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Thread: colonising moon

  1. #1 colonising moon 
    sak
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    What is the business related opportunity of colonising moon? How fast it can happen?


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    How fast?

    How soon?

    Differnce between fast and soon?


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    i read an article about this, theres some guy who wants to make space hotels on the moon.
    its long ago, i'll see if i can find something.
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    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    I think it's all a question of how soon we can set up a habitable base with the ability to sustain itself. Maybe it could still require food shipments (but even that would be really expensive.)

    Basically, you'd have to figure out a way to build just about everything (all the major components) out of local materials using remote controlled machines.

    Once you've got a fully habitable base set up, you can send a few permanent humans up there, and from then on the sky is the limit...... or some more appropriate metaphor perhaps.........? But you know what I mean. :?
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    i read that the best place to do it would be at the poles, as there is some water that can be used. split it using solar energy in to oxygen to breath and hydrogen for fuel. not too sure about possible ores on the moon, but i think it might be similar to earth?
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  8. #7 Re: colonising moon 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sak
    What is the business related opportunity of colonising moon? How fast it can happen?
    1. Creation of infra-structure for whatever purpose is a large business opporunity. Just consider what proportion civil engineering is of any GDP then up that percentage accordingly for virgin territory.
    2. Resources:
    a) Minerals.
    b) Water/Oxygen for use beyond the Earth-moon system.
    c) Helium-3 for fusion.
    d) Solar power generation.
    3. Other
    a) Tourism
    b) Low gravity base for constructing spacecraft.
    a) Location for experimental sky hook.
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    I've long held that the secret to getting humanity into space faster is through the rich, not the taxpayer.

    Hotels are a good starting point. Charge people for time, resources, equipment, and entertainment, and yer set.

    The main trouble is that as kojax mentioned, you have to get a support structure in place, first. That means getting a sustainable power source, with fail-safes. A sustainable environmental system (air, water, waste, pressure) with fail-safes. And getting some form of food production in place (hydroponics probably) since there should be no reason why food should have to be shipped to the Moon. We can already grow food in space, the Moon won't be much different.

    There's also a scientific benefit to Moon tourism. For one, you now have plenty of bodies to poke and prod. (Reduced rates if we can take blood samples and monitor your condition throughout your stay!)

    The real kicker would be if we could establish a sustainable industry on the Moon, such that the Moon could be used as a launching base for missions to Mars. Mars has more potential for use in both colonization and production.
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    thanks for the answers
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    The real question is someone put a nice sustained hotel on the moon.

    Would you go to it?

    I don't think I would.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbird
    I don't think I would.
    Why not?
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    I've heard you can harvest oxygen from some of the Iron Oxides on the surface, or something else that has oxygen in it.....

    Carbon seems to be scarce, though, and Nitrogen. Certainly Hydrogen is too, though you can harvest a certain amount of it from the solar wind if you have enough time and patience. (I'm not sure if you'd ever get a substantial amount, though).

    I think one of the biggest hurdles would be just to find a way to get up there easily. The amount of thrust you need to escape Earth's orbit is different from the amount you need if all you want to do is just get into orbit. That's why the space shuttle is able to get up there so economically. It's only shooting for low orbit.

    Ion drives are promising, though their rate of acceleration is extremely slow. Solar sails seem promising too, in a way, maybe if you only unfurled the sail during the part of an object's orbit where it is moving away from the sun. Any kind of gradual acceleration might eventually get you out of orbit, I guess.
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    The problem is going to be HOW MUCH can we get there. Lifting things into orbit isn't cheap. Last time I bothered to look (probably eight years ago) it cost over $1500 a pound to ship something into orbit.

    We'll want to find a solution which provides as much resources off-planet as possible, so we don't have to ship them. For example, if we sent a robotic mining platform to the Moon to begin harvesting oxygen, hydrogen, water, etc, it could all be in a sustainable quantity by the time people show up.

    Structures would need to be cheap, light, and expendable. You wouldn't want to ship a house to the Moon. Instead you want to ship a tent, and sleep in the tent while you build the house. Shipping a highly-collapsible habitat that can be used as a base of operations will be ideal, while efforts on the Moon are undertaken to build more permanent structures. A lot of things are being done with "inflatable" space habitats. Kinda like amusement-park inflatable jungle-gyms, they can be unfolded and literally blown-up, creating a prefabricated base with the minimal amount of starship space.

    The advantage of the Moon, habitat wise, is that it is relatively stable. Unlike Mars, there's no dust storms that could jeopardize a lightweight, makeshift base.

    If we could find a way to fabricate facilities on the Moon, we wouldn't need to ship any materials at all. One method that has been suggested is to dig. Literally, we take a cue from humanity's past and dig ourselves an underground city, right into the rock. A habitable environment could be secured with the minimal amount of structure, some kind of spray sealant, and a circulation system.

    Food is relatively easy. With water being the obvious bottleneck, hydroponics is very successful and missions have actually already proven it is possible to grow plants in virtually any environment, provided they still get the food they need.

    Depending on how successful Moon development becomes it can quickly become self-sufficient from Earth. Once that happens, the Moon becomes both the stepping-stone to a Mars colony, as well as the logical fabrication center for that effort.
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    Well, I favour the digging of mine shafts. Then your walls, roof, and even radiation shielding are there for you. Maybe you could melt silicon or some other component of the regolith (moon dust) and use it to coat the walls to make them air tight.

    As for water, we might need to figure out a way to mine an asteroid in the asteroid belt, or try and get some off of a comet. The advantage of mining an asteroid is you can ship what you mine somewhat easily. Set it in motion in the right direction, and it will eventually drift to where you want to ship it (in this case, the moon).

    Of course, setting up on an asteroid is very difficult. They barely have any gravity, which makes it hard to land on them, and most of them are far from the sun, so you need to send an independant energy source rather than rely on solar.
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    As for water, we might need to figure out a way to mine an asteroid in the asteroid belt, or try and get some off of a comet.
    Are'nt there any water at the poles? Or is it not enough.
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    They seem to think there might be. It's kind of an uncertainty that Nasa is hoping to clear up with another unmanned satellite, from what I understand.

    I think it was that one of the early unmanned missions they sent up before the original moon landing caught sight of some light that was in the color range to indicate hydrogen.

    I'm going off an article I read a good while ago, so I might have some of the details wrong, but that's the gist of it. There might be water on the moon, but there also might not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think it was that one of the early unmanned missions they sent up before the original moon landing caught sight of some light that was in the color range to indicate hydrogen.
    I think it was more from the recent data gathered by Lunar Prospector (launched 1998), rather than the mapping project of the Lunar Orbiter.

    If there is water, it's either going to be found in an impractically-gatherable thin sheet under the surface, or it may be trapped in pockets of ice. Either way, even if we do get the water, we'd have to find some way of tightly conserving it (there isn't going to be any more, and there's no weather system on the Moon to circulate the loss).
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    Now......... if we look at asteroids, there's this one called Ceres, which is suspected to have more water in it than all the oceans on Earth Combined.

    The trouble is partly in landing on it (because it doesn't have a whole lot of gravity), and controlling mining machinery from so far away our signals take more than 20 minutes to get there (and we only get feedback 20+ minutes later than that)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Now......... if we look at asteroids, there's this one called Ceres, which is suspected to have more water in it than all the oceans on Earth Combined.

    The trouble is partly in landing on it (because it doesn't have a whole lot of gravity), and controlling mining machinery from so far away our signals take more than 20 minutes to get there (and we only get feedback 20+ minutes later than that)
    It might contain as much 'fresh' water as Earth...not water. Ceres, because of it's size, would only have a few percent of the water of Earth.
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    That makes a lot more sense, come to think of it. It's only as far across as Texas is wide, and we know it can't be all made of water. I think it's funny they bother to qualify "fresh" water as being so different from salt water.

    I mean, it's in space. Who cares if it's salt water or fresh water? It's water!!!!

    Or maybe it's just that saying it has more fresh water than Earth makes it sound more impressive than just saying it has a lot of water, but not as much as Earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Now......... if we look at asteroids, there's this one called Ceres...
    Yeah, but Ceres is located between Mars and Jupiter! We're talking about a Moon colony, which is a considerable distance away. The efforts required to get the water out-of and off-of Ceres, not to mention ship it safely across that distance, and the round-trip timespan involved, would be impractical and annoying at best.

    Aside from that, we'd need to have an infrastructure in place already, before we even started on such a project. Where are we going to put the water? How are we going to build the things we need to contain and use that water? Is the effort worth it in the short-term goal of getting a base and industry established?

    There's little doubt of Ceres' importance to expansion into the deep solar system, but its presence and impact upon initial (and even future) colonization of the Moon are likely to be minimal at best.
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    What about hijacking a comet and guiding it into the moon? or would the water vaporise
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What about hijacking a comet and guiding it into the moon? or would the water vaporise
    Inefficient, not to mention out of our bounds of capability at the moment. Although it is theoretically possible to alter the path of a comet into the Moon, we don't have the technology to do so yet. We'd have half of the Moon colony issues worked out before that. Plus, you have to find a suitable comet.

    The main issue is that the Moon has extremely low gravity, so if you impacted something with the Moon, a good bit of the comet would bounce back out into space. It wouldn't fall back to the lunar surface after impact. Not to mention that you'd be creating a big mess.
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    True i guess. Well since it is outside the relm of possibility for now, I'd make a suggestion for when it is possible: guide the comet into orbit around the moon. Is it possible to have something be geostationary above the moon? How far are the Lagrange points (or whatever they are called) from the lunar surface?
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Yeah, but Ceres is located between Mars and Jupiter! We're talking about a Moon colony, which is a considerable distance away. The efforts required to get the water out-of and off-of Ceres, not to mention ship it safely across that distance, and the round-trip timespan involved, would be impractical and annoying at best.
    Getting it out of the surface would probably the most difficult part, then shielding the ice blocks so they didn't get melted in transit.

    As far as getting the ice blocks off the asteroid, it doesn't have a lot of gravity, so that part wouldn't be very hard. As far as shipping it, it's just a matter of setting it in motion with the right velocity and direction, then waiting a few years for it to arrive.

    I think the sheer volume of water we could get out of it would justify the effort, unless the moon does actually have water on it, in which case the moon's native water supply would be the best thing to tap.

    Round trip time span is only an issue for the first shipment of ice. After that, we could just send shipments at regular intervals. Kind of like how a whiskey or cheese manufacturer can age their whiskey or cheese for months before shipping it, yet they still mass produce it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    How far are the Lagrange points (or whatever they are called) from the lunar surface?
    There's several, at varying distances. You could certainly put something into orbit around the Moon, we've done it before, but stationary orbit without power would be very tricky.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Getting it out of the surface would probably the most difficult part...I think the sheer volume of water we could get out of it would justify the effort...
    Maybe so, but think about the effort.

    Assume the Earth has the same gravity as Ceres. Now assume that we want to cut a block of ice big enough to be worthwhile from the antarctic. How do we even do it? Chainsaws and prybars? Orbital lasers and suction cups? It's a tricky business. Not to mention that once you get it out, you have to move that mass across space, into a precise trajectory, as well as figure out how to protect it. Perhaps in the distant future we'll have acquired the resources to do such a thing, but not in the present timespan in which a Moon colony could be built.
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    Cmon guys this is an easy one. Freeze dried water, duh.
    Just add water!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What about hijacking a comet and guiding it into the moon? or would the water vaporise
    Not one, but thousands. Impact them all at the right angle and location and you achieve two things.
    1) Spin up the moon's rotational speed so that it has a shorter day.
    2) Provide an atmosphere and a hydrosphere.

    Today the moon, tomorrow the town's mental hospital.
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    I can't wait till we get a Moon colony. Then we can finally get rid of all the people we don't want.

    Today Australia. Tomorrow, the Moon!

    :P Heeheehee
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    Well Isaac Asimov wrote a story where we had already colonized Mars and for the first time they went to the asteroid belt to get water and dragged a whole asteroid back to Mars. Of course, this asteroid was completely made up of water. Are there any asteroids that are just ice blocks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator
    Well Isaac Asimov wrote a story where we had already colonized Mars and for the first time they went to the asteroid belt to get water and dragged a whole asteroid back to Mars. Of course, this asteroid was completely made up of water. Are there any asteroids that are just ice blocks?
    Asteroids? No. Comets, completely? No. Comets, to a considerable extent, yes. Hence my suggestion in post #13.
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    and mine in post #7 :wink:
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    How far are the Lagrange points (or whatever they are called) from the lunar surface?
    There's several, at varying distances. You could certainly put something into orbit around the Moon, we've done it before, but stationary orbit without power would be very tricky.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Getting it out of the surface would probably the most difficult part...I think the sheer volume of water we could get out of it would justify the effort...
    Maybe so, but think about the effort.

    Assume the Earth has the same gravity as Ceres. Now assume that we want to cut a block of ice big enough to be worthwhile from the antarctic. How do we even do it? Chainsaws and prybars? Orbital lasers and suction cups? It's a tricky business. Not to mention that once you get it out, you have to move that mass across space, into a precise trajectory, as well as figure out how to protect it. Perhaps in the distant future we'll have acquired the resources to do such a thing, but not in the present timespan in which a Moon colony could be built.

    One chainsaw, and one prybar, and a lot of time.

    But, yeah. The major problem is that nothing we've sent that far out has ever really been very big. So we'd barely be able to get any equipment up there, and only at a high amount of effort.

    After we got a pretty good pile of ice shavings together, we'd need some kind of insulated bag to put it all in. Then, once we launched it off the asteroid, we'd need a way to guide it, because we'd never get the initial trajectory down accurately enough to not need adjusting en route.

    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator
    Well Isaac Asimov wrote a story where we had already colonized Mars and for the first time they went to the asteroid belt to get water and dragged a whole asteroid back to Mars. Of course, this asteroid was completely made up of water. Are there any asteroids that are just ice blocks?
    We wouldn't need it to be all one ice block for it to be worth the trouble. It would just need a pretty high water content.

    It also doesn't need to hit the moon directly. We could put it into a gradually approaching orbit and land it more or less the same way the two landers on Mars were landed.

    It wouldn't have the same padding as they did, but it's ok if it breaks when it hits too. I'm just saying an orbital approach can be used so that the impact isn't an incredibly hard impact.
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    I will be surprised if we get to the moon by 2020 and even more surprised if we get to Mars by 2030.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    We wouldn't need it to be all one ice block for it to be worth the trouble. It would just need a pretty high water content.
    There's another problem, too. When a comet is listed as having "ice," it doesn't always mean water ice.

    But either way, if you impacted a comet into the Moon, all you'd really get is a big mess. You'd have a big hole, lots of rocks, a puff of everlasting dust, and some vaporized comet whose atoms just got blasted in every direction. You'd be lucky to get a tenth of the comet. Very lucky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Colyer
    I will be surprised if we get to the moon by 2020 and even more surprised if we get to Mars by 2030.
    Mars by 2030!!!! I'd die of shock.

    I'd put a date on of around 2090.

    Back to the moon? Depends. If all goes well then about 2022....however, 'if' there is a spacecraft lost then closer to 2030. there will be no imperative to get there without safety reaching the level of absurdity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    But either way, if you impacted a comet into the Moon, all you'd really get is a big mess. You'd have a big hole, lots of rocks, a puff of everlasting dust, and some vaporized comet whose atoms just got blasted in every direction. You'd be lucky to get a tenth of the comet. Very lucky.
    But there are an awful lot of comets.
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    Assuming all this happens far into the future, we could visit the oort cloud for some comets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator
    Well Isaac Asimov wrote a story where we had already colonized Mars and for the first time they went to the asteroid belt to get water and dragged a whole asteroid back to Mars. Of course, this asteroid was completely made up of water. Are there any asteroids that are just ice blocks?
    Well, details where a bit different. Starships were propelled by a "microfussion" device that heated water and expelled it as high temperature steam. Mars colonists go to Saturn to capture a suitable chunk of ice from the rings and turn it into a "spaceship" by adding the cockpits, the microfussion plants and the jets from their ships. They bury a set of wires on the surface that establish a high-grade magnetic field that stabilizes the pressure so the ice block won't break apart (wires hold it together and mag field holds the wires in place). Part of the ice is used as fuel for the travel but of course most of it can be landed on Mars.

    Now, there is solid H2O around Saturn and some chunks are quite sizeable... maybe not iceberg-size as Asimov speculated, but, that would make it easier to handle them with enough energy to turn ice into steam and propulsion. Nuclear fission should do, all in all, what would be the mass of it? 1,000 tons? Land a probe consisting of a powerplant, a digger and a jet, use it to dig ice and heat ice and jetison it at the right time and angle and there you go... roughly. 8)
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    [quote="Lucifer"]
    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator

    Now, there is solid H2O around Saturn and some chunks are quite sizeable... maybe not iceberg-size as Asimov speculated, but, that would make it easier to handle them with enough energy to turn ice into steam and propulsion. Nuclear fission should do, all in all, what would be the mass of it? 1,000 tons? Land a probe consisting of a powerplant, a digger and a jet, use it to dig ice and heat ice and jetison it at the right time and angle and there you go... roughly. 8)
    Land? Land where? Where do you get 1000 ton figure? and how you are going to dig ice and jetison it? Could you explain.
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    [quote="Jellyologist"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucifer
    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator

    Now, there is solid H2O around Saturn and some chunks are quite sizeable... maybe not iceberg-size as Asimov speculated, but, that would make it easier to handle them with enough energy to turn ice into steam and propulsion. Nuclear fission should do, all in all, what would be the mass of it? 1,000 tons? Land a probe consisting of a powerplant, a digger and a jet, use it to dig ice and heat ice and jetison it at the right time and angle and there you go... roughly. 8)
    Land? Land where? Where do you get 1000 ton figure? and how you are going to dig ice and jetison it? Could you explain.
    I was just adapting Asimov idea to what we know now. I do know that travel time would be too long and probably it would be cheaper to just lift the water from Earth as compared to go Saturn, but the first poster had got the details worng and made no sense as there's no ice at asteroid belt. I was correcting the details and adaptign Asimov idea to what we know now.

    In the long run the most useful source of water in solar system, apart from Earth, would be Europa. But such technolgoy would be far far more advanced than just colonising moon.

    If the moon is ever colonised, that will be done with water from Earth, that's my guess. Or at least with hydrogen from Earth and using local oxygen sources (like silicates) to manufacture water. 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    We wouldn't need it to be all one ice block for it to be worth the trouble. It would just need a pretty high water content.
    There's another problem, too. When a comet is listed as having "ice," it doesn't always mean water ice.

    But either way, if you impacted a comet into the Moon, all you'd really get is a big mess. You'd have a big hole, lots of rocks, a puff of everlasting dust, and some vaporized comet whose atoms just got blasted in every direction. You'd be lucky to get a tenth of the comet. Very lucky.
    I was kind of thinking you could divert the asteroid or comet (I'd prefer an asteroid) into a circular path around the moon first (just like we did for the apollo missions)

    If we get the trajectories right, the amount of thrust required for a soft landing would be pretty small, and it's ok to have it hit reasonably hard, like hard enough to kill a man, but not so much as to destroy it.
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    Ice from Saturn, comets, asteroid belts...

    These are all great ideals, but they make this far more complicated than it needs to be.

    Yes, there are sources of water ice out in the solar system, but before we go trouncing around messing with those, consider the more immediate issue of what we've got right now, in the feasible logistical proximity to the target (ie the Moon).

    What's gonna provide us with the greatest amount of usable water on the Moon, with the least cost, the least logistics, and the least difficulty?
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    you need an oxygen tank for the chainsaw though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    you need an oxygen tank for the chainsaw though.
    ...............Uh...who would bring a gas powered chainsaw into space?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Ice from Saturn, comets, asteroid belts...

    These are all great ideals, but they make this far more complicated than it needs to be.

    Yes, there are sources of water ice out in the solar system, but before we go trouncing around messing with those, consider the more immediate issue of what we've got right now, in the feasible logistical proximity to the target (ie the Moon).

    What's gonna provide us with the greatest amount of usable water on the Moon, with the least cost, the least logistics, and the least difficulty?
    Also consider the scope of our needs. We don't need an ocean up there, or even a full lake. At least not right away. A few hundred or a few thousand gallons would probably be plenty.

    The goal should be to set up the minimum needed for some people to live up there for years on end. Once we've got people up there living full time, they can start expanding the base.
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    What's gonna provide us with the greatest amount of usable water on the Moon, with the least cost, the least logistics, and the least difficulty?

    I could be being completely fantastical in my thoughts on this, but what about slowly Terra-forming? Set up a base colony of scientists to work on the kinks. Maybe try to "manufacture" an atmosphere similar to earths based on what there is already on the moon. I think plants could take care of a lot of it. I know the moon is rather rocky such, but if you were to set a base colony and get trees and such to grow, reuse everything, enrich the "soil", compost everything. set the base necessities for research purposes. study and see how it goes for a year or so. I'm sure people would line up for the chance to go and research there.

    transport enough water for the colony, and if they need more, then give them more. they could grow plants using hydroponics until the soil were more fertile, and experiment with growing in the moons soil, maybe some hybrid's of plants that already grow in sort of dismal terrain. from there, i think that it would be possible to really sort of create what is needed.

    nothing is going to come easy in this. it's a huge feat to tackle.
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    perhaps to save on costs, people would be so kind as to donate or sponsor materials and money for the research etc... try to do things almost fully with renewable energy that would be available there.

    might help keep costs down. might be a bit Utopian too?
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    I don't think the moon has enough gravity to sustain an atmospheer. If we really wanted to terraform something, mars would be better.
    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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    then to mars!
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    If the moon base got large enough to be made into a bio-dome kind of situation, I think that would be the point when we could safely say we'd colonized it.

    Maybe only 4 or 5 people could live in it at that point, but if they could do so with complete self sufficiency, it could only be a few years after that we'd have between 10 and 100.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Also consider the scope of our needs. We don't need an ocean up there, or even a full lake. At least not right away. A few hundred or a few thousand gallons would probably be plenty.

    The goal should be to set up the minimum needed for some people to live up there for years on end. Once we've got people up there living full time, they can start expanding the base.
    See, I knew there were thinkers around here somewhere!

    To figure out how much water we'd need, you have to define four factors:

    1. How many people are you going to support initially?

    2. What is the immediate growth potential?

    3. How much water does the average person consume/use in a given day?

    4. How fast can you reclaim the waste water to sustain supply?

    If we assume the average person goes through, say, 50 gallons of water a day, and you have 100 colonists, you need a base reservoir of at least 5,000 gallons. If you don't reclaim any of the lost water, you'd need a tank that could hold 1.8 million gallons of water to sustain a 100-person colony for a year. For comparison, an Olympic sized swimming pool holds about 600,000 gallons of water. So obviously we're not talking about needing anything huge. Storage for only a hundred thousand gallons would be plenty. If you can reclaim a high percentage of waste water, then such a tank could sustain a 100-person colony for quite a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If the moon base got large enough to be made into a bio-dome kind of situation, I think that would be the point when we could safely say we'd colonized it.
    In a place without an atmosphere, it would make more sense to build underground than above. In that light, we are limited in space only by how much we can dig. Today's mining techniques can cut through rock pretty quick. We're going to have the greatest struggle building the life-support systems probably more than finding habitable space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    [In a place without an atmosphere, it would make more sense to build underground than above. In that light, we are limited in space only by how much we can dig. Today's mining techniques can cut through rock pretty quick. We're going to have the greatest struggle building the life-support systems probably more than finding habitable space.
    It takes a huge infrastucture of technology 'to cut through rock pretty quick'....and that's on Earth with proven techniques and equipment. A couple decads have been needed just to prefect the hand tools used on the International Space Station for a simple task such as fastening a bolt . Every time humans are involved in space the proverbial wheel has to be re-invented and perfected for even the smallest task. Buzz Aldrin is a real keener and great for promoting interest in manned space flight but he always cautions that everything depends on the weakest link in space. As he said, 3 years of preparation and billions spent all go down the toilet if 'out there' a zipper gets stuck or a toggle breaks off of a panel.
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    Actually, the most likely place we will colonize first will be Mars. NASA has stated before the most likely use for the moon will be a low-gravity base where we can construct a spacecraft capable of reaching Mars. If any base exists on the moon, it will probably be inhabited by a small handfull of astronauts/kosmonauts ect that will work on the Mars-bound ship. Much like the international space station.

    One of the neater ideas for a Mars-bound ship I saw on the Science channel was a craft with a giant "parachute" of sorts that uses the force of nuclear explosions to travel. A very productive way to use nuclear warheads, if you ask me.
    "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." - As Laplace said when Napoleon wondered how the famous mathematician could write his book without mentioning God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    [In a place without an atmosphere, it would make more sense to build underground than above. In that light, we are limited in space only by how much we can dig. Today's mining techniques can cut through rock pretty quick. We're going to have the greatest struggle building the life-support systems probably more than finding habitable space.
    It takes a huge infrastucture of technology 'to cut through rock pretty quick'....and that's on Earth with proven techniques and equipment. A couple decads have been needed just to prefect the hand tools used on the International Space Station for a simple task such as fastening a bolt . Every time humans are involved in space the proverbial wheel has to be re-invented and perfected for even the smallest task. Buzz Aldrin is a real keener and great for promoting interest in manned space flight but he always cautions that everything depends on the weakest link in space. As he said, 3 years of preparation and billions spent all go down the toilet if 'out there' a zipper gets stuck or a toggle breaks off of a panel.
    Modern techniques require huge infrastructure. That is true. If you do things the way they were being done in the mid 1800's, on the other hand, you don't need nearly as much.

    The process slows down and you need to accomodate more risk (Ie. have more backups of every input you're going to use), but you can do with minimal infrastructure.

    In the mid-1800's you mined by:
    1)- drilling holes in the rock.

    (Back then, they actually just hammered a metal spike into the rock to make their hole)

    2)- filling the holes with explosives.

    3)- stepping back and setting the explosives off

    4)- clearing away the rubble, placing support beams to hold up the tunnel you've made so far, and then starting the process again.

    You can't really expect me to believe that process requires a huge infrastructure. You're going to want to have some backup robots in case of the occasional cave in, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    [In a place without an atmosphere, it would make more sense to build underground than above. In that light, we are limited in space only by how much we can dig. Today's mining techniques can cut through rock pretty quick. We're going to have the greatest struggle building the life-support systems probably more than finding habitable space.
    It takes a huge infrastucture of technology 'to cut through rock pretty quick'....and that's on Earth with proven techniques and equipment. A couple decads have been needed just to prefect the hand tools used on the International Space Station for a simple task such as fastening a bolt . Every time humans are involved in space the proverbial wheel has to be re-invented and perfected for even the smallest task. Buzz Aldrin is a real keener and great for promoting interest in manned space flight but he always cautions that everything depends on the weakest link in space. As he said, 3 years of preparation and billions spent all go down the toilet if 'out there' a zipper gets stuck or a toggle breaks off of a panel.
    Modern techniques require huge infrastructure. That is true. If you do things the way they were being done in the mid 1800's, on the other hand, you don't need nearly as much.

    The process slows down and you need to accomodate more risk (Ie. have more backups of every input you're going to use), but you can do with minimal infrastructure.

    In the mid-1800's you mined by:
    1)- drilling holes in the rock.

    (Back then, they actually just hammered a metal spike into the rock to make their hole)

    2)- filling the holes with explosives.

    3)- stepping back and setting the explosives off

    4)- clearing away the rubble, placing support beams to hold up the tunnel you've made so far, and then starting the process again.

    You can't really expect me to believe that process requires a huge infrastructure. You're going to want to have some backup robots in case of the occasional cave in, though.
    You have obviously never drilled a hole or cut a rock. It's nothing to do with robots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    You have obviously never drilled a hole or cut a rock. It's nothing to do with robots.
    I have.

    Mind telling me how drilling rock on the Moon is different than drilling rock on the Earth? You seem to be implying there's some kind of magic to it. A little water, a diamond bit, a jack-drill and some pressure, and you can pop a hole through just about anything.

    Unlike repairing satellites where you have to counter your actions constantly, on the Moon you have a foundation to work from. If you tried to press a drill through a satellite you'd have to have an equal force acting opposite else you'd find yourself in a mess. On the Moon, that problem doesn't exist.

    The water and equipment are easy, especially since we've already done this before. Although heavy modifications were made to the geological equipment taken on some of the Apollo missions, the modifications were done in order to save space, power, and make the tools usable for astronauts in space-suits who don't have a lot of dexterity.

    On the Moon, in any kind of real operation, you could even setup a low-pressure chamber in the drilling area, so that you wouldn't have to harden the equipment against the vacuum.

    Then again, if we can find a way to get a decent power source onto the Moon, we can use lasers to drill the holes. It would be slower, but drilling with a laser has the advantages that there are no moving parts. You're only limited to the amount of power you can apply. Chances are we'd have some kind of power solution already in place, since this would be a base, not a temporary satellite outpost.

    As for blasting, a fair amount of geological surveying would need to be done, but today's blasting has been taken to a fine art. The folks who blow new sections of mines know exactly how to place their charges, how much explosives, etc, to get the result they want. We'd have to adjust the calculations for the densities on the Moon, and the lack of gravity or pressure. Our biggest problem might be simply how to get rid of the dust!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    You have obviously never drilled a hole or cut a rock. It's nothing to do with robots.
    I have.

    Mind telling me how drilling rock on the Moon is different than drilling rock on the Earth? You seem to be implying there's some kind of magic to it. A little water, a diamond bit, a jack-drill and some pressure, and you can pop a hole through just about anything.

    Unlike repairing satellites where you have to counter your actions constantly, on the Moon you have a foundation to work from. If you tried to press a drill through a satellite you'd have to have an equal force acting opposite else you'd find yourself in a mess. On the Moon, that problem doesn't exist.

    The water and equipment are easy, especially since we've already done this before. Although heavy modifications were made to the geological equipment taken on some of the Apollo missions, the modifications were done in order to save space, power, and make the tools usable for astronauts in space-suits who don't have a lot of dexterity.

    On the Moon, in any kind of real operation, you could even setup a low-pressure chamber in the drilling area, so that you wouldn't have to harden the equipment against the vacuum.

    Then again, if we can find a way to get a decent power source onto the Moon, we can use lasers to drill the holes. It would be slower, but drilling with a laser has the advantages that there are no moving parts. You're only limited to the amount of power you can apply. Chances are we'd have some kind of power solution already in place, since this would be a base, not a temporary satellite outpost.

    As for blasting, a fair amount of geological surveying would need to be done, but today's blasting has been taken to a fine art. The folks who blow new sections of mines know exactly how to place their charges, how much explosives, etc, to get the result they want. We'd have to adjust the calculations for the densities on the Moon, and the lack of gravity or pressure. Our biggest problem might be simply how to get rid of the dust!
    'Set up this'...'set up that'. You still are naive and don't get it. Set up a vacuum chamber....set up a place to store tools...set up a power supply...base in place for all these materials and the infrastructure. Wave the magic wand and and 'voila'...it's all set up. Every angle of every nut and bolt needs to be designed...every angle of every tool used to turn every nut and bolt...every glove designed to hold the tool....everyone trained to put on the special glove to hold the special tool to turn the special nut.

    This is not Star Trek but science and reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    'Set up this'...'set up that'. You still are naive and don't get it. Set up a vacuum chamber....set up a place to store tools...set up a power supply...base in place for all these materials and the infrastructure. Wave the magic wand and and 'voila'...it's all set up. Every angle of every nut and bolt needs to be designed...every angle of every tool used to turn every nut and bolt...every glove designed to hold the tool....everyone trained to put on the special glove to hold the special tool to turn the special nut.

    This is not Star Trek but science and reality.
    Absolutely, Jellyologist. I couldn't agree with you more. It was this same kind of naive thinking that affected the Wright brothers, this same gullibility that infected Werner von Braun, the same gross stupidity that traumatised Edison. Wolf is to be utterly condemned for thinking that we can overcome obstacles in our path through commitment, drive and intellect.
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    Last time i looked at the moon there was lot's of creators, perhaps there are already water rich meteorites on the moon ?

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    Creators of craters I guess?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    'Set up this'...'set up that'. You still are naive and don't get it. Set up a vacuum chamber....set up a place to store tools...set up a power supply...base in place for all these materials and the infrastructure. Wave the magic wand and and 'voila'...it's all set up. Every angle of every nut and bolt needs to be designed...every angle of every tool used to turn every nut and bolt...every glove designed to hold the tool....everyone trained to put on the special glove to hold the special tool to turn the special nut.

    This is not Star Trek but science and reality.
    Absolutely, Jellyologist. I couldn't agree with you more. It was this same kind of naive thinking that affected the Wright brothers, this same gullibility that infected Werner von Braun, the same gross stupidity that traumatised Edison. Wolf is to be utterly condemned for thinking that we can overcome obstacles in our path through commitment, drive and intellect.
    ...

    I chose not to respond to Jelly's post because I could not figure out where he got the idea that I in any way stated that I thought we were going to colonize the Moon tomorrow before lunchtime.

    When asked if anyone had knowledge of actual mine drilling, I responded.

    No, I never said we could just mail a drill to the Moon and have it carving things up by tomorrow. Sorry, that attack doesn't hold water.

    Although it is perfectly plausible to put an Earth-bound drill on the Moon with minor modifications, one would hope that by the time we've figured out all the other things that need to be done for a sustainable Moon base, we'd have a deployable scaled-up model of the drills we've already used.

    And besides, I think this conversation stemmed from a discussion of HOW things could be done, not WHEN. Last time I noticed this thread on track, we were talking about what would be more feasible: a surface facility, or a subsurface one, and how each might be done.

    Any constructive, meaningful discussion would be welcome. There is a place for childish wailings and conjecture, but it isn't here.


    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Creators of craters I guess?
    Let's not get all philosophical now...
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    My thinking is that, if we can find a process that works in a simulated moon environment on Earth, it will probably work on the moon.

    The presence of a vacuum, for instance, really doesn't throw you a lot of curves. It's a vacuum. That means it won't have random or unforseeable elements in it, because there's nothing in it.

    Cosmic rays, on the other hand, might be something to consider, as well as the extreme temperatures from night to day and back.
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    I find the political possibilities interesting. For example, the hotel mentioned on page 2. According to the Outer Space Treaty, no nation can lay claim to the moon. Appropriating land on the moon is impossible as it is the heritage of humanity and no single nation. So if we assume we had a hotel up there making millions (potentially billions).... Who's going to get all that money?

    If it's a world collaboration like the International Space Station, someone - or everyone - is bound to want to hog all that precious money. One little hotel on the moon could spark off WWIII. There's an idea for an SF novel. And if it's already been written, let me know. Because this sounds action-packed.
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    I want to see if somebody would be bold enough to go up there and have a kid. Imagine trying to sort that out politically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    According to the Outer Space Treaty, no nation can lay claim to the moon. Appropriating land on the moon is impossible as it is the heritage of humanity and no single nation.
    Maybe you've missed out on the past few millennia, but when has that ever stopped any politicians from doing anything?
    Wolf
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    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
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  68. #67  
    Time Lord
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    You know, I was just thinking......... if we want to send water up there, we don't have to send *water*. We can just send Hydrogen, and then harvest the necessary oxygen from the Moon's surface.

    I mean, the atomic weight of Oxygen is 16, but the weight of Hydrogen is 1, so if we just ship Hydrogen up there, instead of H2O, it will only be 1/9 the weight.

    As far as politics are concerned, I'd like to see the Moon colony (if there ever is one) declare itself an independent country. How would any of the Earth bound powers contest such a claim?
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  69. #68  
    Forum Senior TvEye's Avatar
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    They'd have to declare themselves an independent planet - independent moon? It would be interesting. There's no precedent. Perhaps our two diplomats, fat man and little boy, would reason with them. A fat nuke in the pie hole.
    "First we build the tools, then they build us" - Marshall McLuhan.
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  70. #69  
    Forum Senior TvEye's Avatar
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    'ok earth, we've had quite enough of you. We're claiming independence' ... 'no problem. We want you out of our orbit in twenty four hours'
    "First we build the tools, then they build us" - Marshall McLuhan.
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  71. #70  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    All that has to happen is for one or more nations to promote a position of scientific endeavor under the mutual understanding of mutual gain, all while reinforcing an official position of no official position.

    There's nothing to prevent colonization of the Moon from an international perspective.
    Wolf
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  72. #71  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    It may be the thing that finally pulls us all together.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  73. #72  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    It may be the thing that finally pulls us all together.
    It is not in our nature to be pulled together.
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  74. #73  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Build two very large cylinders on the moon and then spin them so we get the eqivalent angular momentum to the Earths G force of 1, then move onto them. Hey presto! The energy has to be really high so multiple nuclear power plants or a few fusion power plants would be in order :?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  75. #74  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    They'd have to declare themselves an independent planet - independent moon? It would be interesting. There's no precedent. Perhaps our two diplomats, fat man and little boy, would reason with them. A fat nuke in the pie hole.
    The moon colony quietly mentions that, in the process of mining certain asteroids in the asteroid belt, they might have attached guiding rockets to them in order to move them around in their orbits............. or into other orbits......
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  76. #75  
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    After all, one chief advantage of a moon colony is the colonists could build manufacturing facilities, and begin building their own space vehicles. Why not attach rockets to a few key asteroids?

    It's a poor man's nuke, if we don't find uranium up there.
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