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Damburger
2007-Sep-01, 10:15 AM
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/08/31/science-russia-moon.html

NASA is due to land Orion 13 in 2019, then proceed with constructing their moon base. The Indians plan to be there in 2020, the Chinese in 2022 and the Japanese in 2024 and the Russians in 2025.

(I feel Europe is being left out a bit here, although from what I understand we are likely to be working in cooperation with the Russian programme: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSTS )

What do you think the scope for cooperation between these programmes is? Will there be mutual agreements to rescue another nations crews if they suffer difficulties? Will there be competition for the best landing spots?

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-01, 05:13 PM
The problem with cooperation is too many chefs in the same kitchen.

There are already agreements to help out fellow distressed astronauts. These agreements were devised in case one nation's astronauts had to make a forced landing or splashdown in another nation's sovereign territory, but the agreements would also be in force on the Moon.

As for competition for the best landing spots, as things stand now, one nation has no legal justification for preventing another nation's landing a craft or building a base within a hundred meters of one's own base or landing site.

That's why the would-be space-faring nations and the UN need to get together and draft a new version of the Moon Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Treaty) that will be acceptable to everyone, because the U.S. will never sign the Moon Treaty in its current form because of the "common heritage of mankind" language that doesn't guarantee the protection of investors' profits.

stutefish
2007-Sep-01, 07:13 PM
The problem with cooperation is too many chefs in the same kitchen.

There are already agreements to help out fellow distressed astronauts. These agreements were devised in case one nation's astronauts had to make a forced landing or splashdown in another nation's sovereign territory, but the agreements would also be in force on the Moon.

As for competition for the best landing spots, as things stand now, one nation has no legal justification for preventing another nation's landing a craft or building a base within a hundred meters of one's own base or landing site.

That's why the would-be space-faring nations and the UN need to get together and draft a new version of the Moon Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Treaty) that will be acceptable to everyone, because the U.S. will never sign the Moon Treaty in its current form because of the "common heritage of mankind" language that doesn't guarantee the protection of investors' profits.
According to the Wikipedia entry to which you linked, none of the nations engaging in manned space flight have ratified the Moon Treaty. Why single out the U.S. in this way?

Besides, the real profits from aerospace come in the form of government-funded R&D and the technologies and expertise that arise from this R&D. None of the civilian contractors working on the Apollo program expected to profit directly from that work. Rather, they took what they had learned from participating in the project and applied it to profitable enterprises elsewhere.

Not only that, but should the Moon turn out to be rich in resources, it is likely that civilian contractors would be engaged to extract those resources. Even if they could not profit from ownership and market trading of the resources (which might be prohibited by a Moon Treaty), they could still profit from the government contract under which they labored "for the good of all mankind".

Finally, a similar treaty governs the use of Antarctica, and the U.S. signed that one (as did many other nations with manned Antarctic programs).

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-01, 09:45 PM
According to the Wikipedia entry to which you linked, none of the nations engaging in manned space flight have ratified the Moon Treaty. Why single out the U.S. in this way?Because of the history. Jimmy Carter was president at the time. He favored signing it, there was a concerted lobbying effort that included Eric Drexler that was led by the L5 society (which subsequently was folded into the National Space Society.) They managed to convince enough congressmen to delay the issue until Ronald Reagan was elected, at which point the Moon Treaty became a nonissue.


Besides, the real profits from aerospace come in the form of government-funded R&D and the technologies and expertise that arise from this R&D. None of the civilian contractors working on the Apollo program expected to profit directly from that work. Rather, they took what they had learned from participating in the project and applied it to profitable enterprises elsewhere.

Not only that, but should the Moon turn out to be rich in resources, it is likely that civilian contractors would be engaged to extract those resources. Even if they could not profit from ownership and market trading of the resources (which might be prohibited by a Moon Treaty), they could still profit from the government contract under which they labored "for the good of all mankind".Right now, the Moon is basically international waters. So some kind of Inplanetary Moonbed Authority will have to be set up to collect royalties from revenues generated on the Moon. The question is, how much are the royalties going to be, and who gets them and for what purpose?


Finally, a similar treaty governs the use of Antarctica, and the U.S. signed that one (as did many other nations with manned Antarctic programs).My understanding is that Antarctica is held as a sort of international scientific wilderness preserve where practically all forms of economic development beyond that required to support scientific operations are prohibited.

As opposed to the Arctic, where a big land grab is underway as they divvy up the "continental shelf" up there.

The question is whether the Moon should be developed like the Arctic, the Antarctic, or both.

jkmccrann
2007-Sep-02, 01:48 PM
The question is whether the Moon should be developed like the Arctic, the Antarctic, or both.


Interesting discussion here, but on this last point - surely the Moon must not be allowed to follow the Antarctic model.

I support the situation with Antarctica, and support it continuing indefinitely into the future.

As for the Moon and other areas of Outer Space - they surely must be open to commercial enterprise and the profit motive - of corporations and of nations here on Earth. Without some sort of institutional framework that encourages and allows the exploitation and exploration (exploitration) of Outer Space - we are setting up a big road-block on the development of activity in Space.

IMO - there should be a regulatory framework set-up for Outer Space, and on issues of landing rights, exploitration rights, property rights, the profit motive etc. - it needs to be as permissive as possible, whilst still being agreed to by the major nations here on Earth.

This hooey about "for the benefit of all mankind" is all well and good for some parts of Space - for instance, do we really want to see a free-for-all on potentially interesting places like Europa, Enceladeus, Titan, Triton, the Gas Giant planets?

I would suggest some sort of international treaty could be devised that could designate certain objects in Space as being off-limits for private development - at least initially, but in the case of the Moon, or even Mars - and its two captured asteroid moons, and also the Asteroid belt - these places should all be open for business as of right now.

In the case of the Moon and Mars - landing rights would confer a certain area around the landing sight as belonging to whoever landed there? First in rule. Whilst on an Asteroid, or Phobos or Deimos for instance - whoever gets there first could lay claim to the entire object as being theirs.

For the Moon and Mars - would anyone support dividing the whole objects up into pentagonal or hexagonal blocks covering the whole surface that could be up for grabs? Or with perhaps divisions based on surface features, such as Olympus Mons or Valles Marineris. Personally, I would probably prefer some sort of melding of the 2.

What do others think?

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-02, 02:20 PM
There was another thread that discussed some of this: Augmentation of the OST (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/56622-augmentation-outer-space-treaty.html). I agree that the Moon should be cut up into Alaska-sized hexagonal or pentagonal Exclusive Economic Zones to be granted as rewards to nations or corporations that set up permanent bases.

A better alternative might be for the U.S. to withdraw from the OST and simplyclaim the Moon as sovereign American territory (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/40725-how-colonize-moon-without-breaking-nasas-budget.html) based on it's earlier manned explorations. :razz:

Consessions could still be sold to whoever, but they'd have to go through the U.S., rather than the U.N.

Thus, the question becomes, "Who would you rather trust?" :D

Zachary
2007-Sep-02, 08:32 PM
There was another thread that discussed some of this: Augmentation of the OST (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/56622-augmentation-outer-space-treaty.html). I agree that the Moon should be cut up into Alaska-sized hexagonal or pentagonal Exclusive Economic Zones to be granted as rewards to nations or corporations that set up permanent bases.

A better alternative might be for the U.S. to withdraw from the OST and simplyclaim the Moon as sovereign American territory (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/40725-how-colonize-moon-without-breaking-nasas-budget.html) based on it's earlier manned explorations. :razz:

Consessions could still be sold to whoever, but they'd have to go through the U.S., rather than the U.N.

Thus, the question becomes, "Who would you rather trust?" :D

If America unilaterally claimed the moon China and Russia would just park their bases wherever and say "tough ****, sherlock"

transreality
2007-Sep-02, 10:49 PM
From the point of view of building a lunar community and also astronaut safety it might be a good thing if all these bases were built in close proximity. Too much to ask for them to be modules of the same facility, of course. A traditional landgrab and stake-out the claim approach is setting the moon up for what, to become another excuse for conflict on earth.

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-03, 12:03 AM
If America unilaterally claimed the moon China and Russia would just park their bases wherever and say "tough ****, sherlock"

And then a squad of Navy SEALS will pile into their Armadillos, and go arrest the interlopers and send them back to the green hills of Earth in flex cuffs. Hey, it would be a good movie: "Breath Oxygen or Die Hard!"

But seriously,

From the point of view of building a lunar community and also astronaut safety it might be a good thing if all these bases were built in close proximity. Too much to ask for them to be modules of the same facility, of course. A traditional landgrab and stake-out the claim approach is setting the moon up for what, to become another excuse for conflict on earth.That's why the process needs to be formalized now so people won't be tempted to pull any fait accomplis.

MaDeR
2007-Sep-03, 01:11 AM
A better alternative might be for the U.S. to withdraw from the OST and simplyclaim the Moon as sovereign American territory (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/40725-how-colonize-moon-without-breaking-nasas-budget.html) based on it's earlier manned explorations. :razz:
US already have reputation of angorant jerk.

Well... if Apollo was NOT stopped, if today US had many moon bases all over Moon, then maybe claimation of whole moon would have some validity.

For me, USA for now have rights only to terrain where american astronauts landed or their unmanned equipment landed. Obviously, Russians would have rights to places where they landed. Nothing more. Crashes does not count.

Of course, it is only me. IANAL and I have exactly zero influence on space law. :lol:

Count Zero
2007-Sep-03, 02:16 AM
Dividing up areas may be nice in principle, but it assumes that all areas are equal, which (from a resource standpoint) they are not. Most obviously, the poles will be prime territory, both for access to permanent sunlight and to any ice deposits that may exist in the permanent shadows. Will these small, high-value areas go to the first who stake their claims? How will these claims be enforced? How far are claimants willing to go to protect their stake? How far are the johnnie-come-latelys willing to go to carve out their own stake from previously claimed territory?

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-03, 04:24 AM
US already have reputation of angorant jerk.

Well... if Apollo was NOT stopped, if today US had many moon bases all over Moon, then maybe claimation of whole moon would have some validity.I agree that a strong case can be made that the US has abandoned any claims that it might have had (which it didn't).


For me, USA for now have rights only to terrain where american astronauts landed or their unmanned equipment landed. Obviously, Russians would have rights to places where they landed. Nothing more. Crashes does not count.
But then a nations could send MIRVed probes everywhere that would land and deploy a flag or bury some coins of the realm.


Dividing up areas may be nice in principle, but it assumes that all areas are equal, which (from a resource standpoint) they are not. Most obviously, the poles will be prime territory, both for access to permanent sunlight and to any ice deposits that may exist in the permanent shadows. Will these small, high-value areas go to the first who stake their claims? How will these claims be enforced? How far are claimants willing to go to protect their stake? How far are the johnnie-come-latelys willing to go to carve out their own stake from previously claimed territory?Back in the gold rush days, there was no guarantee that your claim was going to be as rich as your neighbor's.

I'd propose to cut the Moon up soccerball style into 32 sections (12 pentagons and 20 hexagons). Since the pentagons would be slightly smaller than the hexagons, then center the poles on opposite pentagons. Offer 16 of these sections to the first sixteen outfits willing to set up permanent manned bases within said sections. 16 would be reserved as international, scientific wilderness parks, after the Antarctic model, in order to preserve pristine habitat for scientists, and so future generations will be able to see the Moon as it was originally, as well as to preserve the integrity of the Moon's natural, intrinsic values. After 10 years of continuous presence within a section, the nation that sponsored the base would be granted the section as an Exclusive Economic Zone in perpetuity. That nation's laws then apply within the EEZ, and that nation gets to decide on the regulatory regime that governs development in the EEZ, including taxation and royalties. EEZ status would grant the right to restrict land traffic over or under the EEZ, but innocent passage overflights would always be allowed. Note that colonization is not limited to the main space-faring nations. A private company could easily register its rockets and spacecraft to any country that gave it the best deal. So a country like Panama or even Tuvalu might provide launch facilities for such a private company in exchange for flagging rights of the EEZ.

Think that would be fair? :neutral:

MaDeR
2007-Sep-03, 10:28 PM
But then a nations could send MIRVed probes everywhere that would land and deploy a flag or bury some coins of the realm.
This is good argument. So... human landings only?

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-04, 01:43 PM
This is good argument. So... human landings only?
Not merely human landings, but sustained, continuous human presence for at least 10 years, would be my policy choice.

Doodler
2007-Sep-04, 01:55 PM
US already have reputation of angorant jerk.

If you're going to insult us in our language, at least get the spelling right. Its "arrogant".

As for how we treat other nations, its very simple. How would you feel being told how to do something by someone with no ability to do it themselves? Europe's (and the rest of the non-manned spaceflying world, for that matter) opinions of manned spaceflight and lunar exploration has all the validity that the opinion of the Italian monarchs had on the exploration of the Americas in the 1500s.

NONE WHATSOEVER

The rest of the world needs to stop armchair quarterbacking and lead by example or get the heck out of our way. ("Our" being China, Russia and the US collectively, along with any other emergent powers as they take their first manned steps into space). If you're not in the game, don't tell the players how to play.

transreality
2007-Sep-04, 10:35 PM
The rest of the world needs to stop armchair quarterbacking and lead by example or get the heck out of our way.


The exploration of space is the USA's most noble undertaking.

But does the above comment really reflect the nasa vision?

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-04, 10:49 PM
If you're going to insult us in our language, at least get the spelling right. Its "arrogant".
Are you sure it's not "ignorant".


The rest of the world needs to stop armchair quarterbacking and lead by example or get the heck out of our way. ("Our" being China, Russia and the US collectively, along with any other emergent powers as they take their first manned steps into space). If you're not in the game, don't tell the players how to play.Technically, the US is a state party to the OST (though not the Moon treaty). And although the OST doesn't use the explicit language of "the common heritage of mankind" that's used in the Moon treaty, the spirit and effect are the same in both treaties. Basically, the UN has legally claimed the whole universe as the property of all humanity taken jointly and severally. So people elsewhere shouldn't be blamed for thinking they have a say in how their universe is going to be developed. And since the US is a state party to this same agreement that legitimizes such input, the magnanimous thing to do is to welcome constructive input from wherever--remember Wernher von Braun?

Larry Jacks
2007-Sep-04, 11:54 PM
So people elsewhere shouldn't be blamed for thinking they have a say in how their universe is going to be developed. And since the US is a state party to this same agreement that legitimizes such input, the magnanimous thing to do is to welcome constructive input from wherever--remember Wernher von Braun?

One thing that does get annoying is when people from other countries try to dictate how develop our space program and how we spend our money. If you're so interested in space exploration, get your own country (or the EU) to allocate the funding (your tax money) to build your own program. Then you can input all the constructive criticism you want.

As for von Braun, he came here and became a US citizen. That included paying taxes here.

Zachary
2007-Sep-05, 12:09 AM
And then a squad of Navy SEALS will pile into their Armadillos, and go arrest the interlopers and send them back to the green hills of Earth in flex cuffs. Hey, it would be a good movie: "Breath Oxygen or Die Hard!"


lol

Short of lobbing a nuke at someone that's probably the quickest way of starting world war 3 :P

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-05, 12:28 AM
lol

Short of lobbing a nuke at someone that's probably the quickest way of starting world war 3 :P
Nah, it would be more like when China recently knocked down one of our Navy planes--it was embarrasing for the US, but it wasn't worth starting WWIII over.

Count Zero
2007-Sep-05, 12:43 AM
Not merely human landings, but sustained, continuous human presence for at least 10 years, would be my policy choice.

So what happens when, after six months, someone sets up a manned mining station 500 yards from your mining station?

Larry Jacks
2007-Sep-05, 01:36 AM
As for competition for the best landing spots, as things stand now, one nation has no legal justification for preventing another nation's landing a craft or building a base within a hundred meters of one's own base or landing site.

There would be a significant safety issue with someone landing that close. First of all, that's a pretty small margin for error. Second, the dust kicked up by the landing could cause problems with the facilities and vehicles already on the surface. That dust is highly abrasive. Deliberately landing that close without prior coordination would be beyond rude, it would be a deliberately provocative act.

Doodler
2007-Sep-05, 04:08 AM
The exploration of space is the USA's most noble undertaking.

But does the above comment really reflect the nasa vision?

We share the data, its our flag that gets planted. Vision is nice, reality tends to be a little more cynical.

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-05, 03:26 PM
So what happens when, after six months, someone sets up a manned mining station 500 yards from your mining station?
Under the proposed regime, a map would be drawn up that would formally subdivide the Moon into 32 sections or territories. Of these, any 16 would be available to be transformed into Exclusive Economic Zones. The UN shall waive all rights to levy taxes or collect royalties from any economic activites within an EEZ. A nation would be free to choose to colonize a particular zone for any reason. However, after 16 sections have been selected for human colonization, the remaining 16 would be left as international scientific wilderness areas to be managed by the UN after the Antarctic model.

When a nation announced its intention to colonize a territory by landing a facility capable of providing a sustained human presence, that territory would become the temporary EEZ of that nation, including the right to restrict the land activities of other nations within that EEZ for the first 10 years.

After 10 years, the EEZ becomes permanent; it becomes in effect the sovereign territory of the nation that did the colonization.

However, if the new colony is abandoned before 10 years have expired, then the EEZ reverts back to the public domain, to be available for colonization by another nation.

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-05, 03:28 PM
As for competition for the best landing spots, as things stand now, one nation has no legal justification for preventing another nation's landing a craft or building a base within a hundred meters of one's own base or landing site.

There would be a significant safety issue with someone landing that close. First of all, that's a pretty small margin for error. Second, the dust kicked up by the landing could cause problems with the facilities and vehicles already on the surface. That dust is highly abrasive. Deliberately landing that close without prior coordination would be beyond rude, it would be a deliberately provocative act.The 100 meter figure was picked out of the vacuum for rhetorical purposes; probably should have written '1 km' or 'within sight'.

But is dust really kicked up for hundreds of meters by a landing craft?

Larry Jacks
2007-Sep-05, 04:33 PM
I did some calculations* about 10 years ago based on the estimated thrust just before landing, estimated velocity of the exhaust gases and the angle of the dust from the surface. It's possible the dust could travel several kilometers. Of course, the further you are from the landing, the less dense the dust will be. Close to the landing site (say 500 meters or less), the dust could be quite a problem.

* The calculations can be found here (http://web.archive.org/web/19980522193512/http://www.skywardpress.com/) at the 1:04:30 reference mark. I have not touched that page in years and many of the links are probably dead but you might find it interesting reading.

MaDeR
2007-Sep-06, 01:43 PM
If you're going to insult us in our language, at least get the spelling right. Its "arrogant".
It is not insult (until reality itself insults you). It is statement of fact that many people view actions of USA (not only in space, but in general BTW) as arrogant (thx for spelling).



How would you feel being told how to do something by someone with no ability to do it themselves?
USA losts that abilities with end of Apollo and only now works on re-gaining them. As I said, these claiments of Moon would have some validity only if USA had uninterrupted, active presence on Moon from Apollo to today without other participants.


If you're not in the game, don't tell the players how to play.
If that game affects non-players, then yes, I will. I see that argument "law of force" have some appeal to you.

Doodler
2007-Sep-06, 04:35 PM
USA losts that abilities with end of Apollo and only now works on re-gaining them. As I said, these claiments of Moon would have some validity only if USA had uninterrupted, active presence on Moon from Apollo to today without other participants.

We lost nothing but the ability to immediately manufacture new Apollo mission hardware. The knowhow and design plans are still within our grasp, so even if we chose not to reinvent the wheel, we could be on the Moon again in a fraction of the time necessary for anyone else to start from scratch.

If that game affects non-players, then yes, I will. I see that argument "law of force" have some appeal to you.

What effect does it have? Other than looking up and knowing none of your countrymen will ever get out there on their own steam.

Warren Platts
2007-Sep-06, 04:54 PM
I did some calculations* about 10 years ago based on the estimated thrust just before landing, estimated velocity of the exhaust gases and the angle of the dust from the surface. It's possible the dust could travel several kilometers. Of course, the further you are from the landing, the less dense the dust will be. Close to the landing site (say 500 meters or less), the dust could be quite a problem.

* The calculations can be found here (http://web.archive.org/web/19980522193512/http://www.skywardpress.com/) at the 1:04:30 reference mark. I have not touched that page in years and many of the links are probably dead but you might find it interesting reading.

Wow, so how would you design a permanent landing pad? I'd say a concave concrete bowl shape. It wouldn't have to be very big. But would be complicated to build.

What would be the minimum size for a flat circular pad so that dust wouldn't be a problem? Really, that might have to be one of the first things built for a permanent settlement.

Doodler
2007-Sep-06, 05:16 PM
Surrounded by a sufficiently high barrier fence. Perhaps a catch lip, not unlike a toilet bowl rim to catch some of the lateral moving dust at ground level.

MaDeR
2007-Sep-07, 09:15 PM
We lost nothing but the ability to immediately manufacture new Apollo mission hardware.
Of course, I do not say that all knowledge is lost. But... care to compare timeline of Project Apollo and Bush's Vision? Latter is much longer. If it (redo of Apollo) is so easy as you claim, why that long?

Doodler
2007-Sep-07, 09:36 PM
Of course, I do not say that all knowledge is lost. But... care to compare timeline of Project Apollo and Bush's Vision? Latter is much longer. If it (redo of Apollo) is so easy as you claim, why that long?

Its not a crash program like Mercury-Gemini-Apollo. No rush. The Moon's not going anywhere, and there's nothing to prove by an all out, pile it on program that shunts everything aside. Right now the only rush part is the capsule with LEO ability, because we're benching our current manned launcher, we kinda need that capacity back jiffy quick. The Moon and Mars? We can afford patience. We're not just making footprints, we're looking at long term stays, there are a LOT of technical hurdles to clear before we're at that level. We're not repeating Apollo, we're moving past it.

This was kinda the arguement I had with Gaetanomareno. Comparing China's program for lunar exploration to the US's is like comparing a puptent with a camp fire to a log cabin in the woods with solar power and plumbing. We're moving on, they're catching up. When they've put six missions on the Moon and stayed there for a week, we'll break out the antacids and start worrying about a race, but by that time, we're likely gonna be waving as they land.