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Thread: How long until we colonize the moon (continued)

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Mining water from regolith might be possible after all, but there probably won't be a lot of it.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-05-formation-moon.html
    I can see Equatorial Luna having a "dry season" every 2 weeks as their primary power source goes away and they have to curtail their energy intensive water extraction industry, leading to short rations for all. The polar communities obviously, would not have such a problem of shortages of water, or sunlight.
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  2. #92
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    The first humans to live long periods on the Moon will probably be sent there by nations or corporations, and be under orders from Terrestrial authorities. They'll be there as workers in "company towns", not as colonists. Ice mining and water processing, or fields that support those things, will probably be somewhere in their job description, even if they are robot drivers in practice. The Moon will likely be an industrial park, for the foreseeable future.

    If we can get around the gravity issue and someday permanent residences are established on the Moon, the born and raised Selenites may come to regret shipping out all their precious water as rocket fuel or to build orbital habitats. We may end up with a "Harsh Mistress" situation in real life.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I can see Equatorial Luna having a "dry season" every 2 weeks as their primary power source goes away and they have to curtail their energy intensive water extraction industry, leading to short rations for all. The polar communities obviously, would not have such a problem of shortages of water, or sunlight.
    TANSTAAFL. Access to continuous sunlight is not access to unlimited quantities of sunlight. Polar solar arrays built to use that will have to be vertical, very tall, and sun-tracking, and if you have more than one array you will run into periodic mutual shadowing. The long term solar power benefit of polar regions won't be the eternally lit peaks, it'll be the shorter transmission line runs from day side to night side, to locations that experience night periods but are much better suited to laying out large areas of solar collectors.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    TANSTAAFL. Access to continuous sunlight is not access to unlimited quantities of sunlight. Polar solar arrays built to use that will have to be vertical, very tall, and sun-tracking, and if you have more than one array you will run into periodic mutual shadowing. The long term solar power benefit of polar regions won't be the eternally lit peaks, it'll be the shorter transmission line runs from day side to night side, to locations that experience night periods but are much better suited to laying out large areas of solar collectors.
    Never said they'd be unlimited, but the poles would not be short of those resources. They'd have power to spare. Maybe enough to set up a train line between one or both poles, and a settlement on the equator, to ship water in the dry season.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #95
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    With a new "space race" to the moon, we can hope this time, it will be to stay.

    https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/chin...ew-space-race/

    On January 3, 2019, when China landed the Chang’e 4 probe on the Lunar South Pole, a first for humanity, the discourse on outer space shifted forever. For nearly 50 years, since July 20, 9196, we have lived in the Age of Apollo, which enabled humanity’s first steps on the moon. When dawn broke out on January 3, 2019, we entered the Age of Chang’e, focused on long-term settlement of the lunar poles.

    Like NASA’s Apollo missions, named for the Greek god, China’s Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) is named after a mythical figure: Chang’e, a Chinese moon goddess. Unlike Apollo, however, China’s Chang’e lunar mission is not a “flags and footprints” enterprise. Instead, like its mythical namesake Chang’e, who made the moon her home, the CLEP is aimed at establishing a permanent presence on the lunar surface by 2036, with an aim to utilize lunar resources like titanium and uranium, as well as iron-ore and water ice for rocket construction and propellant. This in-space manufacturing capability is a vital step to achieve China’s plans for deep space exploitation, to include asteroid mining and build solar power stations in geo-synchronous orbit by 2050.

    The current Chang’e 4 mission on the lunar far side has discovered fragments of the moon’s mantle. The Visible and Near Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) on the Chang’e 4’s rover suggest that the rocks contain minerals known as low-calcium (ortho) pyroxene and olivine. A study of such mantle rocks could throw light on the moon’s mineralogical composition as well as on its origins and evolution. Unpacking the geology of the far side of the moon is critical as it differs from the near side, where the Apollo rocks were gathered. It could offer insights on future missions for sustainable human presence.
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  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    With a new "space race" to the moon, we can hope this time, it will be to stay.

    https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/chin...ew-space-race/
    ...Wait, did that say uranium?

    The spread-thinner-than-granite Lunar uranium?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #97
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    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...2020-and-2021/
    On Friday, the space agency announced that it has contracted with three companies—Orbit Beyond, Astrobotic, and Intuitive Machines—to deliver scientific payloads to the Moon in the years 2020 and 2021. The announcement is significant for several reasons, not least because no private company has ever landed successfully on the Moon and because the United States has not made a soft landing on the Moon in 46 years.

    This program, formally named Commercial Lunar Payload Services, represents the vanguard of a decade-long plan for NASA to return to the Moon and potentially establish an outpost for crew on the surface.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #98
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    Earth occasionally gets extra moons (not quasi moons). Can we find them, land on them, and mine them?

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.13457

    Earth's Minimoons: Opportunities for Science and Technology

    Robert Jedicke, Bryce T. Bolin, William F. Bottke, Monique Chyba, Grigori Fedorets, Mikael Granvik, Lynne Jones, Hodei Urrutxua (Submitted on 31 May 2019)

    (modified from published version) Twelve years ago the Catalina Sky Survey discovered Earth's first known natural geocentric object other than the Moon, a few-meter diameter asteroid designated 2006 RH120. Despite significant improvements in ground-based telescope and detector technology in the past decade the asteroid surveys have not discovered another temporarily-captured orbiter (TCO; colloquially known as minimoons). Within a few years the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will either begin to regularly detect TCOs or force a re-analysis of the creation and dynamical evolution of small asteroids in the inner solar system. The first studies of the provenance, properties, and dynamics of Earth's minimoons suggested that there should be a steady state population with about one 1- to 2-meter diameter captured objects at any time. That model was then improved and extended to include the population of temporarily-captured flybys (TCFs), objects that fail to make an entire revolution around Earth while energetically bound to the Earth-Moon system. Several different techniques for discovering TCOs have been considered but their small diameters, proximity, and rapid motion make them challenging targets for existing ground-based optical, meteor, and radar surveys. We expect that if the TCO population is confirmed, and new objects are frequently discovered, they can provide new opportunities for 1) studying the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system, 2) testing models of the production and dynamical evolution of small asteroids from the asteroid belt, 3) rapid and frequent low delta-v missions to multiple minimoons, and 4) evaluating in-situ resource utilization techniques on asteroidal material. Here we review the past decade of minimoon studies in preparation for capitalizing on the scientific and commercial opportunities of TCOs in the first decade of LSST operations.

  9. #99
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    Small science rovers are coming to a Moon near you. Looks like a lot of them are on the way.

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/5/18...ne-moon-lander

  10. #100
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    So the surface looks like largely solar collectors, mine sites and industrial parks, while the farms and habitats all stay safely underground. Sounds like, as with Mars, no bubble domed cities. Farewell, Luna City.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #101
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    "The moon in 2069: Top space scientists share their visions for lunar lifestyles"

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/moon-2...ar-lifestyles/

    Fifty years ago this month, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission transformed the idea of putting people on the moon from science fiction to historical fact. Not much has changed on the moon since Apollo, but if the visions floated by leading space scientists from the U.S., Europe, Russia and China come to pass, your grandchildren might be firing up lunar barbecues in 2069.

    “Definitely in 50 years, there will be more tourism on the moon,” Anatoli Petrukovich, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, said here today during the World Conference of Science Journalists. “The moon will just look like a resort, as a backyard for grilling some meat or whatever else.”

    Wu Ji, former director general of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Space Science Center, agreed that moon tourism could well be a thing in 2069.

    “People will go there for space holidays, and come back,” Wu said. “The staff of the hotel will work there. So that will be permanent human habitability on the moon in 50 years.”
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  12. #102
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    "As America Celebrates Apollo, A New Moon Race Is Underway"

    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/12/73661...=1563125791084

    On Dec. 14, 1972, a capsule carrying Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt lifted off from the lunar surface.

    It was the day that humans left the moon.

    For a long while, they didn't come back, but that's changing. China, India and even smaller nations like Israel and South Korea are all pursuing robotic moon missions. Their lunar ambitions are being driven both by a desire to flex their technological muscles and by the rise of global nationalism.

    "Every country is going to be saying, 'Look at the things we can do in space,' " says Emily Lakdawalla, with the Planetary Society, which promotes space exploration.
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  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "The moon in 2069: Top space scientists share their visions for lunar lifestyles"

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/moon-2...ar-lifestyles/
    I think nobody will live on the moon in 2069.

    Tourists will prefer in orbit rotating stations for the spectacular views and the comfort of 1g. Tours to the surface will be available but all levels of gravitation are available on the orbiting hotel's recreation area. Related staff, researchers and such will also commute and that schedule will be determined by gravitation related health issues as well as comfort. Most lunar surface work will be performed by robots/AI/tele-presence.

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    I think nobody will live on the moon in 2069.

    Tourists will prefer in orbit rotating stations for the spectacular views and the comfort of 1g. Tours to the surface will be available but all levels of gravitation are available on the orbiting hotel's recreation area. Related staff, researchers and such will also commute and that schedule will be determined by gravitation related health issues as well as comfort. Most lunar surface work will be performed by robots/AI/tele-presence.
    On tourist I beg to differ. Being in outer space is special but to actually walk on our own satellite ups the achievement level. With the progress we are now making, by 2069 i would expect more than one maaned scientific base and tacked on to them will be tourist "hotel". The USA is only now looking to do that with the ISS but with the moon it will be built in with the initial designs of the moon base.
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  15. #105
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    Bloomberg (I think more with tongue in cheek) came out with the following article "The Next Neil Armstrong May Be Chinese as Moon Race Intensifies".

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2...ina-moon-race/

    Fifty years after Neil Armstrong took his one small step, there’s a renewed race to put human beings back on the moon⁠—and the next one to land there may send greetings back to Earth in Chinese.

    China, which didn’t have a space exploration program when Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969, is planning a series of missions to match that achievement. China could have its own astronauts walking on the moon’s surface and working in a research station at its south pole sometime in the 2030s.

    On the way there, they may stop over at a space station scheduled for assembly starting next year.
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  16. #106
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  17. #107
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    Now we have a report that says "China, Russia, Europe to jointly explore plan for research station on Moon".

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._138248065.htm

    Space authorities of China, Europe and Russia have agreed to jointly explore the plan to build a scientific research station on the Moon, a senior Chinese space official said Monday.

    The joint exploration will focus on the scientific objectives of the station, as well as system-related or mission-based discussions, said Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

    Participants will jointly plan and design the station, coordinate their implementation of the plan and ultimately share the scientific results, Wu said at an international conference on the exploration of the Moon and the deep space that opened Monday in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.

    Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the CNSA, said the construction plan for the station is expected to be completed after two to three years of deliberations by an international team of scientists.
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  18. #108
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    University of California researchers think there is a lot more water ice on the Moon than we once thought.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-07-moon-thought.html

  19. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    University of California researchers think there is a lot more water ice on the Moon than we once thought.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-07-moon-thought.html
    100 million is "a lot more" than 600 million?

  20. #110
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    Before we colonize the Moon, we must fight the tardigrades for its possession. Onward, Space Force, to Luna!

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/07/world...scn/index.html

  21. #111
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    I had an idea for a lander that could deposit a rover.

    Instead of using a sky-scrane, I thought landing legs might be formed similar to a swing-set.

    That has four legs, often with an (fixed) axle-like structure between two A-frames.

    Now, imagine below that "hinge" you have the descent engine. It wouldn't have to be large, and telescoping bits in the legs keep everything level.

    Above the axle, you have a ramp, and the rover sits on its tail.

    After landing, a mechanism is released, and the ramp see-saws down and the ascent engine comes up--now (mostly) empty.

    The rover now decends the ramp.

    For Mars, a missile tube fits between the rover's wheels as part of the ramp.

    The rover puts bits of rock into the missile nose, and the ramp is then raised a bit to now serve as the missile launch pad.

    The missile then fires out of the tube, to be caught as part of a sample return mission.

    Thoughts?

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