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Thread: first lunar habitat

  1. #1 first lunar habitat 
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    what do you think that the first lunar habitat will be like. i've seen and hears lots of ideas, from simple mud houses where you constantly wear your spacesuit, to a moving pressurized house, designed to stay in sunlight and fuel the solar panels. just wanted to kow what you think


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  3. #2  
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    The moon's weak gravity is a problem. Individuals can't remain on the moon for any great length of time, or they grow soft. Creating artificial 1G there is impractical. Much easier in space.

    We won't be colonizing. So, the first (and last) lunar habitats will be no more accommodating than offshore platforms. Just work a season and get out of that hole.


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  4. #3  
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    I think that the first colony on the moon will be a mining colony with an orbiter in high altitude where the majority of the colony will live.
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The moon's weak gravity is a problem. Individuals can't remain on the moon for any great length of time, or they grow soft. Creating artificial 1G there is impractical. Much easier in space.
    Not obvious to me why. Imagine a large rotating habitat on the surface much like a carousel with living and sleeping quarters along the outside rotating fast enough to achieve 1G of centrifugal acceleration.

    Engineering the required bearings and structure for carousel habitat in the low-gravity environment would seem much simpler and safer than continuously rotating crews between the surface and some orbital station.

    I'm guessing just sleeping in 1G would avoid a whole range of medical problems as well--meaning a more efficient crew.
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    Not obvious to me why. Imagine a large rotating habitat on the surface much like a carousel with living and sleeping quarters along the outside rotating fast enough to achieve 1G of centrifugal acceleration
    I'm not sure how this could be viable. Any orientation will still have the standard gravity in some direction. If you have a carousel setup everything will still gravitate towards the moon's centre of gravity as well, so no standing water possible etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Not obvious to me why. Imagine a large rotating habitat on the surface much like a carousel with living and sleeping quarters along the outside rotating fast enough to achieve 1G of centrifugal acceleration
    I'm not sure how this could be viable. Any orientation will still have the standard gravity in some direction. If you have a carousel setup everything will still gravitate towards the moon's centre of gravity as well, so no standing water possible etc.
    The floor would tilt to be perpendicular to the combined lunar gravity and centrifugal acceleration much like the bank angle on race tracks. Structurally the habitat it would be similar to the orbital station using centrifugal acceleration to mimic gravity for those along the outer edge but instead of spinning in space the entire structure would spin on bearings that rest on the lunar surface. Because the overall weight would be much less than large spinning structures we've been building on earth (e.g., amusement carousels, Seattle space needle, etc) it would also be simpler, certainly feasible and should be safer than shuttling people back and forth from the surface.
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    The floor would tilt to be perpendicular to the combined lunar gravity and centrifugal acceleration. Structurally it would be similar to the orbital station using centrifugal acceleration to mimic gravity for those along the outer edge.
    But this should still cause some noticeable variations in the direction of perceived gravity. When you are on the top part of the wheel you'll have the 1g centrifugal force pointing away from the surface and the 0.165g from the moon pulling you towards the surface, resulting in 0.835g perceived gravity. When you are at the bottom you'll perceive 1.165g. On either side horizontal to the surface you'll experience 1g pointing away from the centre of the wheel and 0.165g from either your left or right side. It being disconcerting would be the least of our worries.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The floor would tilt to be perpendicular to the combined lunar gravity and centrifugal acceleration. Structurally it would be similar to the orbital station using centrifugal acceleration to mimic gravity for those along the outer edge.
    But this should still cause some noticeable variations in the direction of perceived gravity. When you are on the top part of the wheel you'll have the 1g centrifugal force pointing away from the surface and the 0.165g from the moon pulling you towards the surface, resulting in 0.835g perceived gravity. When you are at the bottom you'll perceive 1.165g. On either side horizontal to the surface you'll experience 1g pointing away from the centre of the wheel and 0.165g from either your left or right side. It being disconcerting would be the least of our worries.
    Ok, I'm not explaining myself. There is no top or bottom of the wheel--the entire thing is set on its side. Let me try to illustrate in words.

    Picture an amusement carousel--the kind with brightly painted horses bobbing up and down for the kids and wrought iron benches for the less "adventurous," all spinning on a platform.

    This one is special though.
    There's a wall along the outside circumference, nearly vertical but with a slight tilt relative to the axis of rotating so the apparent combined acceleration of centrifugal force and gravity is perpendicular to the wall. When it's spinning you can walk along the inside of that wall your head pointing towards the center of the carousel.

    Along the inside of that outer wall, the only difference in perceived gravity would be the slight change in centrifugal acceleration because the top of the wall would be slightly further from the center of rotation than the bottom because of its tilt. If the carousel habitat were a couple hundreds of meters wide and the wall only a few meters high the difference would be very small--probably not noticeable at all.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Picture an amusement carousel--the kind with brightly painted horses bobbing up and down for the kids and wrought iron benches for the less "adventurous," all spinning on a platform.

    This one is special though...
    That's what I pictured all along. It's the only way, and it's impractical.

    One problem is bearings of course.

    Another is how massively overbuilt it must be to support it's own weight (pulling apart at 1G remember) AND support itself when not up to speed (granted easier). Imagine building a suspension bridge that also supports itself when laid sideways. Our structure must be on that kind of scale, or people get motion sickness.

    Another problem is that the whole thing must be assembled, balanced, and complete before we use it, and then we can't very well add to it. In orbit though one can begin modestly and tack stuff on as necessary, even radically change design on the fly.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    That's what I pictured all along. It's the only way, and it's impractical.
    If you say so--your description of perceived gravity was way off in that case. ...shrug...

    One problem is bearings of course.

    Another is how massively overbuilt it must be to support it's own weight (pulling apart at 1G remember) AND support itself when not up to speed (granted easier). Imagine building a suspension bridge that also supports itself when laid sideways. Our structure must be on that kind of scale, or people get motion sickness.

    Another problem is that the whole thing must be assembled, balanced, and complete before we use it, and then we can't very well add to it. In orbit though one can begin modestly and tack stuff on as necessary, even radically change design on the fly.
    And this will be so much easier in space

    And if you think about it this doesn't even need to be a rigid platform.
    It could just as well be a tower with habitats rotating at 2rpm on the end of 700 foot tethers. We can also build the entire thing on the surface of the moon from lunar materials. Not simple, for sure, but I don't see this in any way more difficult than building it in space.
    --
    Another idea, which might be even better if you're going to have a large colony on the moon:

    Imagine something that looks like a large circular train track that's banked so apparent gravity is perpendicular to the floor. The train cars contain the habitats. The engineering would be compatible with earth tech that been used for trains for over a century with relatively lower stress over smaller structures that can more likely be built with lunar materials. Once you build the track, it would also have the modular advantages you think would exist for an orbital structure--you just add habitat cars as you need them.

    To load, unload, or bring a habitat car in for maintenance, you have an inner track that run parallel to the out ring but also switches to feeder tracks connecting to stations fixed on the lunar surface.
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