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Hazzard
2005-Aug-08, 08:47 AM
Is there anyone that would like to speculate in how they are going to set up a future base on the moon.

Are there blueprints at this point,there has to be some sort of early plans on how to do this.

And how big is it supposed to be/how many astronauts/scientists when finished?

Water,food oxygen?

Hmm...

Champion_Munch
2005-Aug-08, 09:08 AM
And how big is it supposed to be/how many astronauts/scientists when finished?

When it's finished? I don't think it will ever finish. :P

with regards

Hazzard
2005-Aug-08, 10:20 AM
But they will start building it,right?


And thats what Im wondering about,how in the name of (!) are they going to do this?

ISS must have been alot "easier" to get up and running!

kucharek
2005-Aug-08, 10:28 AM
But they will start building it,right?


And thats what Im wondering about,how in the name of (!) are they going to do this?

ISS must have been easier to get up and running!

At least you'll have no troubles with gyros on a lunar base.

Sticks
2005-Aug-08, 10:48 AM
With what has happened over the shuttle, it would not surprise me now if the US withdraws completely now from personned space flight, as things go as follows

Shuttle Grounded and retired
Replacement CEV, never leaves the drawing board due to funding issues and Congress putting in the boot.
The ISS could not be completed as they thought they would have the shuttle
The remaining cosmonauts are brought home and the ISS is sent into an ocean, like Skylab and Mir was.
Resources were then plowed into more politically correct programmes.
No private company thought it worth their while to have a personned mission
ESA just stuck to launching satellites.
Thus concluded personned Spaceflight which was later to be considered the folly of the 20th Century and early 21st century by the revisionist historians


:roll: :(

EDIT to replaced the term Manned with Personned to ensure this post is politically correct :roll:

Hazzard
2005-Aug-08, 11:01 AM
Probes and robots are important and less expencive,but there is nothing like a manned mission. :)

Eroica
2005-Aug-08, 11:47 AM
Before we start worrying about how to build the thing, the first decision we must make is where to put it.

Presumably it should be in the polar regions for easy access to the ice deposits at the bottom of deep polar craters. But which would be better, the Northern or Southern hemisphere?

Sticks
2005-Aug-08, 12:39 PM
Before we start worrying about how to build the thing, the first decision we must make is where to put it.


I would have thought that the lack of a personned space programme, as the US seemes to be headed would make both questions redundant.

So the first questions should be, will congress allow the funding for a replacement to the shuttle, and will congress agree to the funding of a permenantly staffed base on the moon - I think not - they have too many of their own pork barrel projects closer to home, and those that send them to DC :(

Eroica
2005-Aug-08, 04:15 PM
I would have thought that the lack of a personned space programme, as the US seems to be headed would make both questions redundant.
It's going to happen eventually. If NASA don't do it, the Chinese or the Europeans will.

CJSF
2005-Aug-08, 06:27 PM
In my opinion, thhe current adminstration seems to be setting up a pretty solid anti-science foundation for the US, so I think we'll see the Europeans and Chinese leaping past us on all fronts, not just spaceflight (manned or unmanned).

CJSF

Arneb
2005-Aug-08, 06:31 PM
....the Chinese and Europeans will [do it]

I am afraid that'll go only go for the Chinese - we don't do a lot on our own these days except piggybacking and complaining....

On the other hand - the Chinese setting up on the Moon and planning for Mars in earnest, fed by the revenues of a fast-growing economy and the enthusiasm of a nationalist populace - now that will send some of your redneck congressmen stumping out their cigars (courtesy of Halliburton), yelling at their assistants to make a call to those dang NASA nerds and voting for bills to prevent a Red Moon, Red Mars scenario.

You might yet get there.... :D

Ilya
2005-Aug-08, 06:32 PM
The remaining cosmonauts are brought home and the ISS is sent into an ocean, like Skylab and Mir was.

Don't know if you are joking or not, but that will never happen. NASA will almost certainly wash its hands of ISS, but Russia will inherit it and will continue flying it as a tourist destination. You should read Russian publications on this topic, they already refer to ISS as "our station".

Nick
2005-Aug-08, 06:34 PM
I would have thought that the lack of a personned space programme, as the US seems to be headed would make both questions redundant.
It's going to happen eventually. If NASA don't do it, the Chinese or the Europeans will.

Europe will not.

China will be the next (and only?) space explorers. They will reach the moon in the next 20 years while the rest still dither and dally on the costs (after all the last 40 years of getting there).

It's a shame. But I am glad (and lucky) I lived through it and saw it all. Future generations will just have the history of it.

Nick

dunwitch
2005-Aug-08, 06:42 PM
I would have thought that the lack of a personned space programme, as the US seems to be headed would make both questions redundant.
It's going to happen eventually. If NASA don't do it, the Chinese or the Europeans will.

I don't get it. Why build a base on the moon? There's no atmosphere (thus vast temp changes, dangerous radiation, huge pressure differentials to deal with in constructing buildings), extreme low gravity (bone mass loss), extremely scarce resources (oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon mainly), and abrasive dust. Most of the resources are in unusable forms - nobody has figured out a way to extract oxygen from moon rocks, and it likely would require too much energy to be practical. The only reason I can see to build a moon base is to have a platform for a moon-telescope, but in that case it would have to be away from the poles (sunlit) and that's where any water is going to be. Plenty of silica and aluminum to build telescope mirrors with though. Why we would need people there to man the telescope is beyond me. The cost of mining anything off the moon would be astronomical, and since it's almost identical to the earth's outer crust there's nothing worth going there to get (maybe helium-3 will be valuable once we perfect Helium-3 fusion - someday). Any moon base would be totally dependant on resources shipped up the gravity well from earth. It would be ten times as costly as the ISS, and that's a bare minimum. A moon base will cripple our space program as long as it exists. I think we should go back to the moon, but not to LIVE there.

Ilya
2005-Aug-08, 06:43 PM
In my opinion, thhe current adminstration seems to be setting up a pretty solid anti-science foundation for the US, so I think we'll see the Europeans and Chinese leaping past us on all fronts, not just spaceflight (manned or unmanned).

Europeans? Don't make me laugh. While current administration may be "anti-science", it is nothing compared to Green/Luddite sentiments in Europe. Their worship of Nature is just as superstitious as American Fundamentalist worship. As an example -- British (probably LEAST Luddite country in Western Europe) Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.

Chinese are a different matter, and could conceivably overtake US in manned spaceflight. However, I never saw a convincing reason why they would bother. Unlike old Soviet Union, Chinese Communist Party was never given to grandiose hang-the-cost propaganda displays. They are very practical people, and there is little practical (in the short term, anyway) in manned spaceflight.

Sticks
2005-Aug-08, 07:14 PM
Don't know if you are joking or not, but that will never happen. NASA will almost certainly wash its hands of ISS, but Russia will inherit it and will continue flying it as a tourist destination. You should read Russian publications on this topic, they already refer to ISS as "our station".

With Russia's economic problems?

Arneb
2005-Aug-08, 07:25 PM
Europeans? Don't make me laugh. While current administration may be "anti-science", it is nothing compared to Green/Luddite sentiments in Europe.

[language problem] What is "Luddite") [/language problem]


Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.

Oh no, shame on us - as i said we don't do a lot aboven piggybacking and complaining these days


Chinese are a different matter, and could conceivably overtake US in manned spaceflight. However, I never saw a convincing reason why they would bother. Unlike old Soviet Union, Chinese Communist Party was never given to grandiose hang-the-cost propaganda displays. They are very practical people, and there is little practical (in the short term, anyway) in manned spaceflight.

I am not too sure about that. Nationalist feeling is a strong factor in Chinese politics these (cf. "school book riots"), and the Chinese leadership has been pretty explicit about its intention to bring taikonauts to the moon.

but, as I wrote above (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=514923#514923) - this might be precisely the incentive that gets the American space program going again. Even if for the wrong reason.

Edited to add:
The Chines fator aside, I must say that, frankly, I find the scenario of sticks' first post unsettlingly plausible :(

Gillianren
2005-Aug-08, 07:34 PM
[language problem] What is "Luddite") [/language problem]

one opposed to technology, usually for a certain degree of technology. (they sure don't live naked and fireless in the woods, for example.) unfortunately, I do not know its origin. etymology, anyone?

Sticks
2005-Aug-08, 07:44 PM
It comes from here in the UK, from around the start of the Industrial Revolution (See this Article) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite)

Arneb
2005-Aug-08, 07:47 PM
Thanks a lot, gillianren and Sticks =D>

dunwitch
2005-Aug-08, 11:45 PM
Thanks a lot, gillianren and Sticks =D>

Technically, people in this day and age who are averse to technology should be referred to as "Neo-Luddites", to differentiate them from the textile workers who were actual followers of (the possibly mythical) Ludd.

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 03:41 AM
Well, I have some ideas of how to establish a lunar base, assuming anyone wants to do it.

Phase 1: Planning and Pre-Positioning (1-5 years)
Establish modular habitat fabrication and assembly systems, then launch these, unmanned, to the moon to establish prepositioned stocks of construction materials for mid-term surface habitats and science stations.

Phase 2: Camping and Construction (3-12 months)
Land tranportable mini-habitats near the prepositioned materials. Begin surface and shallow sub-surface construction of necessary facilities such as habitation and basic manufacturing & materials labs and science observatories and labs. The transportable mini-habs are temporary shelters analogous to a winnebago or an aistream while the mid-term shelters are more like assemble-on-site prefabricated buildings (everything is covered with lunar regolith for radiation and thermal shielding).

Phase 3: Long Term Colony Infrastructure (5 to 10 years onward)
Land tunnel-boring equipment and commence intensive deeper excavations (20m to 100m and possibly deeper). The TBMs would continue cutting raw rock, while the sections behind use smaller excavation equipment to cut side tunnels for habitats and working space, while the sections behind that are sealed and finished for use.

Phase : Long Term Commercial Infrastructure (10 to 20 years onward)
Construct infrastructure that generate economies-of-scale. This includes spaceport related facilities such as coil-gun ascent system, rotovator/skyhook ascent and descent systems, maglev descent and deceleration systems, and maglev surface and sub-surface intra-lunar transportation systems. Rocket propellent mass mining and propulsion. This may also include plutonium/uranium/thorium and He3 breeder/enrichment reactors (to avoid earth-side NIMBY concerns).

Most of this would initially be paid for by government. However, commercial ventures would lease facilities or build their own extensions when and where needed. Mining and manufacturing will be critical, but may not be the most profitable endeavors. I anticipate that entertainment may be the most profitable ventures. Consider the possibilities: Lunar rovers leased via the internet for school projects, Remote-controlled robot combat on the lunar surface via the internet or on TV, motion picture and TV shoots for "realism" in fiction and documentaries, Low gravity sports on TV, Reality TV (who wants to get voted off of the moon?), and other ideas.

Some may say that entertainment is not a legitimate venture. I disagree. Entertainment and play is an activity undertaken by most animals with higher intelligence. Entertainment is one of the highest profit enterprises. Entertainment expenses for space-related movies are routinely and favourably compared to NASA budgets. Not only would entertainment and related advertising revenue help pay for space exploration, but it would increase interest and support in space exploration and sciences in general. This might be turned around and used to support public bond programs to pay for the lunar infrastructure.

Sticks
2005-Aug-09, 05:14 AM
Most of this would initially be paid for by government.

As Mrs Beeton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs_Beeton) says, First Catch your Rabbit.

Governments are made up of people with eyes on their electorate so they can get re-elected. Even if the executive are behind something, there may be others there to stick the boot in.

Plus governments are prone to the siren calls of those calling for savage cuts in public spending and for tax breaks

With other financial priorities this pump-priming investment, ain't gonna happen.

There will be no Moon Base or any further live missions. :(

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 05:36 AM
Most of this would initially be paid for by government.

As Mrs Beeton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs_Beeton) says, First Catch your Rabbit.

Governments are made up of people with eyes on their electorate so they can get re-elected. Even if the executive are behind something, there may be others there to stick the boot in.

Plus governments are prone to the siren calls of those calling for savage cuts in public spending and for tax breaks

With other financial priorities this pump-priming investment, ain't gonna happen.

There will be no Moon Base or any further live missions. :(

Ye of little faith.

Jens
2005-Aug-09, 05:38 AM
I don't get it. Why build a base on the moon? There's no atmosphere (thus vast temp changes, dangerous radiation, huge pressure differentials to deal with in constructing buildings), extreme low gravity (bone mass loss), extremely scarce resources (oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon mainly), and abrasive dust. Most of the resources are in unusable forms - nobody has figured out a way to extract oxygen from moon rocks, and it likely would require too much energy to be practical.

I think the only practical reason for building a base on the moon would be, presuming that we can extract useful resources from the moon, to make it into a base for space exploration and colonization beyond the moon. Getting off the earth requires so much energy because of the high gravity and atmosphere, but getting spacecraft off the moon is much easier. I think the only practical way would be, once we've figured out how to use the resources, to send up robots to start building a base, and then send people when it is at a habitable stage.

So, if we have to take everything up from the earth, there would be no purpose to it; something like the ISS, or perhaps something in a lagrange point, would be much more practical. The only useful purpose would be to make use of the resources there.

BTW, is it really so hard to extract stuff like oxygen, carbon, aluminum, etc., from the moon?

Hazzard
2005-Aug-09, 10:26 AM
[quote=dunwitch]

So, if we have to take everything up from the earth, there would be no purpose to it; something like the ISS, or perhaps something in a lagrange point, would be much more practical. The only useful purpose would be to make use of the resources there.

BTW, is it really so hard to extract stuff like oxygen, carbon, aluminum, etc., from the moon?


I agree with most of what you said,but,why do you think there would be so hard to extract oxygen, carbon, aluminum,water etc., from the moon?

Unless you are talking about the hostile working enviroment,if so,then I get your point.


Ed,for the spelling of hostaijl. #-o

Sticks
2005-Aug-09, 10:54 AM
Unless you are talking about the hostal working enviroment,if so,then I get your point.

Is that Hostel related to this lot (http://www.yha.org.uk) :lol:

Or are you referring to hostile working invironments :wink:

Eroica
2005-Aug-09, 11:58 AM
Perfect Spot for a Moon Base (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/050413_moon_perfect.html)


The best spot to settle on the Moon may be on the northern rim of Peary crater, close to the north pole....

Peary Crater (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/lunar_orbiter/bin/info.shtml?153)

Jens
2005-Aug-09, 01:02 PM
Unless you are talking about the hostal working enviroment,if so,then I get your point.

Is that Hostel related to this lot (http://www.yha.org.uk) :lol:

Or are you referring to hostile working invironments :wink:

If you're going to criticize someone for the spelling of hostile, why do you spell environment "invironment"? :wink: Well, actually I'm sure it was just a typo.

Maybe the original intent wasn't "hostal," but rather "postal." After all, it's a long way to send a letter. :D

gopher65
2005-Aug-09, 02:29 PM
I'm almost completely certain that I read an article stating that the Chinese have decided to drop the idea of even sending people to the moon because of the huge costs involved, never mind the construction of a lunar base. I have no source for this unfortunately :(.

Managarm
2005-Aug-09, 03:47 PM
Well what if the construction could be financed by bringing back a valuable resource like Helium3. Fusions technology is not that far off.

sts60
2005-Aug-09, 04:13 PM
Chinese are a different matter, and could conceivably overtake US in manned spaceflight. However, I never saw a convincing reason why they would bother. Unlike old Soviet Union, Chinese Communist Party was never given to grandiose hang-the-cost propaganda displays. They are very practical people, and there is little practical (in the short term, anyway) in manned spaceflight.
Timing is a wonderful thing.

I just read this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/08/AR2005080801243.html) Washington Post article describing the Chinese gov't's penchant for lighting up vacant office buildings to impress visitors while factories go idle for lack of electricity.

madamwitty
2005-Aug-09, 04:27 PM
BTW, is it really so hard to extract stuff like oxygen, carbon, aluminum, etc., from the moon?

If we can do it (IMO, we probably can), we just haven't figured it out yet. Currently, there is a competition to figure out how to extract oxygen from lunar soil:

NASA Competition to Get Air from Lunar Soil (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/air_lunar_soil.html)

fossilnut2
2005-Aug-09, 04:27 PM
This latest shuttle flight was a disaster for manned flight. The worse scenario. A 'successful' flight after 2.5 years but a grounded fleet with the clock turned back again....no need to make a decisive decision to scrap the beast. There will be talk of the next flight but not before..blah, blah...

The space program is in Limbo...again. no leadership.

The nuts and bolts of any Moon habitation is well down the road in the future. There is 'drift' at NASA over the Shuttle and ISS. The hands-on capabilities are eroding and don't assume their will be a ready made infrastructure in place to 'go back to the Moon'...let alone put any yet-to-be-though-out small living quarters in place. Something goes wrong on the ISS and everyone hops on the taxi and comes home. Something goes wrong on a moon base and ?.

Hopefully I'm just on a negative rant and in 25 years McDonalds will put up a sign on their lunar franchise declaring one million sold as some astronaut bites into his McMoon Burger

fossilnut2
2005-Aug-09, 04:37 PM
BTW, is it really so hard to extract stuff like oxygen, carbon, aluminum, etc., from the moon?

If we can do it (IMO, we probably can), we just haven't figured it out yet. Currently, there is a competition to figure out how to extract oxygen from lunar soil:

NASA Competition to Get Air from Lunar Soil (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/air_lunar_soil.html)

Aluminum from the moon???!!!!

You fellows had better read your chemistry and metallury texts. The industrial and energy requirements to process ore into useable aluminum wire, ingots or sheets is quite beyond anything that is done on the Moon...and quite beyond the capability of most places on Earth. There's a reason why the ores is shipped thousands of miles for processing.

Samara
2005-Aug-09, 04:41 PM
This latest shuttle flight was a disaster for manned flight. The worse scenario. A 'successful' flight after 2.5 years but a grounded fleet with the clock turned back again....no need to make a decisive decision to scrap the beast. There will be talk of the next flight but not before..blah, blah...

The space program is in Limbo...again. no leadership.

The nuts and bolts of any Moon habitation is well down the road in the future. There is 'drift' at NASA over the Shuttle and ISS. The hands-on capabilities are eroding and don't assume their will be a ready made infrastructure in place to 'go back to the Moon'...let alone put any yet-to-be-though-out small living quarters in place. Something goes wrong on the ISS and everyone hops on the taxi and comes home. Something goes wrong on a moon base and ?.

Hopefully I'm just on a negative rant and in 25 years McDonalds will put up a sign on their lunar franchise declaring one million sold as some astronaut bites into his McMoon Burger

I'd have it the same, except I'd have it be BK...
It was actually rather funny, I was in the Future City Club, and it was our job to design a city on the moon. Our idea was one of the giant domes, with alage farms for oxygen needs. Now that I think about it, it was comepetely unfeasible.

But how would you create oxgen from rock?

skrap1r0n
2005-Aug-09, 05:01 PM
There are quite a few reasons to build a habitat on the moon, however IMO, they are all directly related to manned missions. I do not believe there is anything available on the moon that's not available on Earth.

I believe if we do start sending manned missions to mars, the moon would be the best stepping stone to get us there. If for no other reason that to place a refinery on the moon to extract fuel. The problem is, we have to get into the mindset that we need people up there. Personally, I believe we do because, well we have people everywhere else we can get to.

Here is the way I would like to see us move forward.

First we need to make the decision that we want a permanent human presence on the moon. Who cares if we have to rotate them out every three months or so, we just need to make the decision.

Next, we develop the habitat. Without getting into a bunch of specifics, I believe we can develop a habitat that could be used on mars, on the moon or just in space, kind of like a tent can be used in a forest, in a desert or even hanging off the side of a mountain or in the arctic. One, multi purpose design that can be deployed whereever we need it.

Add some "Warehouse Pods" to ISS. This would allow us to launch several unmanned flights to rally the cargo to a single point in space. This would serve as a staging area for the initial moon flight. The CEV/LEM unit would be assembled at the ISS staging area. The crew would fly up seperately for the mission.

Once everything is assembled in LEO, the crew hops in for a burn to the moon. Once in a lunar orbit, first, the cargo pods are dropped to the colony site. Once the pods are down, the crew will land on the site and begin assembly.

The next step would be to insert a staging area in lunar orbit, similar to using ISS as a staging area. This way, you can have craft whose sole job is transport people or cargo from space station to space station. this way, the only launch vehicles needed would be from earth to LEO or Moon to LLO.

Persoanlly, I believe this is the most cost efficient way of colonizing the moon and eventually, mars.

formulaterp
2005-Aug-09, 05:01 PM
This latest shuttle flight was a disaster for manned flight. The worse scenario.

Hardly. The loss of the orbiter and crew would have been far worse. That may have spelled the end of manned spaceflight. This is certainly a setback but the STS will fly again.


The space program is in Limbo...again. no leadership.

Nonsense. Even though I don't support all of Griffin's vision, I certainly wouldn't argue that he lacks one. The path is quite clear. Get the shuttle flying again. Complete the ISS. Move on to the Moon and eventually Mars. What indication do you have that this is not the case? NASA's budget for FY06-07 already includes developmental funds for the CEV. The budget was approved by Congress, and the money will be spent.


don't assume their will be a ready made infrastructure in place to 'go back to the Moon

If NASA offers $30 billion to construct this infrastructure (CEV, HLV, moon base) you can go right ahead and assume that the aerospace industry will step right up and cash those checks.


Something goes wrong on the ISS and everyone hops on the taxi and comes home. Something goes wrong on a moon base and ?.

Once upon a time something went terribly wrong on the way to the moon. We had contingency plans, and figured a way out. You don't think we would take similar precautions this time around? This alone isn't a reason to not go to the moon. Something may go wrong while driving on the interstate, or flying across the Atlantic. Yet we still do those things.


Hopefully I'm just on a negative rant

Hopefully.

Sticks
2005-Aug-09, 05:36 PM
Maybe Congress has given NASA it's funding so far, but may be to placate GW, who inspite of the Iraqi War fall out won a second term.

But what happens when GW leaves?

Suppose you get a democrat elected who says

"Space travel may be exciting, but is it morally right to spend these vast sums, when children are dying today of hunger, when our elderly can not afford to heat their homes and are dying from the cold. Now is the time to step back and turn our attention on getting our house in order. Only when there is no child in the world who goes hungry, only when no sick person goes untreated, no child goes uneducated, will it be morally acceptable to once again reach for the skys, etc...."

As I mentioned before, on another thread, the cost of just one rover on Mars was utterly condemmed as a waste of public money, that should be spent on hospitals and schools and feeding the starving children of the third world.

All it needs is a change in the executive and Congress will find the excuse to pull the plug.

Governments do that when they change, look at the Canadian example over the cancelled replacement hellicopter project... [-X

skrap1r0n
2005-Aug-09, 06:29 PM
As I mentioned before, on another thread, the cost of just one rover on Mars was utterly condemmed as a waste of public money, that should be spent on hospitals and schools and feeding the starving children of the third world.

They are different arguments. in order for this argument to work, you would have to apply it to every last part of Gov't spending. Using "Starving Children" is an emotional, yet completely irrelevant hook. Using your logic, this argument could be applied to all aspects of Gov't spending.

Is it morally right to send federal money to state highway departments when there are children starving

Is it morally right to subsidize state education departments when there are children getting sick in third world countries.

Is it morally right to allow for Gov't home buyers programs when there are children without shelter in third world countries.

Is it morally right to allow anyone to have more money than they need to aquire the basic necessities when there are children starving?

For the record and not to further hijack a thread, but to solve the "Starving Children" argument, one has to look at the people that are keeping the money that's already available out of the hands of the starving children, namely, their local Gov't/warlords.

Ilya
2005-Aug-09, 06:35 PM
As I mentioned before, on another thread, the cost of just one rover on Mars was utterly condemmed as a waste of public money, that should be spent on hospitals and schools and feeding the starving children of the third world.

They are different arguments. in order for this argument to work, you would have to apply it to every last part of Gov't spending. Using "Starving Children" is an emotional, yet completely irrelevant hook. Using your logic, this argument could be applied to all aspects of Gov't spending.
I don't think Sticks believes NASA budget should be spent feeding children. He says that's the emotional argument a Democratic President is likely to use. Which is not at all farfetched -- Democratic Party hates Bush so much, the next Dem president may cancel Moon-Mars Vision for no other reason than Bush initiated it.

teddyv
2005-Aug-09, 06:42 PM
BTW, is it really so hard to extract stuff like oxygen, carbon, aluminum, etc., from the moon?

Aluminum is smelted from bauxite, essentially aluminum oxide. It takes an obscene amount of electricity to do this (don't have numbers). Most smelters are located next to the cheapest electricity producer possible.

hewhocaves
2005-Aug-09, 06:49 PM
In my opinion, thhe current adminstration seems to be setting up a pretty solid anti-science foundation for the US, so I think we'll see the Europeans and Chinese leaping past us on all fronts, not just spaceflight (manned or unmanned).

CJSF

yeah, and there's a good chance that if that philosophy becomes prevelent that my grandkids will be living in Europe again. And with the anti-science / pro-religion lobby with a deathgrip on the hearts and minds of the people, expect them to start 'exporting' their middle age beliefs and agitating when we don't openly embrace them.

at which point, we'll be comforted by the fact that we'll have worked out how to permanantly leave this rock and do so. :P

John

fossilnut2
2005-Aug-09, 06:49 PM
"Hardly. The loss of the orbiter and crew would have been far worse. That may have spelled the end of manned spaceflight."

Huh? Why? You are confusing the worse scenario of future manned flight with the worse scenario for this Shuttle Crew. We're all glad they are safe. Now What? Is the next launch on schedule? No. Not even remotely. They had 2.5 years to fix the foam issue and it didn't work. now they will twiddle thumbs for a year or so and then pull the plug on the Shuttle.

The Shuttle is not going to fly again. This successful mission (and no foam fix) just means that 'moving on' has been delayed another year or so.

('manned flight' is much bigger than the USA in 2005 just as sailing means more than a Phoenician vessel in 800 B.C. It's nonsense to believe that it would be the end of manned flight because of a Shuttle disaster. There will be many more space disasters in the years, decades and centuries to come but it'll never be the end of manned flight).

skrap1r0n
2005-Aug-09, 06:55 PM
I don't think Sticks believes NASA budget should be spent feeding children. He says that's the emotional argument a Democratic President is likely to use. Which is not at all farfetched -- Democratic Party hates Bush so much, the next Dem president may cancel Moon-Mars Vision for no other reason than Bush initiated it.

Well yeah, I agree with that.

hewhocaves
2005-Aug-09, 06:55 PM
We're not going to go to the moon (or the astroids or what not) until either a) we solve all the problems on earth and have aboslutely nothing to do or b) it becomes a commerical necessity.

Europe invade the New World out of commercial necessity (read: percived commercial necessity). And it was a nasty business for about three hundred years (at least) with disease, war, storms, etc... Furhtermore, while the gold and silver was all pretty and nice, it was the more mundane raw resources that drove us there.

So if you want to go to te moon, the best (and possibly most Machiavellian) strategy is to use up on earth something that is necessary and abundant on the moon.

John

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 07:13 PM
Or the Democrats may latch onto the space initiatives as a popular endeavor in order to show their patriotic side and go on to claim it is a democratic legacy of JFK not GWB. Without wanting to start a political argument I think it should be pointed out that the democrats no longer seem self-defined, but are defined by what they argue against the Republicans. I don't think a Democrat will ever be elected president again until they take ownership of popular projects in their own right.

http://www.asi.org is a good place to find moonbase speculation. While I don't necessarily agree with all of their plans, I find their articles to be informative.

I don't think landing a constructed space-base on the moon is the best idea. It would require a lot of difficult construction in free-fall then lots of distributed loading arrangements for landing rockets that prevent the structure from failing upon thrust or impact. My plan calls for sending break-bulk pre-fabricated materials that could be assembled in-situ in a few days. Landing the materials may not require much in the way of rockets because they may not need soft-landings but perhaps rolling or skidding landings. If parts are damaged on impact it matters less as they are all interchangable. Even with lots of landing damage, enough parts should be available for assembly of one or more structures, while a space-assembled structure is unusable if damaged (or it needs to be salvaged, cannibalized, and then reassembled).

skrap1r0n
2005-Aug-09, 07:16 PM
I don't think landing a constructed space-base on the moon is the best idea. It would require a lot of difficult construction in free-fall then lots of distributed loading arrangements for landing rockets that prevent the structure from failing upon thrust or impact. My plan calls for sending break-bulk pre-fabricated materials that could be assembled in-situ in a few days. Landing the materials may not require much in the way of rockets because they may not need soft-landings but perhaps rolling or skidding landings. If parts are damaged on impact it matters less as they are all interchangable. Even with lots of landing damage, enough parts should be available for assembly of one or more structures, while a space-assembled structure is unusable if damaged (or it needs to be salvaged, cannibalized, and then reassembled).

Thats why you would use inflatable domes for the structure. Once the domes are inflated, workers could haul in whatever hardware they need for their labs and such.

Infinity Watcher
2005-Aug-09, 07:31 PM
Europeans? Don't make me laugh. While current administration may be "anti-science", it is nothing compared to Green/Luddite sentiments in Europe. Their worship of Nature is just as superstitious as American Fundamentalist worship. As an example -- British (probably LEAST Luddite country in Western Europe) Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.


Could you provide a link please, I've heard nothing of this and a google just shows up the legislation about the using mobile phones whilst driving and this page (http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=20289&CONTENT_ITEM _TYPE=0&MENU_ID=10275) implies no legislation.

edited for brevity

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 08:05 PM
I don't think landing a constructed space-base on the moon is the best idea. It would require a lot of difficult construction in free-fall then lots of distributed loading arrangements for landing rockets that prevent the structure from failing upon thrust or impact. My plan calls for sending break-bulk pre-fabricated materials that could be assembled in-situ in a few days. Landing the materials may not require much in the way of rockets because they may not need soft-landings but perhaps rolling or skidding landings. If parts are damaged on impact it matters less as they are all interchangable. Even with lots of landing damage, enough parts should be available for assembly of one or more structures, while a space-assembled structure is unusable if damaged (or it needs to be salvaged, cannibalized, and then reassembled).

Thats why you would use inflatable domes for the structure. Once the domes are inflated, workers could haul in whatever hardware they need for their labs and such.

Oh, you were referring to the transportation vehicles being assembled in orbit. My mistake. I still wonder if an inflatable struture would be able to hold several meters of lunar regolith over itself for shielding. My designs did take advantage of inflatable sealant technologies but I think we'd still need aluminum posts, beams, and sheets to support the shielding material over the inflatables.

BTW, some people are wondering what there is on the moon that is not here on earth. Here are a few things:
unclouded solar radiation
Helium-3
Vacuum
Low gravity
easier access to interplanetary space

formulaterp
2005-Aug-09, 08:06 PM
Huh? Why? You are confusing the worse scenario of future manned flight with the worse scenario for this Shuttle Crew.

Please go back and read your post. You specifically wrote: "This latest shuttle flight was a disaster for manned flight. The worse scenario." Now I assume you meant worst, as in the superlative of bad.

Now are you seriously going to argue that the effect of the loss of the orbiter and crew, on the future of manned spaceflight, would not have been "worse" than the relatively succesful mission which just concluded? And please note that I never said that it would have meant the end of manned spaceflight, but rather the word I used was may. (http://www.answers.com/may)


now they will twiddle thumbs for a year or so and then pull the plug on the Shuttle. The Shuttle is not going to fly again.

It's interesting that you can speak so authoritatively on the subject.

hewhocaves
2005-Aug-09, 08:06 PM
Europeans? Don't make me laugh. While current administration may be "anti-science", it is nothing compared to Green/Luddite sentiments in Europe. Their worship of Nature is just as superstitious as American Fundamentalist worship. As an example -- British (probably LEAST Luddite country in Western Europe) Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.


Could you provide a link please, I've heard nothing of this and a google just shows up the legislation about the using mobile phones whilst driving and this page (http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=20289&CONTENT_ITEM _TYPE=0&MENU_ID=10275) just says
the Department recommends controlled use, especially by children.

well thank God our cell phones over here dont' have that problem (slow dawning of realization... heyyy..!
:o

and even if europe is overrun with Luddites, it simply proves that stupidity is universal. Furthermore, I suspect that the Ludite movement in Europe (western europe anyway) isn't as prolific as the fundamentalist movement in the US

John

hewhocaves
2005-Aug-09, 08:27 PM
BTW, some people are wondering what there is on the moon that is not here on earth. Here are a few things:
unclouded solar radiation
Helium-3
Vacuum
Low gravity
easier access to interplanetary space

hmmm.. [devils' advocate]

Helium-3: not realy hit its prime yet. No real need.

Vacuum: cna get in Sears (oh wait...). Can create on earth with tool from Sears.

Low Gravity: Fun and exciting, but not really sure how it translated into the almighty dollar in such a way that warrants the trip.

Easier access to space: to what end? That's a slippery slope, logically, you're treading under

[/devils' advocate]

now if, for example, we discovered that the only way you could make massively cheap fusion safely was to do it with the lower gravity and (relative) vacuum of the moon then you might have an argument. Or at least a starting point for one.

Mind you, I WANT to go to the moon. I want to whack the %^#$#@ out of a golf ball too!

John

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 09:30 PM
BTW, some people are wondering what there is on the moon that is not here on earth. Here are a few things:
unclouded solar radiation
Helium-3
Vacuum
Low gravity
easier access to interplanetary space

hmmm.. [devils' advocate]

Helium-3: not realy hit its prime yet. No real need.

Vacuum: cna get in Sears (oh wait...). Can create on earth with tool from Sears.

Low Gravity: Fun and exciting, but not really sure how it translated into the almighty dollar in such a way that warrants the trip.

Easier access to space: to what end? That's a slippery slope, logically, you're treading under

[/devils' advocate]

now if, for example, we discovered that the only way you could make massively cheap fusion safely was to do it with the lower gravity and (relative) vacuum of the moon then you might have an argument. Or at least a starting point for one.

Mind you, I WANT to go to the moon. I want to whack the %^#$#@ out of a golf ball too!

John

Well, that post was just stating that such things are available on the moon and not on earth, not that there was any supposed utility to it or that it was worth the investment. But if you want speculation on usage, here goes:

Access to undiminished solar radiation may find use in power production using solar thermal and solar PV systems. It may end up being important for fusion power for renewing H and He supplies. It might be important in fission power as a source for He used in MPBR fluid heat transport. It might be important to capture the solar wind for other industries. Perhaps protium ions will be captured then used as rocket fuel with lunar oxygen or used to synthesize water for drinking, life support (humidity and heat transport), agriculture, commercial chemistry and fabrication technologies, and as reaction mass for nuclear rockets.

Access to Helium-3 might be important for fusion reactions for both energy and propulsion. He3 has shown usage in cryogenics, which might be useful for materials technology as well as biology. He3 may also be directly useful in superconductivity (not just as a cryogenic in superconductivity) lending itself to communications, electronics, and transportation possibly including a lunar quenchgun for non-rocket ascent to lunar orbit or beyond.

Hard vacuum is available on the lunar surface which might be useful in materials extraction and fabrication processes. This could be useful in the fields of medicine and electronics as well as macro-engineering.

Low gravity (with or without vacuum) might be useful for medicine, mining, materials fabrication related to electronics and jewelry, and manufacturing and assembly. One of the biggest benefits of low gravity will probably be access to microgravity in free-fall orbits (see next).

Easy access to interplanetary space will be helpful in reaching other objects in the solar system. This means that some satellite launches will cost less, assuming they are manufactured and assembled on the moon. This also means that free-fall fabrication, manufacturing, and assembly will be possible leading to products with potentially higher tolerances. This might be useful in medicine, electronics, macro and micro engineering, automotive and other transportation industries.

As for your fusion comments, I do have an idea for fusion power generation that would take advantage of low gravity for infrastructure and vacuum to reduce heat transport. Moreover, if there were a catastrophic failure of such a system the vacuum and low gravity might allow for the radioactive particles and gasses to escape Luna entirely and the sparsely populated lunar surface might be a good place to test these energy systems.

hewhocaves
2005-Aug-09, 09:37 PM
As for your fusion comments, I do have an idea for fusion power generation that would take advantage of low gravity for infrastructure and vacuum to reduce heat transport. Moreover, if there were a catastrophic failure of such a system the vacuum and low gravity might allow for the radioactive particles and gasses to escape Luna entirely and the sparsely populated lunar surface might be a good place to test these energy systems.

Oh I was pulling that out of my posterior.

The downside is that there are a lot of "mights" and "ifs" in your speculation and we can still achieve the same results cheaper with stuff here on earth. So, once again, as much as I'd like to see Lunar settlements, there's still no good reason for it.

John

Ilya
2005-Aug-09, 09:42 PM
Europeans? Don't make me laugh. While current administration may be "anti-science", it is nothing compared to Green/Luddite sentiments in Europe. Their worship of Nature is just as superstitious as American Fundamentalist worship. As an example -- British (probably LEAST Luddite country in Western Europe) Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.


Could you provide a link please, I've heard nothing of this and a google just shows up the legislation about the using mobile phones whilst driving and this page (http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=20289&CONTENT_ITEM _TYPE=0&MENU_ID=10275) implies no legislation.

You are right, it was not a legislation, but a recommendation by Department of Education, but it was taken seriously both by the schools and by mobile phone manufacturers:

http://www.cellular.co.za/news_2000/news-08052000_uk_schools_warned_over_radiation.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4163003.stm

http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-134065-16&type=News

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1436543,00.html

Glom
2005-Aug-09, 09:54 PM
Like Richard Hammond and MMR.

skrap1r0n
2005-Aug-09, 10:22 PM
I don't think landing a constructed space-base on the moon is the best idea. It would require a lot of difficult construction in free-fall then lots of distributed loading arrangements for landing rockets that prevent the structure from failing upon thrust or impact. My plan calls for sending break-bulk pre-fabricated materials that could be assembled in-situ in a few days. Landing the materials may not require much in the way of rockets because they may not need soft-landings but perhaps rolling or skidding landings. If parts are damaged on impact it matters less as they are all interchangable. Even with lots of landing damage, enough parts should be available for assembly of one or more structures, while a space-assembled structure is unusable if damaged (or it needs to be salvaged, cannibalized, and then reassembled).

Thats why you would use inflatable domes for the structure. Once the domes are inflated, workers could haul in whatever hardware they need for their labs and such.

Oh, you were referring to the transportation vehicles being assembled in orbit. My mistake. I still wonder if an inflatable struture would be able to hold several meters of lunar regolith over itself for shielding. My designs did take advantage of inflatable sealant technologies but I think we'd still need aluminum posts, beams, and sheets to support the shielding material over the inflatables.

BTW, some people are wondering what there is on the moon that is not here on earth. Here are a few things:
unclouded solar radiation
Helium-3
Vacuum
Low gravity
easier access to interplanetary space

It could hold a layer of regolith. You would design inflatable ribs on the outer and you could probably hold between 6 and 8" of regolith. And yeah you could have it use a light framework.

The thing is, one design built modular could serve on the moon, on mars or free floating in LEO/LO. If the pods were cabable of interconnecting with each other simply, then you could really use them just about anywhere, any way you needed. The walls could be built like a super heavy duty space suit, maybe with a self sealing liquid to auto seal any leaks for safety.

I wonder how large of an inflated pod you could carry up, deflated and folded up in the shuttle bay?

The real breakthrough will come when corporations realize that there is a lot more money's worth of raw materials on the other side of mars as there is on the Earth. The you will see space travel reduced to an operation as routine as offshore oil field operations.

Ara Pacis
2005-Aug-09, 10:39 PM
As for your fusion comments, I do have an idea for fusion power generation that would take advantage of low gravity for infrastructure and vacuum to reduce heat transport. Moreover, if there were a catastrophic failure of such a system the vacuum and low gravity might allow for the radioactive particles and gasses to escape Luna entirely and the sparsely populated lunar surface might be a good place to test these energy systems.

Oh I was pulling that out of my posterior.

The downside is that there are a lot of "mights" and "ifs" in your speculation and we can still achieve the same results cheaper with stuff here on earth. So, once again, as much as I'd like to see Lunar settlements, there's still no good reason for it.

John

True, much of this can be done on a small scale on earth using vacuum chambers and drop towers, but an economy of scale might make Luna attractive down the road. Ball bearings are, or were, made in drop towers, but internal combustion engine blocks might not be capable of an analogous fabrication method. And anyone who wanted or needed the tolerances granted by vacuum and free-fall would probably want the capability to replicate the process for mass production.

This is the reason for my massive lunar base initiative. It essentially answers it's own question of "why" by bootstrapping itself into existence. The raw materials and prefab materials can't be that expensive. The initial bases would be constructed using nothing more than rolled and stamped aluminum sheet metal, polyethylene sheeting, silicone gel, and kevlar. The major cost would be transportation, but without using man-rated vehicles that are disposable, we could lower that cost. If we plan on a large base then we increase the number of rockets which should drive down the costs of rocket parts dramatically. Instead of extrapolating costs on a single STS mission we should extrapolate the costs from 1000 Big Dumb Boosters over the course of 10 years or less. I do think that such an initiative might lower the cost per flight to tens of millions of dollars or less by introducing an economy of scale.

Hazzard
2005-Aug-10, 01:18 PM
Lets hope they get to it,in our lifetime!

That would be something to watch on TV " -live from the mining colony on the moon." :)

Sticks
2005-Aug-10, 03:33 PM
I don't think Sticks believes NASA budget should be spent feeding children. He says that's the emotional argument a Democratic President is likely to use. Which is not at all farfetched -- Democratic Party hates Bush so much, the next Dem president may cancel Moon-Mars Vision for no other reason than Bush initiated it.

Exactly

Look at the Canadian example

A previous administration had ordered new helicopters to replace the aging Seaking fleet for the Canadian Royal air Force.

Come a change of Government and the new administration paid $500,000,0000 to cancel the contract, because it was set up by the previous lot, even though it would have been cheaper to let it complete and the Canadian Airforce still has to use the aging SeaKings.

publiusr
2005-Aug-10, 08:54 PM
For a moon base to be possible-- we must push not only for HLLV but for even larger vehicles. I want us to get to a point that HLLV is the Delta II of the future--with 500 ton to LEO systems of great simplicity like SEA Dragon to follow that.

Hazzard
2005-Aug-12, 10:29 PM
Haven't heard from Jay or Phil in a wile...I for one would love to hear their thoughts on this,speculative I know,but ....what isn't? :)

Hazzard
2005-Aug-30, 11:20 AM
Artemis Project?

Anyone ever heard of that?
I guess its a private enterprise to establish a moon base.



http://www.asi.org/


My money is still on NASA. :)

Sticks
2005-Aug-30, 12:24 PM
It ain't gonna happen

Even if someone did have the wealth to do it, they would not be allowed to do it because of it's strategic significance.

My money is still on personned space flight ending, and in time seen as an expensive folly of the 20th and early 21st century. :(

Argos
2005-Aug-30, 01:52 PM
China this, China that... I don´t think China has the foundations for building such a grandiose future. I am skeptical about China (one of the few in the world).

eburacum45
2005-Aug-30, 09:40 PM
I am convinced that lunar mining of aluminium, oxygen, titanium, silicon and iron will be competitive in the medium term with launching the same materials from Earth; the vacuum of space and abundant solar energy could allow methods of extraction not viable on Earth.
Some links
http://www.asi.org/adb/02/13/02/silicon-production.html
http://www.asi.org/adb/02/13/02/aluminum-production.html
http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/10/04/oxygen-extraction.html
and
http://www.permanent.com/l-minera.htm
http://www.permanent.com/l-mining.htm

(all these methods of extraction are currently speculative of course)...

Eventually I would like to imagine that most of the spaceships built in the Earth-Moon region will be built on the Moon or in orbit from lunar materials and pressurised with lunar oxygen.
The exploration and perhaps colonisation of the rest of the solar system could depend on the Moon. But very little of value will be imported from space to Earth untill there is a system-wide economy; such a situation could be hundreds of years in the future.

Short term investors will be disappointed.

Van Rijn
2005-Aug-30, 11:42 PM
I am convinced that lunar mining of aluminium, oxygen, titanium, silicon and iron will be competitive in the medium term with launching the same materials from Earth; the vacuum of space and abundant solar energy could allow methods of extraction not viable on Earth.

Eventually I would like to imagine that most of the spaceships built in the Earth-Moon region will be built on the Moon or in orbit from lunar materials and pressurised with lunar oxygen.


I agree with this, and could see lunar - and asteroid - materials used to expand or build space stations and spacecraft fairly early on, as well as being a source for oxygen and other volitiles.



But very little of value will be imported from space to Earth untill there is a system-wide economy; such a situation could be hundreds of years in the future. Short term investors will be disappointed.


But I don't agree with this. NEO asteroids with a low delta-v requirement would be a good alternative to the moon, especially for elements that are rare there. A much expanded sample-return spacecraft, similar to solar/ion drive probes today could gather material from NEO asteroids, but would probably be easier and cheaper to build and fly than creating a lunar infrastructure. The downside would be the long flight times. After the development of ET resources are established for expanding the space infrastructure, I could see asteroid mining expand for earth markets in certain precious metals such as platinum. I expect it would take decades, but not centuries.

I could see ET resource development to start much earlier than many suspect, though initially at a very small scale.

PhantomWolf
2005-Aug-31, 03:51 AM
I'm not totally sure why a Democratic government in the US would be suspect of canning any space program. Look at history. Kennedy, the major political proponent of the Apollo Program was a Democratic. Johnson who was the major backer and the man who convinced Kennedy to do it was a Democratic. Nixon who was the one that canned Apollo early and slashed NASA's bugets was a Republican. Seems to me that Democrats are more likely to be inspired by Kennedy's dream and support a lng term space exploration program than the Rebuplicans.

Bsesides, it's irrelevant whether the Shuttle is canned of not. Further exploration can not be Shuttle based and so the Shuttle has to be replaced in some form prior to the construction of either a Moon Base or a mission onwards to Mars. While I don't believe they will be mothballed until the ISS is completed, even if they were permanently grounded, all it does is open the door to getting a new system which works towards those goals, sooner.

My personal feelings are that Sticks and co are just being overly pesimistic.

Ilya
2005-Aug-31, 03:58 AM
I'm not totally sure why a Democratic government in the US would be suspect of canning any space program. Look at history. Kennedy, the major political proponent of the Apollo Program was a Democratic. Johnson who was the major backer and the man who convinced Kennedy to do it was a Democratic. Nixon who was the one that canned Apollo early and slashed NASA's bugets was a Republican. Seems to me that Democrats are more likely to be inspired by Kennedy's dream and support a lng term space exploration program than the Rebuplicans.
Kennedy was the only Democratic president who left office with higher NASA budget than the one he inherited. Nixon was the only Republican to do the opposite.

Aside from those two, every Democratic Administration (including Johnson) shrank NASA budget, and every Republican one increased it.

Jens
2005-Aug-31, 07:46 AM
[quote=Jens]
Aluminum is smelted from bauxite, essentially aluminum oxide. It takes an obscene amount of electricity to do this (don't have numbers). Most smelters are located next to the cheapest electricity producer possible.

I think the economics of it all would be different on the moon. Obviously we'd have to put up a big array of solar panels. Thanfully, not too much concern about what to do on cloudy days. :)

Jens
2005-Aug-31, 07:51 AM
Thats why you would use inflatable domes for the structure. Once the domes are inflated, workers could haul in whatever hardware they need for their labs and such.

Wouldn't it be better to send up a big machine, like the borers they use to build subway tunnels, and have it dig a big cave, maybe in the wall of a crater? You could coat the walls with some plastic material.

I would see the following advantages: First, you'd get radiation shielding. Second, the base would only be exposed to the outside through a few doors, so you wouldn't have problems with leaks or structural failure.

publiusr
2005-Aug-31, 06:50 PM
One way or the other--you are going to have to have big rockets. That has to come first, folks. And with the recent Hurricane poeple will be wanting Bush to cut NASA so more money will go into rebuilding their Sport-utes, Yachts and condos--while calling space a waste.

Sigh.

eburacum45
2005-Aug-31, 08:29 PM
Wouldn't it be better to send up a big machine, like the borers they use to build subway tunnels, and have it dig a big cave, maybe in the wall of a crater? You could coat the walls with some plastic material.

I would see the following advantages: First, you'd get radiation shielding. Second, the base would only be exposed to the outside through a few doors, so you wouldn't have problems with leaks or structural failure.


Start with inflatable structures first, then move on to the hole boring mahines. Inflatable structures could be covered in a layer of low value regolith or mine tailings; I have seen suggestions for a layer of sandbags full of moondust.
Eventually the hole boring machines could be built on the Moon largely from lunar materials, if the colonisation of the Moon really takes off.

publiusr
2005-Sep-02, 07:25 PM
Perhaps a crack/cave off a crater for shelter?

Hazzard
2005-Sep-20, 08:41 AM
Another possible benefit.

Using moon materials to build a telescope much too large to launch. Build it on the far side of the moon to blocks the light reflecting off Earth. People from the colony could maintain it much more easily than an orbiting telescope. The advantages of a land-based telescope without the disadvantages of air and light pollution.

Techybod
2005-Sep-21, 09:07 AM
Europeans? <SNIP> As an example -- British (probably LEAST Luddite country in Western Europe) Parlament banned the use of cell phones by young children after a study authorized by Parlament failed to find any evidence of harm. Their reasoning: "even in the absence of scientific evidence, the regulation is necessary to assuade people's fears". In other words, ignorance and superstition became valid basis of legislation.

.
eh? - Must have missed that - as I live in the UK and every kid round here has a Mobile phone

Techybod
2005-Sep-21, 09:14 AM
Perhaps a crack/cave off a crater for shelter?

Definately going the right way there. Does anyone know the equipment needed to actually enable the construction of a undersurface base? I just remeber the issue of solar storms when the apollo missions were planned and it will be a larger issue if a semi perm base is ever constructed.

Hazzard
2005-Sep-21, 02:43 PM
Definately going the right way there. Does anyone know the equipment needed to actually enable the construction of a undersurface base? I just remeber the issue of solar storms when the apollo missions were planned and it will be a larger issue if a semi perm base is ever constructed.

I have no idea how serious this site is,I just found it 1 min ago,what do you think guys?

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/moontunnel.html

publiusr
2005-Sep-21, 06:51 PM
In the old Blow up the moon thread I had some info about an Acta Astronautica article calling faor a tunnel to be created to the center of the moon by shaped nuclear charges.

Launch window
2005-Sep-30, 06:35 PM
Soyuz will launch from the European Spaceport in French Guiana and we have seen the idea of the Ariane-M
http://www.marssociety.de/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&type=user&func=view&f=Marsinfos/Bemannt/european.html&menuID=M4130000000000000000
develop a Shuttle-derived launch vehicle (SDLV) capable of boosting 80-100 metric tons (tonnes) into low earth orbit (LEO) & this new rocket would presumably support NASA’s Project Constellation missions to the Moon and Mars.
Russian Mars Expedition
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/marpost.htm

publiusr
2005-Sep-30, 06:49 PM
Everyone will have an HLLV but us.

Eroica
2005-Oct-04, 02:39 PM
Shackleton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shackleton_%28crater%29)


Because the orbit of the Moon is only tilted 1.5° from the ecliptic, the interior of this crater lies in perpetual darkness. Peaks along the rim of the crater are almost continually illuminated by sunlight, spending about 80% of each lunar orbit exposed to the Sun. (Such a mount has been termed a Peak of Eternal Light, and such a formation has been predicted since the 1900s.)

Due to this almost constant illumination, the crater rim is considered a preferable location for a future lunar outpost. The light can be converted into energy using solar panels, providing electricity for all necessary purposes. The temperature at the location is also more favorable than on most of the surface, and does not experience the extremes along the lunar equator where it rises to 100 °C when the Sun is overhead, to as low as −150 °C during the lunar night.

The continuous shadows in the south polar craters cause the floors of these formations to maintain a temperature that never exceeds about −230 °C, or 43 K. Any water vapor that arrives here due to a cometary impact would lie permanently frozen on or below the surface. This suggests that the crater floors could potentially be "mined" for deposits of hydrogen in water form, a commodity that is expensive to deliver directly from the Earth.

adiffer
2005-Oct-05, 03:47 AM
Oh my.

Funding a government sponsored heavy lift vehicle has got to be one of the most expensive ways to put people on the Moon. If we go down that path, it won't matter which party is in power in the US. Someone will have to cancel the effort when the bills start to come in.

The only reasonable way to get people on the Moon to stay is to motivate the private sector properly. We have the money, resources, and talents to use approaches that make economic sense. We can't run jobs programs that way, so don't try the old approach. I've got a list of things that would be effective motivators that is as long as my arm. If anyone wants to hear them just say so, but until then I'll spare you all from the 'wonk' experience.

It really boils down to start small and be patient. The governments should be looking at this as an income source (tax) and NOT a jobs program (expense).

publiusr
2005-Oct-05, 07:26 PM
Not so--it is the least expensive way. The EELV to the moon is the most expensive. You still have this "smaller cheaper" propaganda from the Goldin era. The only way to reduce launch costs is to increase throw-weight. You get big things done in a hurry. ISS is such a failure because it used the approach you advocate. Five HLLV flights and it could have been finished decades ago. Trust me. Griffin knows what he is doing in advocating heavy-lift. It is the anti-heavy lift folks who have us in this rut, people!

And what has private spaceflight gotten us? A useless little toy called SS1. You motivate the private sector with a whip--otherwise you have the libertarian 'lack-of-jobs' programs--i.e. send heavy industry out of the country. That's why I call them free-traitors.

adiffer
2005-Oct-06, 01:17 AM
This isn't about trusting Griffin. He has a job to do and I respect that. I woudn't want the job, but I still respect him for taking it on.

EELV as it stands won't get us to the Moon at a price we can afford. HLLV won't happen for the same budget reasons. We really don't have a choice here. If the private sector isn't willing to do it, we won't be going back to the Moon any time soon.

Hazzard
2005-Oct-06, 09:51 AM
Before astronauts ever set foot on the Moon again, a robotic lander will lead the way. NASA is developing plans for a lunar lander that could launch as early as 2010.

The lander will not technically be a prototype for human missions. Rather, future versions of this lander could serve as cargo carriers for a lunar base.

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn8102

Launch window
2005-Oct-11, 02:00 PM
This isn't about trusting Griffin. He has a job to do and I respect that. I woudn't want the job, but I still respect him for taking it on.

EELV as it stands won't get us to the Moon at a price we can afford. HLLV won't happen for the same budget reasons. We really don't have a choice here. If the private sector isn't willing to do it, we won't be going back to the Moon any time soon.


the budget could become a big problem

publiusr
2005-Oct-12, 07:00 PM
Yeah--that worries me.

Gemini
2005-Oct-13, 01:51 AM
If all else fails, we'll get on some rich person's good side and build the thing ourselves.

publiusr
2005-Oct-13, 07:06 PM
Not going to happen. Bill Gates wife has really softened him, and is giving funds away overseas.

She would call a 10 billion moonshot a waste, though $10 billion in food--a happy meal for everyone on the planet would be human waste in a day--and you'd be broke, they'ed still be hungry, and you have no aerospace jobs to show for your trouble.

Eroica
2005-Oct-14, 11:11 AM
Malapert Crater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malapert_%28crater%29)


The southwestern part of the rim forms part of a 5-km-high rise in the surface that has been unofficially-designated Malapert Mountain ... The peak of this ridge lies almost exactly along 0° longitude, and it has the unusual attribute of always lying within sight of the Earth ... Due to the location of Malapert Mountain, it has been proposed as the site of a transmitter for an expedition to the south lunar pole.

Or back to the North Pole:

Peaks of Eternal Light (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_of_Eternal_Light)


Based on images from the Clementine lunar mission, a team from Johns Hopkins University determined that four locations along the rim of the Peary crater are Peaks of Eternal Light. This crater lies near the north pole of the Moon. No similar regions of eternal light exist at the less-mountainous south pole. Clementine's images were taken during the northern Lunar hemisphere's summer season, and it remains unknown whether these four mountains are shaded at any point during their local winter season.

genebujold
2005-Oct-16, 02:11 AM
Is there anyone that would like to speculate in how they are going to set up a future base on the moon.

Are there blueprints at this point,there has to be some sort of early plans on how to do this.

And how big is it supposed to be/how many astronauts/scientists when finished?

Water,food oxygen?

Hmm...

Funny you should ask...

My sixth grade gifted class project I did with one other person was the creation of a moon base. We used "cor-ten steel" for the dome, balloon dwellings which could hold pressure should the dome fail, developed air conditioning and water reclamations systems, mobile rocket launching pads with gyro-controlled stabilizing struts, a liner mass driver for launching refined ore back to Earth, solar-powered energy generation system that stored energy in salt phase conversion system for energy reclamation during the dark weeks, and a materials processing plant that used solar energy, centrifuges, and chemical extraction techniques to recover the most valuable products.

That was in '74 (now you know how old I am!)

Why would it be that difficult for engineers to design feasible lunar base?

The biggest problem they face is in not making it so fancy that the cost shoots through the roof!

LurchGS
2005-Oct-16, 04:07 AM
Without taking sides on the matter, I should like to point out that many/most of the transportation devices we use today started out as private industry/private ownership.

Airplanes are a great example - even with the demonstration of the Great European war in the 19-teens, most governments failed to capitalize on the idea. Instead of developing aircraft and strategies, we waited until the crazy Austrian came along and rubbed our noses in it.

On the other hand, private industry was busy selling better aircraft to individuals like my uncle. Eventually, other bright boys caught on and, using post war aircraft (again), *created* a market.

If somebody can create a [relatively] cheap tourist trade to ISS (and potential bretheren), more and more people will go, causing the relative price to drop - and causing the people with more money to go somewhere else. Where else? The moon is the obvious next answer.

The biggest flaw in this hypothesis is that the cultural emotions of today are far far different from what they were in the 1950s (and before). Back then the world was there for the taking, if you were bold enough. Now, there is so much CYA, boldness is looked down upon as leperosy was in times past.

Sticks
2005-Oct-16, 05:49 AM
Cya?

Eroica
2005-Oct-16, 10:35 AM
Cya? CYA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYA) (the second one, obviously! :))

[Edit: updated to reflect changes in wikipedia!]

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Jan-18, 12:32 PM
Executive Summary (Introduction-CEV): NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study Final Report (DRAFT) October 2005
http://www.moontoday.net/news/viewsr.html?pid=19067

Competition to Get Air from Lunar Soil
http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/air_lunar_soil.html?1952005

SpaceDev Claims Lunar Missions Can Be Completed For Less Than $10Bn
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/lunar-05zzv.html

publiusr
2006-Jan-25, 09:32 PM
SpaceDev says a lot of things. I find Griffin more credible than the HLLV bashers and their pathetic little toys.

Launch window
2006-Feb-13, 12:34 AM
NASA considers earlier lunar landing
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11101663/
Although NASA has yet to publicly unveil the details of the revised approach, dubbed "Lunar Sooner," internal documents obtained by Space News show that the agency's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has laid out a program that would achieve the first human lunar landing since Apollo by March 2017 — a full three years ahead of the 2020 date that President Bush set when he announced the exploration effort in 2004. When it unveiled its lunar exploration implementation plan last year, NASA envisioned a 2018 landing date.In order to minimize its long-term costs, NASA has since decided to reduce the amount of hardware development it intends to take on in the years ahead. Skipping the four-segmented solid rocket booster in favor of the five-segmented version is one example....
...To the Moon
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=18880
Back to the Moon between 2015 and 2020...
... NASA gets a budget increase
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/02/06/nasa.budget/
The Bush administration's 2007 budget calls for $16.8 billion for NASA, a 3.2 percent increase over this year's allocation. But the space agency still finds itself having to make tough funding choices in order to accomplish all the tasks on its "to-do list."...


Russia Hopes To Launch Reusable Spacecraft In 2012
http://www.physorg.com/news10644.html
..includes Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, Khrunichev Space Center, and Molniya Science and Production Association. As manned space flight capability has been put on top of the national agenda, the winner will have every incentive to deliver on its offers. Moreover, foreign players might join in if the project proves successful. Director General of the European Space Agency, Jean Jacques Dordain, has repeatedly made it clear that his organization is watching the project closely.
To move with the times, we certainly need new spacecraft designs that can take people to the Moon (and help sustain a human colony there) and eventually to Mars.
To calculate single-use launch costs - necessary to complete such a formidable effort - is already a challenging task; frequency of orbiting will be as crucial as the sheer total payload. Without reliable figures, the question arises: will reusable technology be commercially viable?
...Moonscam: Russians try to sell the Moon for foreign cash
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/551/1
In recent weeks Russians have discussed the possibility of establishing a lunar base on their own, perhaps to refine helium-3. James Oberg examines these pronouncements and sees them as another effort by Russian companies to win foreign funding...
...Russia to mine rare fuel on moon
http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060129-113631-6996r.htm
"We are planning to build a permanent base on the moon by 2015, and by 2020, we can begin the industrial-scale delivery ... of the rare isotope helium-3," Nikolai Sevastyanov, head of the Energia space corporation, was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying at an academic conference last week.

Destination: Moon. - Nation: China.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/chirbase.htm
Beginning in 2000, Chinese scientists began discussing preliminary work on a Chinese manned lunar base. Although not funded, it remains a long-term objective of the Chinese space program in the second quarter for the second quarter of the 21st Century...
..CHANG'E MOON EXPLORATION PROGRAMME
http://www.sinodefence.com/space/satellite/moonexploration.asp
..The Chinese government first announced that it was planning to carry out moon exploration and preliminary deep space research in its White Paper on China’s Space Activities published on 11 November 2000...
..Shenzhou VI orbital module works 100 days
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-01/26/content_4102239.htm
The orbital module from China's Shenzhou VI manned spacecraft has been in normal operation for 100 days, since separating from the re-entry module on Oct 17 last year.
Current monitoring data shows that all systems on the vessel, including power supply, altitude control and data management systems, are working well.


Ion engine could fly to Mars
http://www.flightinternational.com/Articles/2006/01/24/Navigation/177/204275/Ion+engine+could+fly+to+Mars.html
The European Space Agency and the Australian National University have successfully tested an ion engine that could one day take astronauts to Mars, at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands..
...From lab to living room: Making world class science a commercial reality
http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/bildung_wissenschaft/bericht-54294.html
UK scientists and engineers are playing are developing key technologies in a number of ESA space missions, leading to particular areas of expertise including the miniaturisation of instrumentation. UK involvement in Aurora, ESA’s planetary exploration programme, will help to strengthen the development of further technologies with wider application across a variety of sectors...
....Aurora Images
http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/Aurora_decision.asp
Exo Mars and ESA's Mars Sample Return orbiter

Launch window
2006-Mar-08, 01:52 AM
For a moon base to be possible-- we must push not only for HLLV but for even larger vehicles. I want us to get to a point that HLLV is the Delta II of the future--with 500 ton to LEO systems of great simplicity like SEA Dragon to follow that.


For a 'real' Moon base I assume people here are talking about sending astronauts and robots that will build a site, setting up a bio-dome, building a lunar settlement or setting up a fully functional moon colony.
http://es.geocities.com/gas_astronomia/astronautica/colonia_lunar.html
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=26272
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4439851
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4177064.stm
These are the types of Moon colonies envisioned by Arthur C Clark or that 2001Space movie, these lunar bases are also depicted in other sci-fi films or tv shows like Babylon-5, but they have also been planed by NASA and other space agency's ever since people started going into Space.

Right now we are exploring the Moon with robotic craft like ESA's Smart-1 which will scan the chemical make-up of the Moon, the European Smart-1 is also looking at craters for signs of frozen water and trying is determine the Moon's chemical composition by using X-ray. NASA's robotic LRO is due to take off in 2008 and will spend at least a year taking various photographs of the surface

Once we have found a suitable location for a 'Moon-Base' then we are going to need really big launchers, the payloads for setting up a Moon-site will be much bigger than Apollo. Setting up the first lunar city won't be easy or cheap, even the smallest of inital lunar settlements would need massive payloads of 500 tonnes might be needed to be lifted into orbit ( you'll need to lift stuff like fuel, materials, equipment, food, oxygen etc)
The American SDV/Magnum/HLLV/AresHeavyLift/CaLV ( I'm not sure of its current name ) is a start but it still won't be enough, to build a base we'd need perhaps 5 Ares/CaLV's + 1 CLV ( CEV launcher ).

There may be other possible launchers like
2
the European-HLLV/Ariane-M
or
3
the Chinese LongMarch5/ChangZheng6
or
4
the Russian designs like Angara-5UOHB/Energia/Angara-100

There are not many choices for Heavy-Lift to the Moon, and even the most powerful rockets of the future will have to be launched multiple times in order to get 500 tonnes into orbit.


NASA's SDV seems the most likely launcher to be built, it is also know as the AresHeavyLift or CaLV

publiusr
2006-Mar-08, 11:01 PM
I am going to have to start calling it CaLV since the term HLLV gets at some people.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Mar-26, 11:55 AM
U.S. Planning Base on Moon To Prepare for Trip to Mars

washingtonpost on the lunar base (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/25/AR2006032500999.html)

Scientists Hard at Work On Technological Hurdles

Mephisto
2006-Mar-26, 04:55 PM
Unlike a few people at the start of this thread, I don't think it's a certainty or even a probability that NASA's funding for moon exploration under the VSE will get cancelled. I'm sure funding will be questioned in the future, and the programme may even be aborted and brought about under a new name - but I don't think manned spaceflight is going out the window.

As for ESA, I'm not as pessimistic either. It really depends on how things happen politically in the EU. With the failure of the constitution and the so-called 'democratic deficit' with EU institutions, integration has stalled. We are supposedly in a 'period of reflection.' It depends how it goes from here: if the EU leaders manage to get it back on track - perhaps through a different constitution or simply cherry-picking the parts designed to make the EU more efficient and democratic - I don't think manned exploration (most likely within the decade or more after NASA and possibly even the Chinese) is that unlikely. After all, the Aurora programme theoretically plans trips to the moon and Mars by 2024 and 2030 respectively - though that particular component of the programme has not yet been finalised: I believe agreements are made about several-year stretches of the programme.

I know that the people that were optimistic in the 70's about being on Mars by the end of the century stand as warning against overestimating the technological and exploratory advances of the short-term. Nevertheless, I think we're going to go through a decade or so of stalling in space exploration as NASA phases out the shuttle, brings in the CEV and starts to implement the VSE; and Europe decides its fate in terms of politics. After that, I think we might start seeing results.

Personally I'd be disappointed if someone hadn't returned to the moon by 2020 and visited Mars by 2030.

VenusROVER
2006-Mar-26, 06:56 PM
The best place to build a lunar base would be the aitken basin on the south pole.

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Mar-26, 09:24 PM
The best place to build a lunar base would be the aitken basin on the south pole.
You might want to elaborate on that.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-26, 11:29 PM
The best place to build a lunar base would be the aitken basin on the south pole.
Specifically, when Halcyon Dayz is saying "elaborate" what he means if that you've made a categorical statrement with nothing specific to back it up. You're new here, so no one thinks less of you for not doing this (this time), but generally, if you say something like "this is so", it should include a "because...".

Do you think this because you think it will get more sunlight? (I don't think it will), or because the gravity is a little stronger there? (it is, but not much) or perhaps because there's some mineralogical advantage to that location over any other place on the moon.

Most people talking about the poles as a place for a base focus on the few craters where the floors of the craters are in perpetual darkness, and the peaks at the rims are in perpetual light. Aitkins doesn't fit this measure.

VenusROVER
2006-Mar-27, 01:24 AM
Aitikens basin is in pure darkness it cold have water and if theres no light no radiaton problem

antoniseb
2006-Mar-27, 01:33 AM
Aitikens basin is in pure darkness it cold have water and if theres no light no radiaton problem

OK, you have the right idea about where to land, you just don't know the names of the landmarks.

VenusROVER
2006-Mar-27, 01:34 AM
what you mean south pole atikens basin

antoniseb
2006-Mar-27, 01:45 AM
The Basin is huge. There are perhaps two or three craters near one edge of it that are at the South Pole and meet these conditions. This, and the North pole are areas that NASA is considering for the next manned moon landings. I'm sure the Chinese are looking at the same place for the same reason. You cannot say that the basin is in total darkness.

Launch window
2006-Mar-27, 07:53 PM
Scientists search for lunar leavings
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12037853/
Yesterday’s space junk could be tomorrow’s moon monuments

The moon revisited
Resource-rich lunar south pole is seen as perfect area to explore

By MARK CARREAU
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
At the south pole of the moon, a row of peaks juts from the gently sloping rim of Shackleton Crater, named for the early 20th-century Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3701891.html
The 15-mile-wide crater and its rugged surroundings, including a vast depression created by the impact of an ancient asteroid or comet, starkly show the drama that marked the early history of Earth's companion


U.S. plans moon base on path to Mars
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12018911/
Despite lack of fanfare, scientists work on technological hurdles

publiusr
2006-Mar-30, 07:41 PM
I would love to see statues of Aldrin and Armstrong in bronze atop the stump of the LEM they left behind. I think that would be visually stunning.

Nicolas
2006-Mar-30, 07:47 PM
financially stunning as well :D

BTW if you do that, I would place A Collins statue flying somewhere as well. He's forgotten too often.

But it would be quite dramatic indeed. Seeing back anything left 30 years ago on the moon would be quite dramatic for that matters :).

Launch window
2006-Apr-06, 07:18 AM
Some more on it
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/headline_universe/moon_ice.html
http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2006/03/27/news/national/f1460fb42e1062e98725713e00074b7c.txt
http://www.redcolony.com/artindex.php?type=Colonization
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1459&ref=y

They've even got video games and tv series on the subject
http://timstvshowcase.com/space1999.html
http://www.trygames.com/game/aff=searcham/lang=nl/vid=52e1eb089bd69226875fbf31c3039bdc

Launch window
2006-Aug-06, 04:24 PM
Comments by NASA Associate Adminstrator for Legislative Affairs Brian Chase at the Mars Society Convention
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=21610
...'Our nation's major media outlets clearly still don't believe human space exploration should be a priority for NASA. My point is not to incite alarm about a single editorial or a single news story, but rather that we need to pay attention to the long-term view of this battle of ideas. Like or it not, media outlets like the Post and the Times do matter. They influence elected officials, financial markets, and the general public. Despite the ground they've lost to cable news and internet-based news sites and blogs, they still command massive audiences of readers.
We may win this year's budget battle, but if we don't focus on the long-term sustainability of the Vision for Space Exploration, and ensure that future Presidents and future Congresses - regardless of which party is in power - winning today's battles won't mean a lot. '

transreality
2006-Aug-08, 12:10 AM
Might we expect that the first moonbases will hardly consist of biodomes and telescopes and fuel processing facilities, but instead may be simple modules landed on the surface. These modules could house permanent servicable science missions and possibly hardware to facilitate surface exploration, such as a facility for cleaning space suits of dust, recharge rover batteries, provide a refuge for accidents, and somewhere to maintain mission equipment.

The base module could be landed automatically. And then later a manned mission could land nearby for an exploration mission using the supplies and facilities brought in the module.

Such modules could be a precursor for any base requiring in situ construction fabrication, or excavation.

BigDon
2006-Aug-08, 04:57 AM
Thanks guys, Mephisto, Launch Window, and Transreality. After reading the earlier part of this thread I was about to launch a tirade that would have got me a warning at the least. Sticks, being a Brit, you got some big cojones talking smack like that. Where's your space program? D'oh thats right, you don't have one. Wanna borrow a cup of ours?

Launch window
2006-Sep-07, 02:00 AM
The problems with lunar ISRU
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/697/1
Rapp describes why he believes NASA’s current approach is fatally flawed

Eroica
2006-Sep-07, 07:25 AM
Since ISRU will definitely be important for Martian colonization, it makes sense to test and develop it on the Moon, even if it's not cost-effective there... :think:

CuddlySkyGazer
2006-Sep-07, 02:52 PM
Rapp describes why he believes NASA’s current approach is fatally flawed
As NASA doesn't have a current approach, it's pretty difficult to see how it is fatally flawed!

Griffin has a policy of not doing much work on things that are further down the line until you have sorted out the earlier stuff. Lunar ISRU is moot until you have the Ares V and the LSAM etc sorted out and when you've actually demonstrated you can put men on the Moon! When that's working you can start thinking about ISRU.

Oxygen will probably be the first item considered. It is not only used for the LSAM ascent module engines but also for breathing! Every kilogramme you can produce on the Moon is a kilogramme you do not need to take with you and can therefore be substituted with more equipment, or it enables your astronauts to stay on the Moon just that little bit longer.

I expect that the first ISRU equipment will not be very efficient and may not produce much in the way of resources. But we'll learn from it, and things will improve. And if they don't, well we'll have at least learned they're impossible!

captain swoop
2006-Sep-07, 03:15 PM
It becomes more important when you are considering a Mars mission.

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 03:16 PM
If Bigelow's inflatable modules work out, there's been some discussion of using them on the moon. Put them on a stable foundation, bury them in regolith or park them in a shadowy spot, then use them as an expandable base.

Also, one experiment I know is on the plate is an attempt to create concrete using lunar soil. If it is possible, you could create some kind of concrete structures, possibly blocks, but there's some discussion of very basic tilt wall construction being tried down the line. Since concrete is a curing process, the water used can mostly be recovered, if proper measures are taken.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-07, 03:21 PM
Why must concrete be made with cement? why not use some kind of resin?

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 04:00 PM
Why must concrete be made with cement? why not use some kind of resin?

The hope was to make it using local materials, rather than something that's gotta be shipped up there.

Launch window
2006-Sep-07, 05:41 PM
Since ISRU will definitely be important for Martian colonization, it makes sense to test and develop it on the Moon, even if it's not cost-effective there... :think:

Yeah Mars in someways will be like the dangers of putting astronauts on the Moon but Mars is also very different to the Moon. There seems to be a lot of water trapped on Mars but finding trapped ice-water even in the deepest of Luanr craters has been very difficult, on Mars you'll get temps of -50C/-58F but on the Moon you'll find temperature variations very unlike Mars. The Lunar surface has next to no atmosphere, which methods of generating Methane rocket fuel from the atmosphere can not be tested at all, so I'm not sure the Moon would be the best engineering test bed for a manned Mars mission.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-07, 10:47 PM
So where would u practice?

CuddlySkyGazer
2006-Sep-08, 12:24 PM
...I'm not sure the Moon would be the best engineering test bed for a manned Mars mission.

So where would u practice?
Yeah, the Moon may not be ideal for testing for a manned Mars mission, but it seems the best available!