparent that he is aware of the long term NASA plan where the moon is a step on the way to Mars.

He may be right, he may be wrong. I agree NASA should get better funding. But; congressmen are speaking their opinions all the time.

Rather than a story everytime someone speaks, a story with a summary of all the talks would be better. These things are just soundbites for the politicians to get some press.

R.A.F.
2014-May-08, 01:32 PM
He doesn't say anything about why the moon is a better path than what's in the plan now, except equating it to other nations' ambitions. Nor; does it seem apparent that he is aware of the long term NASA plan where the moon is a step on the way to Mars.



I donít know what they have to say
It makes no difference anyway
Whatever it is, Iím against it!
No matter what it is
Or who commenced it
Iím against it!


....the password is swordfish....

selvaarchi
2014-May-08, 01:51 PM
Are we going to get a new story every time some politician opens their mouth now?

He doesn't say anything about why the moon is a better path than what's in the plan now, except equating it to other nations' ambitions. Nor; does it seem apparent that he is aware of the long term NASA plan where the moon is a step on the way to Mars.

He may be right, he may be wrong. I agree NASA should get better funding. But; congressmen are speaking their opinions all the time.

Rather than a story everytime someone speaks, a story with a summary of all the talks would be better. These things are just soundbites for the politicians to get some press.

Wasn't this the congressmen responsible for baring NASA having any contact with China?

selvaarchi
2014-May-08, 02:04 PM
Another project that China is undertaking in their quest for a moon base.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2014-05/01/content_17478706.htm


The Yuegong-1, or Lunar Palace-1, is now undergoing a 105-day airtight test that will end on May 20, said Professor Liu Hong, director of the Research Center of Space Life Science and Life Support Technology at Beihang University in Beijing, which specializes in aeronautic and astronautic research. The system will then be shown to the public, Liu told China Daily in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.


The system is highly likely to be used in China's future moon base, although the government has yet to disclose whether it has a plan to send astronauts to the moon, Li Guangya, a former head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, was quoted by China News Service as saying on Monday.

Another article on the Yuegong-1

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20131219000029&cid=1104


The moon's high radiation and low gravity environment is extremely difficult to simulate on Earth, says professor Liu Hong, who heads the Yuegong lab, which has already commenced experiments to grow food, fruits and vegetables to sustain astronauts in space.

NEOWatcher
2014-May-08, 02:43 PM
Wasn't this the congressmen responsible for baring NASA having any contact with China?
Some may have more clout than others, but things like that take a majority of the 485 politicians in both houses. Not one is responsible.

cjameshuff
2014-May-08, 09:20 PM
Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia, is all for the US to go back to the moon

Frank Wolf has been persistently obstructing and trying to kill the Commercial Crew program, has personally ensured (using his position as chair of the appropriations committee that funds NASA) that it's been underfunded every year, and is one of the reasons we don't have a manned launcher yet. I'm highly skeptical of his interests in space, and his actions certainly haven't done anything to get us off the planet, or to improve our position in any new "space race".

selvaarchi
2014-May-10, 02:07 PM
See a model of what China's moon base could look like -

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=713163928744611&set=a.713163658744638.1073741928.237730352954640&type=1&theater


China's first moon base Yuegong-1 (Moon Palace-1) will have 36 square meters of living space. Initial design has been completed by Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Chinese plan to be the first to live on the Moon.

selvaarchi
2014-May-11, 01:06 AM
India testing it's moon rover

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/chandrayaans-rover-and-the-moon-rocks-from-salem-villages/article5996869.ece


At the lunar terrain facility of the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bangalore is a big spread of the “lunar” simulant soil. As commands erupt into life, a 17-kg rover, akin to the rover of Chandrayaan-2, revs up. It turns right, then left, lurches forward and backs up. Applause from a group of ISRO engineers fills the air.

selvaarchi
2014-May-21, 12:46 AM
China completes the Yuegong-1, or Lunar Palace-1 test. Three Chinese volunteers on Tuesday ended an experiment that saw them live for 105 days in the enclosed capsule, eating only laboratory-grown plants and insects. Yuegong-1 is the world's 3ed third bioregenerative life support base.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-05/20/c_133347350.htm

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2014-05/20/c_133347761.htm


Liu Hong, chief designer of the system, which features a cabin and two plant cultivation labs, said it is a miniature version of the Earth's biosphere. It can help make it possible for astronauts to live safely in space stations without any deliveries of supplies for long periods.

Liu said the research team selected five grains, 15 varieties of vegetable, one kind of fruit as well as a yellow mealworm, which provided protein for the volunteers during the experiment.

astrocloud
2014-May-21, 04:11 PM
Ask this: How long before we colonise Antarctica? It's far nearer, and friendlier, but still to harsh for colonies. What it does have is 1000 to 4000 people living there in research bases, a few of which are comparable in size to small towns, most of which are more like a village or hamlet. The bases are very dependant on the outside world, and folk go home eventually, but some are there for months at a time. At some point we may see something analogous on the Moon - one day, maybe.

This is the analogy that occurred to me.

Predicting the future has made fools of some very wise people, so I will try to be cautious - in 1700, who would have predicted that the world would look as it does today?

But, that said, what have we seen so far - six missions (not counting the unsuccessful one) which landed two people each for a few dozen hours, at a cost (restated in 2005 dollars) of 170 billion USD. And costs don't seem to have gone down by a huge amount soon. At the costs of Apollo, if the moon had solid gold bricks lying around, it wouldn't be worth sending people to pick them up. Not even close.

So I don't see a colony occurring, only costs come down very very very dramatically, or if something far more valuable than gold were found there. Nobody is going to do it just because of bunch of space enthusiasts wish they would. Not unless the cost comes down a lot.

Noclevername
2014-May-21, 07:59 PM
This is the analogy that occurred to me.

Predicting the future has made fools of some very wise people, so I will try to be cautious - in 1700, who would have predicted that the world would look as it does today?

But, that said, what have we seen so far - six missions (not counting the unsuccessful one) which landed two people each for a few dozen hours, at a cost (restated in 2005 dollars) of 170 billion USD. And costs don't seem to have gone down by a huge amount soon. At the costs of Apollo, if the moon had solid gold bricks lying around, it wouldn't be worth sending people to pick them up. Not even close.

So I don't see a colony occurring, only costs come down very very very dramatically, or if something far more valuable than gold were found there. Nobody is going to do it just because of bunch of space enthusiasts wish they would. Not unless the cost comes down a lot.

Have you read the thread? Because the argument you have given has been argued over and over here.

Long story short, yes, launch prices are going down. And No, we won't be using Apollo's wasteful methods or anything like them in the long run.

selvaarchi
2014-May-22, 12:04 AM
China completes the Yuegong-1, or Lunar Palace-1 test. Three Chinese volunteers on Tuesday ended an experiment that saw them live for 105 days in the enclosed capsule, eating only laboratory-grown plants and insects. Yuegong-1 is the world's 3ed third bioregenerative life support base.

Does anyone know how long we have managed to live in an enclosed space without needing any supplies from the outside world. From above I see the Chinese managed 105 days. The ISS is a lot less. They change crew once every 3 months and then in between have supply ships.

The reason I ask is the project the send humans to Mars on a one way trip. They must reckon we already have the ability to live in one for a very long time (like a life time!!!).

northstar
2014-May-22, 12:56 AM
Does anyone know how long we have managed to live in an enclosed space without needing any supplies from the outside world. From above I see the Chinese managed 105 days. The ISS is a lot less. They change crew once every 3 months and then in between have supply ships.

The reason I ask is the project the send humans to Mars on a one way trip. They must reckon we already have the ability to live in one for a very long time (like a life time!!!).

It depends on a lot of factors. The Chinese currently lack resupply so like Skylab and the early Salyuts they simple pack everything they need for the mission in. However this is very limiting because all that stuff has both mass and volume. Resupply is an very valuable ability that the Chinese are currently working on. The ISS may get resupplied at 3 month intervals, but it keeps on hand at least 3 months of supply at all times in case the supply rocket go boom.

How long you can go without resupply depends on your technology. In the case of the ISS, it recycles water which in turn reduces the amount of water (and oxygen) that needs to be sent up. Space stations also use regenerative carbon dioxide removal systems because the amount and volume of lioh cartages needed for longer term spaceflight would add up(Apollo and the Shuttle life support was dependent on them). If you can grow some of your own food onboard then again the seeds and other equipment needed could take up less volume than food packs and food packs do have an shelf life.

You donít need 100% recycling but the more you can recycle the less mass and volume you need to take with you. I suspect that just landing an lifetime supply of stuff would be very daunting. For the ISS it is about 3.8 pounds of food per day per crew for water I think like 3 gallons a day per crew. It adds up fast. The estimated amount of food needed for 5 years on mars is 7,000 pounds and that is before you get into issues with shelf life and nutritional value.

selvaarchi
2014-May-22, 04:05 AM
Thanks. I am still looking for information on the other two biosphere systems and experiences there on length of time spent in it without outside help. Have we managed to survive 2 to 3 years because that is what we will have to do for a Mars mission.

northstar
2014-May-22, 05:29 AM
Thanks. I am still looking for information on the other two biosphere systems and experiences there on length of time spent in it without outside help. Have we managed to survive 2 to 3 years because that is what we will have to do for a Mars mission.

Mars 500 is the closest thing and it only was for 1.5 years (long enough to get to Mars and back on an short mission). However that was an earth mission an life support system built for space has to deal with issues of power usage and mass. One advantage of the moon is that it is close enough that you don't need to have an system work for 2-3 years. Resupply is possible. 2-3 years is if you use chemical propulsion and use Hoffman trajectories. Faster trips are possible with electric propulsion or nuclear.

selvaarchi
2014-May-22, 08:51 AM
Mars 500 is the closest thing and it only was for 1.5 years (long enough to get to Mars and back on an short mission). However that was an earth mission an life support system built for space has to deal with issues of power usage and mass. One advantage of the moon is that it is close enough that you don't need to have an system work for 2-3 years. Resupply is possible. 2-3 years is if you use chemical propulsion and use Hoffman trajectories. Faster trips are possible with electric propulsion or nuclear.

Good to hear of the achievement. Gives hope of a real moon base within 10 years and being used like the ISS - continuously maned.

selvaarchi
2014-May-22, 09:08 AM
Russia has plans of a moon colony in 2030. I believe it will only be a moon base that might grow to be a colony at some distant future. It is good to read China and Russia coming out strongly for a presence on the moon. Hope the US will follow and others join the 3 countries in an international effort.

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_plans_to_get_a_foothold_in_the_Moon_999.htm l


Russia plans to organize a permanent base on the moon rather than leave it after several successful missions, the Russian deputy defense minister in charge of defense and space industries said. "The moon is not an intermediate point in the [space] race, it is a separate, even a self-contained goal. It would hardly be rational to make some ten or twenty flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids.

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_to_begin_Moon_colonization_in_2030_999.html


Russia will start colonizing the Moon in 2030, Izvestia daily reported on Thursday. The daily has received a draft concept of Russian lunar program developed by enterprises of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), a Russian Academy of Sciences institute and Moscow State University.

Notably, the draft concept envisages "creation of a lunar testing ground and a base for extraction of natural resources," the daily reported.

NEOWatcher
2014-May-22, 12:01 PM
Russia has plans of a moon colony in 2030.
Which you mentioned in posts or links:
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2208168#post2208168
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2207357#post2207357
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2208448#post2208448

Now we get yet another story about a concept. Another opinion. Another view.
Tell us what's new, what's changed. Something where I don't have to read through 90% old news just to try to find the 10% that means something.
All these stories are the same... One or two sentences about a new idea, and the rest or the story rehashing what's been said before.

selvaarchi
2014-May-23, 04:52 AM
Which you mentioned in posts or links:
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2208168#post2208168
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2207357#post2207357
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2208448#post2208448

Now we get yet another story about a concept. Another opinion. Another view.
Tell us what's new, what's changed. Something where I don't have to read through 90% old news just to try to find the 10% that means something.
All these stories are the same... One or two sentences about a new idea, and the rest or the story rehashing what's been said before.

This is about moon bases and what China and Russia are hoping to do. Unlike others I do believe they will have boots on the ground within the next 10 years. Within 20 years a moon base. Timelines will change but the direction is there.

The question is will these be separate bases or will they cooperate and invite other countries to join them. On a shorter time frame Russia is already contemplating a replacement to the ISS and considering inviting China and Europe to join them. If that happens then an extension to the moon base becomes a stronger possibility.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2014-05/22/c_133354131.htm


China and the European Space Agency, he added, were seen as the potential partners in the new strategy, but the key role will belong to Russia.

NEOWatcher
2014-May-23, 01:27 PM
This is about moon bases and what China and Russia are hoping to do.
If it is, then please tell us in your own words what are they hoping to do other than "hope to have one".


Unlike others I do believe they will have boots on the ground within the next 10 years. Within 20 years a moon base. Timelines will change but the direction is there.
If they make a push and do have the cooperation they are seeking, I don't see why not. But that's an "if".
Even the two articles you provided disagree by 10 years.

selvaarchi
2014-May-24, 06:42 AM
If it is, then please tell us in your own words what are they hoping to do other than "hope to have one".


If they make a push and do have the cooperation they are seeking, I don't see why not. But that's an "if".
Even the two articles you provided disagree by 10 years.

When we are talking of plans 10 to 20 years away it is only concepts and there will be a whole lot of new technology that will need to be researched, built and tested. They have at least published some pretty pictures of what it might look like (see my posts above).

Both China's and Russia's focus now are on their new rockets. Long March 5 and Angara medium and heavy. Only when they have this working, will building both their space stations be possible.

The Long March 9 and the super heavy Angara will be required for the moon landing and moon bases.

Ivan Bilic
2014-May-26, 12:43 PM
We need to have a purpose to do so. It can be some mining, researching or political. Back there in 60's there was a political reason to get to the moon. It was important to be first. But after further colonizing was canceled because it was too expencive and not worthy.

selvaarchi
2014-May-26, 02:19 PM
We need to have a purpose to do so. It can be some mining, researching or political. Back there in 60's there was a political reason to get to the moon. It was important to be first. But after further colonizing was canceled because it was too expencive and not worthy.

China will be doing it to demonstrate their technology is capable of carrying out such a project. They want to be seen as one of the world leaders and not as a developing country. Research and mining will just be icing on their cake.

selvaarchi
2014-May-26, 02:34 PM
Here is more news on Yuegong-1, or Lunar Palace-1. Note that they grew and ate the worms. The idea to do that came from the United Nations!!!
"The United Nations has recommended mealworms for starving people in poor areas such as Africa, so we thought 'Why can't they be used by astronauts in space?'" Anyone have any idea what the other biospheres used for the daily protein intake.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinese_space_team_survives_on_worm_diet_for_105_d ays_999.html


A Chinese team has emerged from a sealed capsule, in which they subsisted on mealworms and plants for over three months in a study designed to determine if the high-protein diet could be used in lengthy space travel.

Ivan Bilic
2014-May-26, 03:03 PM
China will be doing it to demonstrate their technology is capable of carrying out such a project. They want to be seen as one of the world leaders and not as a developing country. Research and mining will just be icing on their cake.

Yes, precisely. China is not kind of pioneer in space exploration. They just copy others. In everything. Their spaceprogram is at 1960' and 1970' level. But it is not to underestimate too. China can contribute a lot, because with it's development everything becomes cheaper. And China can motivate others to go forward. You see, if China goes to moon, america and europe must go before. To secure further rights to moon land.

Noclevername
2014-May-26, 04:08 PM
Yes, precisely. China is not kind of pioneer in space exploration. They just copy others. In everything. Their spaceprogram is at 1960' and 1970' level. But it is not to underestimate too. China can contribute a lot, because with it's development everything becomes cheaper. And China can motivate others to go forward. You see, if China goes to moon, america and europe must go before. To secure further rights to moon land.

Except that landings do not confer any "rights to Moon land". The Outer Space Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty) is still in effect and is still being honored by all signatory parties, including Russia, China, the US and most European countries.


The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, claiming that they are the common heritage of mankind.[3] Art. II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means".

selvaarchi
2014-May-26, 08:06 PM
Except that landings do not confer any "rights to Moon land". The Outer Space Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty) is still in effect and is still being honored by all signatory parties, including Russia, China, the US and most European countries.

I do not think they are after any "rights to Moon land". They would be more interested in leading an international team to build the 1st moon base. No one can say that they are copying then but be seen as leading the pack. Unlike now, there will be lots of so called advanced countries that will want to join them.

NEOWatcher
2014-May-27, 01:09 PM
When we are talking of plans 10 to 20 years away it is only concepts and there will be a whole lot of new technology that will need to be researched, built and tested. They have at least published some pretty pictures of what it might look like (see my posts above).
That's why I asked what you think they will have in those time frames. All those posts above are very vague on what they mean.

They don't describe those pretty pictures or how they fit into future missions. They talk about what parts (if any) relate to their timelines.
You say boots on the ground in 10 years. That's a start. I think that's achievable, but I have my doubts.

Here's my projection...
The Long March 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_March_5) was supposed to take 6 years from funding to service in 6 years. Funding was delayed to 2007 with a projected 2013 launch. Now it's 2015 (http://aviationweek.com/awin/china-s-long-march-5-will-not-launch-until-2015).
The Super-Heavy (Long March 9) is not even going to the development stage until at least 2016. By infering their current issues, I would put the first launch at 2025.
In addition to that, you need to develop all the BEO Human hardware, landing and testing...
The Shenzhou program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_program) took 13 years to put a man in orbit. Tiangong is expected to be 6 years away. Some of that experience will be needed to expand to a BEO mission.
While working on that project, they will be strapped for resources for a manned mission. Along with some of that needed experience, I don't expect real development of a manned lander to begin until at least the mid-2020s.

Given their history of development (as you once said.. slow and steady), I would add at least 5 to 10 years to that which puts boots on the ground in about 15 to 20 years if all goes well.

selvaarchi
2014-May-27, 04:31 PM
That's why I asked what you think they will have in those time frames. All those posts above are very vague on what they mean.

They don't describe those pretty pictures or how they fit into future missions. They talk about what parts (if any) relate to their timelines.
You say boots on the ground in 10 years. That's a start. I think that's achievable, but I have my doubts.

Here's my projection...
The Long March 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_March_5) was supposed to take 6 years from funding to service in 6 years. Funding was delayed to 2007 with a projected 2013 launch. Now it's 2015 (http://aviationweek.com/awin/china-s-long-march-5-will-not-launch-until-2015).
The Super-Heavy (Long March 9) is not even going to the development stage until at least 2016. By infering their current issues, I would put the first launch at 2025.
In addition to that, you need to develop all the BEO Human hardware, landing and testing...
The Shenzhou program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_program) took 13 years to put a man in orbit. Tiangong is expected to be 6 years away. Some of that experience will be needed to expand to a BEO mission.
While working on that project, they will be strapped for resources for a manned mission. Along with some of that needed experience, I don't expect real development of a manned lander to begin until at least the mid-2020s.

Given their history of development (as you once said.. slow and steady), I would add at least 5 to 10 years to that which puts boots on the ground in about 15 to 20 years if all goes well.

All major new major projects have had slippages. So if Long March 5 has slipped is not surprising. What is important is that it is close to launch. That rocket is key to their future plans. if it keeps to current plans then it will also be able to put Tiangong 2 into place next year.

Right now there is a lot of speculation if the new capabilities of Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3 will be combined. If that happens then the time frame for the future space station would be moved forward from 2020-2022 to 2018-2020.

In parallel with the space station, their moon exploration will also be progressing.. Again I see the Long March 5 being used to launch Chang'e5 probe in 2017. This is their sample return project.

I reckon they are already at work with the design of both the Long March 7 and Long March 9. Testing of Long March7 to start in 2016/18 and soon after the Long March 9. Long march 7 to be rocket to used for maned BEO missions.

To me their boots on the ground is in the range of 2020/5 and not 15 to 20 years away. I do not see them being strapped for resources (economy wise, this year they will have the same size economy as the US in Purchasing power parity (PPP)). They are right now working on multiple fronts on the future Moon project. They already have a prototype moon buggy built for 2. last week, three Chinese volunteers ended an experiment that saw them live for 105 days in an enclosed capsule, eating only laboratory-grown plants and insects. We know the moon lander was designed to take a bigger weight then Yutu. All this points to a lot of work towards their goal of a moon base.

Even if they land on the moon in 2023 they would have taken twice as long as the US did from 1st flight to land on the moon. The difference being - unlike the US, they will be going to explore, exploit and stay for the long run.

NEOWatcher
2014-May-27, 06:24 PM
All major new major projects have had slippages.
Which is the point of my speculation.

I know you are taking an optimistic view of this, and I don't say 10 years is not achievable. Like you said, they are actively attacking the problem on multiple fronts. But; I'm not sure if you are seeing it with a realistic eye on it.


Right now there is a lot of speculation if the new capabilities of Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3 will be combined. If that happens then the time frame for the future space station would be moved forward from 2020-2022 to 2018-2020.
I don't think that Tiangong will help in the moon timetable. In fact, like I indicated, may delay the moon program by competing resources.


In parallel with the space station, their moon exploration will also be progressing.. Again I see the Long March 5 being used to launch Chang'e5 probe in 2017. This is their sample return project.
Moon probes and manned landings are two seperate things. Although; a sample return would mark a good turning point.


I reckon they are already at work with the design of both the Long March 7 and Long March 9. Testing of Long March7 to start in 2016/18 and soon after the Long March 9. Long march 7 to be rocket to used for maned BEO missions.
The Long March 7 has nothing to do with a manned moon landing and is even less capable than Long March 5.
Long March 9 is only in the preliminary design (http://aviationweek.com/awin/chinese-super-heavy-launcher-designs-exceed-saturn-v) stages. It's not even a paper rocket yet.

[QUOTE=selvaarchi;2216060]They already have a prototype moon buggy built for 2.
That's a mock up. The design and development needs to be done (http://www.ecns.cn/cns-wire/2014/04-10/108851.shtml).


last week, three Chinese volunteers ended an experiment that saw them live for 105 days in an enclosed capsule, eating only laboratory-grown plants and insects.
That's good for long term habitats like a space station or on the moon. But; it doesn't help with a boots on the moon mission.


The difference being - unlike the US, they will be going to explore, exploit and stay for the long run.
On the flip side, they are doing it with much more advanced technology, materials, and examples from other countries. It's hard to compare the two. That's why I'm trying to compare it using the progression of their own program.

selvaarchi
2014-May-28, 06:48 AM
I don't think that Tiangong will help in the moon timetable. In fact, like I indicated, may delay the moon program by competing resources.


On the flip side, they are doing it with much more advanced technology, materials, and examples from other countries. It's hard to compare the two. That's why I'm trying to compare it using the progression of their own program.

Their focus is Long March 5 & 7 (Long March 7 being the human rated space craft), their sample return missions to the moon and their space station. It is only after they are well on the way to complete the 3 projects will we be seeing any sign the maned moon landings. Therefore my estimate of it happening - between 2020 and 2025.

How they progress in the next 2 to 3 years will determine that direction. I am an optimist on this:dance:

Noclevername
2014-May-28, 08:28 AM
I think it's interesting how this thread about Lunar colonization has morphed into a thread about when the next Moon landing will occur.

selvaarchi
2014-May-28, 01:20 PM
I think it's interesting how this thread about Lunar colonization has morphed into a thread about when the next Moon landing will occur.

Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.

Noclevername
2014-May-28, 02:07 PM
Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.

I would argue that in the long term timeframe needed for colonization, whether the first re-landing happens in six years, ten, or twenty is not really going to make that much difference, at least compared to the margin of error in foreseeing colonial development. A Moon base, for instance, is not a colony, unless it has a self-supporting population.

I would rather discuss things that are relevant for actual colonization on the Moon, such as the implications of the Outer Space Treaty regarding mining and permanent habitation, the industries and technologies needed, the resources that might be available on the Moon to support a human population, to what degree they might require resources not easily found on the Moon, etc. These things are hardly discussed in-thread anymore.

I just feel like all this emphasis on the first new landings is a distraction from the really fascinating Original Post topic.

selvaarchi
2014-May-28, 04:07 PM
I would argue that in the long term timeframe needed for colonization, whether the first re-landing happens in six years, ten, or twenty is not really going to make that much difference, at least compared to the margin of error in foreseeing colonial development. A Moon base, for instance, is not a colony, unless it has a self-supporting population.

And I would argue to get to that stage we have to start with landings, building them up to bases then to become a full fledged colony. I will like to see the discussions revoke around how do we move them on to a base and then slowly add the features that might eventually grow into a colony.

My personal belief is we are at least a 100 years from having a colony but only 20 to 30 years from our 1st base. By base I mean a habitat that will be permanently maned (like the ISS). In our journey we will abandon some bases and others will grow. Very much like the early American settlements.



I would rather discuss things that are relevant for actual colonization on the Moon, such as the implications of the Outer Space Treaty regarding mining and permanent habitation, the industries and technologies needed, the resources that might be available on the Moon to support a human population, to what degree they might require resources not easily found on the Moon, etc. These things are hardly discussed in-thread anymore.

The discussions you want will take place but in the context on how our initial bases will grow. I see different sort of bases being set up. Initial bases will be scientific in nature. Exploring the environment and figuring out how we might exploit our discoveries. Then some bases will become mining outposts. Others might have factories that produce some of things we require on the moon or earth. The linking of some of the settlements(bases) will eventually evolve into places where people will stay permanently and raise families. Our start of a colony.

Noclevername
2014-May-28, 04:44 PM
And I would argue to get to that stage we have to start with landings, building them up to bases then to become a full fledged colony. I will like to see the discussions revoke around how do we move them on to a base and then slowly add the features that might eventually grow into a colony.

My personal belief is we are at least a 100 years from having a colony but only 20 to 30 years from our 1st base. By base I mean a habitat that will be permanently maned (like the ISS). In our journey we will abandon some bases and others will grow. Very much like the early American settlements.

I agree, that's a probable timeline of events, that will include many efforts to perform extremely difficult tasks. But we already have several hopeful signs.

The development of ISRU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-situ_resource_utilization) for the Moon has already begun; there are 3D printers designed to use Lunar regolith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printer#Space_exploration), for instance. They are very crude now, but in 20-30 years they will no doubt be capable of producing more elegant structures, and perhaps even large enough to construct buildings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_printing#Extraterrestrial_printed_structu res). Engineers have developed a concept for batteries (PDF linked here (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fssi.org%2F2010%2FSM14-proceedings%2FElectrical-Energy-Storage-Using-Only-Lunar-Materials-Dietzler-Schubert.pdf&ei=sBGGU6_0B4-LyASZpIC4Cg&usg=AFQjCNG-o51SiQBl5SYyTXgHB4wkpzGY-Q&bvm=bv.67720277,d.aWw)) and solar cells (http://www.asi.org/adb/02/08/solar-cell-production.html) that can be manufactured from native Lunar materials (PDF of NASA report (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CD0QFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fntrs.nasa.gov%2Farchive%2Fnasa%2F casi.ntrs.nasa.gov%2F19890018248.pdf&ei=FxKGU9qaJISTyATF7oDIBA&usg=AFQjCNHDUjrH4wPyDE9qRE8if8t9u0ODkw&bvm=bv.67720277,d.aWw)).

Links to other basic knowledge of the subjects:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunarcrete
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_the_Moon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_manufacturing
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/msad28apr98_1a/

publiusr
2014-May-31, 07:21 PM
Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.

I know one thing--it want be that cobra bubble contraption from Golden Spike that lands a printer of any size.

NEOWatcher
2014-Jun-02, 12:33 PM
Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.
But the next moon landing is so far from colonization that it can't be considered a "start". It could lead to the "hope" or the "dream" as we did in the 60's.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-02, 01:18 PM
But the next moon landing is so far from colonization that it can't be considered a "start". It could lead to the "hope" or the "dream" as we did in the 60's.

True but unlike the 60's when there was no real plan to build bases, we do have some now. How long that is going to take is anyone guess. My estimate for a base is 20 to 30 years from now.

NEOWatcher
2014-Jun-02, 02:14 PM
.. we do have some now.
We have concepts, not plans.
But; I do see where you are coming from.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-19, 11:24 AM
China is doing it's ground work to establish a moon base. The modules to cultivate vegetables and grains I see being used with their space station first.

http://m.space.com/26267-china-lunar-palace-space-research-mission.html

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Hop_David
2014-Jun-20, 03:38 PM
Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.

More flags and footprints? Apollo redux would do nothing to move us towards a Lunar base.

A better start towards human settlement is investing in improved robotics. With robots we could scout and inventory resources (are there usable water deposits in the lunar cold traps?). With better robots we could build infrastructure remotely.

Noclevername
2014-Jun-20, 06:46 PM
More flags and footprints? Apollo redux would do nothing to move us towards a Lunar base.

No one said anything about the type or quality of the next manned Moon landing. Only that it will precede any possible Lunar colonization.


A better start towards human settlement is investing in improved robotics. With robots we could scout and inventory resources (are there usable water deposits in the lunar cold traps?). With better robots we could build infrastructure remotely.

That is not mutually exclusive with a manned effort; in fact the two would compliment each other.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-21, 09:15 AM
A picture of mealworms that members of Yuegong-1 (Moon Palace 1) ate for the 105 days stay.:D still want to be a astronaut.


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=727976730596664&set=pb.237730352954640.-2207520000.1403341347.&type=1&theater

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-21, 11:22 AM
More flags and footprints? Apollo redux would do nothing to move us towards a Lunar base.

A better start towards human settlement is investing in improved robotics. With robots we could scout and inventory resources (are there usable water deposits in the lunar cold traps?). With better robots we could build infrastructure remotely.

China is not planing a manned moon landing until 2020+ but in the mean time there is a sling shot around the moon, another moon rover and 2 sample return missions all before 2020.

Hop_David
2014-Jun-23, 07:32 PM
More flags and footprints? Apollo redux would do nothing to move us towards a Lunar base.

A better start towards human settlement is investing in improved robotics. With robots we could scout and inventory resources (are there usable water deposits in the lunar cold traps?). With better robots we could build infrastructure remotely.

A manned landing sans infra-structure is Apollo redux. Without infrastructure on the surface the best we can hope for is brief sortie missions.

Robots are a possible way to establish infrastructure. Remotely operated robots are a way to get our foot in the door. They could establish with regolith berms, landing and launch sites, mines for extracting water and other volatiles etc. If this happens we could do extended stays.

Yes, we have to start somewhere. The best start is developing robots that enable us to do work remotely. Skip this step and human landings become a good way to flush tens of billions down the toilet.

Noclevername
2014-Jun-23, 07:51 PM
A manned landing sans infra-structure is Apollo redux. Without infrastructure on the surface the best we can hope for is brief sortie missions.

Robots are a possible way to establish infrastructure. Remotely operated robots are a way to get our foot in the door. They could establish with regolith berms, landing and launch sites, mines for extracting water and other volatiles etc. If this happens we could do extended stays.

Yes, we have to start somewhere. The best start is developing robots that enable us to do work remotely. Skip this step and human landings become a good way to flush tens of billions down the toilet.

Not if the human landings are achieved via establishing proper transportation infrastructure.

Surface structures are an afterthought. The means to transport large amounts of equipment and humans both, can be gained by setting up a system that includes easier LEO access, reusable ferries, dedicated reusable landers, and storage and transfer stations near both Earth and the Moon.

ADDED: I would even go so far as to say that colonization (to go back to the OP topic) won't happen unless such a system is established. You can have robots build a wonderland, but unless humans can reliably reach it it's just a toy castle.

Hop_David
2014-Jun-24, 05:08 AM
Not if the human landings are achieved via establishing proper transportation infrastructure.

Surface structures are an afterthought. The means to transport large amounts of equipment and humans both, can be gained by setting up a system that includes easier LEO access, reusable ferries, dedicated reusable landers, and storage and transfer stations near both Earth and the Moon.

ADDED: I would even go so far as to say that colonization (to go back to the OP topic) won't happen unless such a system is established. You can have robots build a wonderland, but unless humans can reliably reach it it's just a toy castle.

Yes, transportation infra-structure is also a prerequisite. Reusable ferries, reusable landers, and propellent depots near the earth and moon.

How would you refuel the reusable ferries? The nearest propellent source is 9 km/s from low earth orbit and 13 km/s from low lunar orbit. If you're refueling the ferries with disposable tankers, not much savings. Reusable landers are even more distant.

Reusable ferries and lunar landers aren't plausible or economic if the sole source of propellent is at the bottom of a deep gravity well. If polar volatiles are a possible source of propellent, robots seem a prerequisite to propellent mines.

You can build your depots, ferries and landers. But there are no savings if you're throwing away massive, expensive tankers to refuel them.

Hop_David
2014-Jun-24, 05:11 AM
but unless humans can reliably reach it it's just a toy castle.

So let's skip building the "toy castle". Let's skip designing robots that can do work from remote locations.

You propose to land astronauts on a lunar surface with no infrastructure? And for an extended period?

That's a good recipe for dead astronauts.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-24, 05:32 AM
The present approach is not working. The ISS has been up for over 13 years. It is only now we are experimenting with growing greens. All repairs are done by astronauts with help from the Canadian crane. No Roberts involved. Only when we have mastered using Roberts to build and maintain a space station can we consider using it on the moon.
Look at earth. Where are the robots to help around the house.
Good in science fiction but it is at least 30 to 50 years away.
I like the Chinese approach. They have already have a ecosystem here on earth that has supported 3 persons for 105 days. That includes the water, oxygen, meat and vegetables. That will be available for their space station and moon base.

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selvaarchi
2014-Jun-24, 09:47 AM
The latest article from the space review and reports pointed by Dr Paul Spudis are more in tune with my thoughts. My view on farming (grow your own crops) and mining the moon and astroids for water I think will give us building blocks for a moon/space base.
The other point I totally agree with Dr Paul Spudis is to build crafts to take us from LEO to luna orbit (preferably to a space station orbiting the moon) and a luna lander to take us down to the moon and return to the space station.

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selvaarchi
2014-Jun-24, 09:48 AM
The link to the article

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2537/1

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Noclevername
2014-Jun-24, 12:16 PM
So let's skip building the "toy castle". Let's skip designing robots that can do work from remote locations.

You propose to land astronauts on a lunar surface with no infrastructure? And for an extended period?

That's a good recipe for dead astronauts.

When did I ever, at any point, say I "-planned to land astronauts on a lunar surface with no infrastructure? And for an extended period?" Read carefully. Did I say that? Or imply it in any words?


The means to transport large amounts of equipment and humans both

Hmm. Seems to imply the EXACT OPPOSITE of no surface infrastructure for an extended period. It seems to make possible the building of a surface infrastructure.


...

...And there's the time limit I gave for remaining the surface on the next landing OH WAIT THERE ISN'T ONE. I did mention colonization which is a very long term effort requiring generations AFTER the transport infrastructure is set up, and after many surface structures have been built. Whether by robots or humans augmented by robots is not relevant to the function and permanence of said structures.


Did I mention how much I hate it when people jump to conclusions about what I said and then act as if their conclusions where attributable to me?

IsaacKuo
2014-Jun-24, 02:53 PM
How would you refuel the reusable ferries? The nearest propellent source is 9 km/s from low earth orbit and 13 km/s from low lunar orbit.
There are some other potential sources for rocket fuel. I like atmospheric scooping for nitrous oxide monopropellant. While the specific impulse of nitrous oxide isn't great, this can be compensated for by using solar electric fuel depots. You have a depot in LEO, and another in an elliptical orbit (3:1 with the Moon is good); maybe another depot in a lower elliptical orbit (also in a resonant ratio with the Moon, so it is available for each lunar transfer window). Basically, once you have nitrogen propellant solar electric thrusters, you have a lot of flexibility.

Maybe cyanogen could be a good fuel, using atmospheric scooping of Venus or Mars. While cyanogen is toxic, it is storable as a dense liquid. The high specific impulse and lack of large deeply cryogenic fuel tanks means cyanogen/LOX could offer performance superior to other chemical rockets.

Noclevername
2014-Jun-24, 07:06 PM
Let's skip designing robots that can do work from remote locations.

No, let's not. Especially since I specifically pointed out in post 228 that this is not mutually exclusive with a manned landing program, and that robotics would be useful for manned programs.

Hop_David
2014-Jun-25, 03:47 PM
When did I ever, at any point, say I "-planned to land astronauts on a lunar surface with no infrastructure? And for an extended period?" Read carefully. Did I say that? Or imply it in any words?

The post I initially replied to was from selvaarchi:


Without the next moon landing, Lunar colonization will never happen. We got to start from somewhere.

The first sentence is stating the obvious. It's the second sentence I disagree with. Should human landing be step A? If so an Apollo style architecture (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2537/1) would be appropriate.

I contend that human landing shouldn't be step A. It should be step G or H. I've already laid out some of the steps that should precede human landing.

And what is your contribution? You write that that without humans, surface infrastructure would be toy castles.

To be fair your toy castle remark wasn't an endorsement an Apollo style plan where landing humans is step A.

You'd like to see transportation infrastructure established that can reliably ferry humans. I agree with that. That also requires some steps preceding human landing. Propellent storage and transfer, I'd like to see ULA ACES stages funded. And again, transportation infrastructure is connected to infrastructure on the lunar surface. Reusable ferries and landers are made vastly more plausible if we establish lunar infrastructure to mine propellent.

To reiterate, there is a lot of stuff we can and should do before landing humans. Landing humans isn't where we start.

Noclevername
2014-Jun-25, 04:08 PM
Landing humans isn't where we start.

Good thing I didn't say it was, then. In fact human landings, or base-building, or Lunar fuel mining, all would be the result of establishing a transport infrastructure, not "step A" preceding that infrastructure. It's not like any of them will plausibly happen without establishing a large-scale sustainable presence in near-Earth space. Otherwise, we will only have your "Apollo style" model, IE a one-shot, surface-to-surface giant rocket flag and footprints model, which is not appropriate for anything but one very limited mission.

There has to be an integrated program of human, robotic, and equipment-delivery missions, of stations and fuel and ferries, to lead anywhere permanent.

Now I disagree that Lunar mining for fuel should be an early step. It's one thing to say "let's send some robots to grab fuel", but our technology is just not set up to bootstrap a usefully large factory and mining facility from a few robots. Any heavy industry done on the Moon will require heavy equipment sent from Earth. Launching a fuel tanker into LEO is not so expensive as to prohibit the establishment of a Lunar ferry and landers; it will bump up the cost but not by enough to make it a deal-breaker. What robots can do before humans get there is survey the polar area, determine where the ice is and what is over it and what it in it. Then at least we'll know what we're working with. Save the full scale mining and processing plants for after a base or two are already there.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-27, 06:17 AM
China has released a bit more information on their plans for a moon base and also their Lunar Palace 1.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-06/26/c_133440461.htm


China is a step closer to setting up a lunar base after a 105-day manned airtight test, in which the bio-regenerative life support systems of Lunar Palace 1 sustained the lives of three trial volunteers.


Wheat is not only the main energy source, but also the oxygen provider in the capsule which enabled the oxygen to be regenerated three times during the 105 days.

Fifty-five percent of the food for the three volunteers was generated inside the bio-system, while the rest, mostly meat, was externally produced.

But the capsule inhabitants also raised and ate yellow mealworms, their main source of protein.

selvaarchi
2014-Jun-29, 08:46 PM
Information on how the 3 occupants spent their time in Lunar Palace 1.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2014-06/26/c_133440438.htm


A routine day in Lunar Palace 1 started at 7:30 am, when the team had breakfast. Then they worked until lunch from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. They rested until 2 pm, then continued experiments until dinner at 5:30 pm. Sometimes they would do experiments at night after 6:30 pm, but the rest of the day was free time. A day ended with bed at 11 pm.

selvaarchi
2014-Jul-01, 12:05 PM
Thespacereview.com article "Red tortoise, blue turtle", in this weeks issue, gives a good over view of China's space program. I support their view that they will have boots on the ground in the 2020s. I will even go one step further and say by the end of the 2020s they would have started to construct a moon base.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2544/1


The Soviet Union conducted lunar sample return missions in the early 1970s. Their Earth reentry craft was relatively small. NASA has conducted both the Stardust and Genesis sample return missions, using reentry vehicles a little bigger than a car tire. The Goddard Space Flight Center is developing the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission with a reentry vehicle similar in size to that used for Stardust. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed a lunar sample return mission that would have an Earth reentry vehicle probably a little smaller than the others.

In contrast, the Chinese reentry vehicle is rather large. A human could actually climb inside it, although it is obviously not intended for that purpose. A schematic of the lunar sample return mission shows this reentry vehicle nestled inside the orbital craft underneath the lander. The Chinese plan a separate test of their reentry capsule, putting it into a high orbit and then sending it back into the atmosphere at lunar return speed. They are nothing if not methodical.

Considering that CE-3 was a pathfinder for CE-5, it is not hard to imagine that the CE-5 reentry vehicle is intended to provide data for an eventual human spacecraft to return from lunar orbit. None of this indicates that the Chinese actually have a human lunar program. But if they can successfully complete a lunar sample return mission in 2017, it would position them to make a decision for a human lunar program in the 2020s.

NEOWatcher
2014-Jul-01, 02:06 PM
Thespacereview.com article "Red tortoise, blue turtle", in this weeks issue, gives a good over view of China's space program. I support their view that they will have boots on the ground in the 2020s. I will even go one step further and say by the end of the 2020s they would have started to construct a moon base.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2544/1
He goes on to say that the media are the one's misinterpreting and overstating China's plans, and then he goes on and continues confusing wording.

Does he mean the decision will be after the space station is operational, or the landing will be done after the space station?
Considering he's talking about them not having any plans, I assume it's the former.

This is why I hate speculation, sound bites, and other articles like this. When they have some evidence of progress, or plans and dates to show us, all this discussion and news releases are useless.

selvaarchi
2014-Jul-01, 02:33 PM
He goes on to say that the media are the one's misinterpreting and overstating China's plans, and then he goes on and continues confusing wording.

Does he mean the decision will be after the space station is operational, or the landing will be done after the space station?
Considering he's talking about them not having any plans, I assume it's the former.

This is why I hate speculation, sound bites, and other articles like this. When they have some evidence of progress, or plans and dates to show us, all this discussion and news releases are useless.

My view has been, we will only get confirmation of a moon landing program after a successful moon sample return mission and their final space station is being constructed. In the mean time all the support work to make it possible is taking place. Also important is, they are meeting all the goals that the Chinese government has already given approval - like the sample return and space station.

From the report -
Considering that CE-3 was a pathfinder for CE-5, it is not hard to imagine that the CE-5 reentry vehicle is intended to provide data for an eventual human spacecraft to return from lunar orbit. None of this indicates that the Chinese actually have a human lunar program. But if they can successfully complete a lunar sample return mission in 2017, it would position them to make a decision for a human lunar program in the 2020s. Chinese space officials could go to their country’s leadership and truthfully declare that they have proven they can land on the Moon, take off, rendezvous with a return vehicle in orbit, and then safely bring pieces of the Moon all the way back to Earth. From an engineering standpoint all they would need to do is scale up the systems and develop reliable life support, which should not be challenging considering the human spaceflight experience that they will also acquire during the remainder of this decade. A human lunar mission would not be cheap, but the robotic program will erase most of the technical barriers. It is an excellent risk reduction strategy.

NEOWatcher
2014-Jul-01, 05:58 PM
My view has been, we will only get confirmation of a moon landing program after a successful moon sample return mission and their final space station is being constructed.
Yep; that's why I think all this preliminary speculation doesn't add much.


Also important is, they are meeting all the goals that the Chinese government has already given approval - like the sample return and space station.
Are they?
The large space station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_921-2) was originally to have been completed in 2010. As of now, it has been delayed to at least 2020.
Their first crewed flight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_program) was originally to be 1999. It happened in 2005.

They are meeting their goals, but not in the timeframe that they are planning for.
Like you said in an earlier thread, they are taking it slowly, one step at a time. Accomplish a goal and move on.
But; like all manned spaceflight, it takes time and has hurdles to overcome. Delays are inevitable.

They also have the advantage of not announcing grand plans until they become more realistic. In that way, you can make it sound like you aren't having issues.

This is why I'm not sure if a boots on the moon in the 2020's is going to happen. Eventually it will happen, but it will take years before we even have a realistic timeline.

selvaarchi
2014-Jul-01, 09:32 PM
Yep; that's why I think all this preliminary speculation doesn't add much.


Are they?
The large space station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_921-2) was originally to have been completed in 2010. As of now, it has been delayed to at least 2020.
Their first crewed flight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_program) was originally to be 1999. It happened in 2005.

They are meeting their goals, but not in the timeframe that they are planning for.
Like you said in an earlier thread, they are taking it slowly, one step at a time. Accomplish a goal and move on.
But; like all manned spaceflight, it takes time and has hurdles to overcome. Delays are inevitable.

They also have the advantage of not announcing grand plans until they become more realistic. In that way, you can make it sound like you aren't having issues.

This is why I'm not sure if a boots on the moon in the 2020's is going to happen. Eventually it will happen, but it will take years before we even have a realistic timeline.

True for both the Chinese and Indian space program. The technologist are allowed to spend some money in new areas and only when the government feels they have a good chance to succeed will they be given the official go ahead. The Chinese manned moon program and the 1st Indian manned space flight are good examples. This does slow their progress but at least the direction is there.

selvaarchi
2014-Jul-03, 03:51 PM
More speculation on the Chinese Luna program in spacedaily.com.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Are_Chinas_Astronauts_Moonbound_999.html


China could be practicing for a mission to launch an astronaut to the Moon and back. The astronaut would also fly a "free-return trajectory" around the far side of the Moon, and would not land there. If China carries out such a mission, it would send a Chinese astronaut further into space than any previous mission. Assuming that it happens before a private circumlunar mission is launched by a US-Russian space partnership, it would also mark the first return of any human to the Moon in more than four decades.

China has given no official word of such a plan, but this is no reason to dismiss the idea. China has always been secretive about its space plans, and seems to be growing even more secretive under its new media censorship policies. Let's not forget that the very existence of its Shenzhou human spacecraft program was a closely guarded secret for years before its first test launch in 1999.