Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Our Hands: The Moon



Stephen Hawking long ago said, and re-iterated in 2010, that if we care about our future, our children's future,  and the future of our species, we'd best be advised to get the HELL off this planet, and start setting up permanent, self-sustaining colonies ELSEWHERE!

This is wise advice, and I am totally on board. In fact, that's the ultimate goal of me, my weblog, and my interest in all things (so many things) Mathematical Physics.

Why? Because, I actually give a damn, and look at the big picture FIRST, before zeroing in on the details, where, as they say, the devil is (that's a figure of speech, Tea Partiers, don't take that literally).

In ORDER to accomplish this end, we'll need great engineering, which we have by the way, and we'll need more and better Physics, which means more and better Mathematics.

We have those too, and they're getting better daily.

So what's standing in the way?

In a word: Politics.

America has been there 6 times. We probably won't lead the next round, thanks to how polarized our politics has become, meaning the far left wants money for those who don't want to work, and the far right wants money for tax cuts.

But we could do this if we shut up with the asinine rhetoric. We might. And if not us Americans, then China. Or Europe. Or India. Or Japan. Or Brazil. Or somebody.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to see Space.com is running a series of articles this week on reversing the American trend. Very nice, and here are the links:

These stories are part of a week-long SPACE.com series on what it would take for humanity to return to the moon to stay.  
... space.com

The Myth of America's Love Affair with the Moon

and

The Case Against the Moon: Why We Shouldn't Go Straight Back

and

The Case FOR the Moon: Why We Should Go Back Now

and

Moon Mining Idea Digs Up Lunar Legal Issues

and

Mining the Moon's Water: Q & A with Shackleton Energy's Bill Stone

Coming on Monday: 21st Century Moon bases and the new moon race.
... space.com

Heck, YEAH! We're going to need the support of MINING COMPANIES to return, because we need an incentive to return. And this time ... stay.

I look forward to Platohagel helping me, and all of us, in this regard.

We already have a presence in space, LEO = Low Earth Orbit, which is the ISS, the International Space Station.

Impressive, but also one fist-sized peice of space junk away from killing the occupants and being abandoned.

Planetary surfaces are safer, and considering what we're doing to this one, well, how much time do you good people think we've got?

In our hands, the Moon.

Go go Space.com ! Branson and Musk will drive the bus. All aboard?

Let's roll.












9 comments:

Plato said...

Well Steven we know we need water if we are ever to establish a base.

The support system for establishment of that base, require elements that can be found there, as they will be necessary for the foundation and support of "creating the place" in which to live. The property has to have some value. Who is to determine it's owner ship?

So how one looks at the planets is to think about it's structure and what benefits can be gained from establishing locations for ventures further out into space. What it's gravity field looks like may aid in the determination of the mass and density of that planet n aiding the elemental determination of that structure?

Colonization.

I just thought if I was to gain from mining profits it would have to be for a reason in order to get my capital expenses out of such an investment. Then, what mining and values understood in terms of those elements is to be able to look at the moon in such a way that such support for that colonization for the moon base is established.

Is it a international mining company, then a private one? Who shall have the say over where such mining can or can't occur, if property rights are or are not given?

Just some of the thoughts that have occurred for me.

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

Hi, Plato,

Water, and air! In the long run I don't see that being as much of a problem as shelter from cosmic rays and solar radiation, which we can also solve.

Air and water will have to be imported from Earth for the first century, maybe less. There's titanium oxide on the moon, right? That means oxygen. I'll make a deal with you. You can keep the titanium, I'll take the O2. With the O2 we'll get our air, and if we can locate some hydrogen we can combine that with the O2 to make water. And once someone gets off their duff and repeats Biosphere, except this time with less mistakes both managerial and engineering-wise of the first one, we'll recycle that stuff. For food: plants, and the small furry animals that love them.

For shelter, the best news of late is that there are Caves on the moon! That's where we'll settle first. It'll sure save on excavation costs.

Now, I know this will be pricey, but that hasn't stopped exploration before. We know who the Ferdinands and Isabellas of our day are, all that remains is to find the Columbuses, and I suspect there are no shortage of them either. And in any event, as Kennedy said, we won't go to the moon because it is easy, we will go to the moon because it is hard!

A challenge! A goal. Goals are good.

As a fringe benefit, we can solve the massive poverty problem here on Earth in doing this. Full employment for all humans is possible, provided we have a goal and people want to help. I have a cousin who worked at Grumman in the 60's - he was pretty darn proud to be one of the hundreds of thousands that allowed Neil and Buzz to step on our sister planet and return safely to the Earth.

The Moon with it's 1/4th gravity will provide a saner place to build and launch a Mars mission one day. Also, in about 2 months we'll have a probe in orbit around planet Mercury. It's quite possible Mercury has more rich minerals and precious metals than any other planet, and if so, our successes on establishing a lunar base will be priceless in terms of experience to go after the Gold planet. Both seem equally hostile. So did North America back in the day, given the technology of those days, but, our ancestors conquered that eventually, eh?

Yes they did, and we're the living proof. :-)

Plato said...

Steven:There's titanium oxide on the moon, right? That means oxygen.

You get my point well then that, "the elements" are factors that we have to take into consideration if the future of colonization has a step off point.

The life cycle of a lunar impact and associated time and special scales. The LCROSS measurement methods are “layered” in response to the rapidly evolving impact environment. See: Impact:Lunar CRater Observation Satellite (LCROSS)

So one must first plan for the expansion based on a blueprint for future generations.

So you develop a research scenario based on the development and support of building such a base.

As you have shown we are part way to the moon "so structure of habitation is and has already shown it can "withstand" through how such a design must be built on the moon. Of course first habitations is going to be the capsules in which it got us there.

Metallurgic and refinement processes are developed for specific kinds of materials needed in the development of.

Politics is an interesting question when it comes to how we want to move out toward space colonization, beyond the boundaries earth has to this date incorporated so as to benefit investment, while developing for all humankind?

So is it a "public company" or "a private Corporation" through future developmental designs that shall lead the way?

Best,

Plato said...

Extracting Oxygen from Moon Rocks

If you have obtained a long term supply of elements specific, then how shall they be combined to support such a long stay?

"A supply" for sure then.

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

So is it a "public company" or "a private Corporation" through future developmental designs that shall lead the way?

You handle the Legal end and I'll handle the Sales end. :-)

As a tip though, what did it take to start up the Dutch East India Trading Company? It's in the History books, a not-small dose of which I believe you lawyers had to study in your undergraduate days. :-)

Also, regarding Columbus. Was he really Italiano, or was he the Portuguese double-spy Salvador Fernandes Zarco, who played King John against Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand and vice versa, until he got the 3 ships he couldn't afford himself? And who then, on the high seas, ran into, got info from, then killed: John Cabot, the alleged REAL discoverer of the New World?

Well, I don't know, sounds like conspiracy crackpottery to me, but however he did it, he sure got it done.

Steven Colyer said...

Plato wrote on his own website, here:

Steven wrote: You handle the Legal end and I'll handle the Sales end.

You have to lead first by example? At 9:11 AM, November 05, 2009, Steven:How can Quantum Gravity help? Transmutation. Once we know how matter and energy work on the smallest scales, Engineers should shortly thereafter learn how to turn Lunar titanium into any other form of matter we desire, and Newton's dream of Alchemy will finally be realized. Unfortunately I am embroiled in United States sovereignty claim because of the flag planted on the moon and various mirrors for measure as claims to land. Setting up the infrastructure like Christine said is first and foremost. An elementary consideration as to how we can support that community on the Moon and provide for manufacture and production is why my companies move to land claims of the Aristarchus Crater and Surrounding Region. If different countries can challenge Canada's sovereignty of it's north, then I should have no problem contesting any rights to United States sovereignty on the moon.:) If we as a global community dispense with such borders then as a community it then belongs to all people, not just "capitalistic control." I as a mining company will bequeath all my lands to such an endeavor. Best,
January 14, 2011 7:43 AM


Not sure why that didn't go through, Plato. The blogspot gods must be angry? Need more servers, blogspot? Here's a tip: BUY more! Sheesh, do we really have to solve ALL the world's problems? :-)

To answer your questions, though:

I ain't leading nothing! I'll be Veep of Sales. The REAL guy to lead and CEO would be Super-Astronaut John Young, who flew as mission commander Gus Grissom's pilot on the first Gemini mission, commanded an Apollo and thus walked the Moon, and commanded the first Space Shuttle with pilot Bob Crippen. Check out his Wiki entry and he's totally on board with a Lunar Colony.

So I guess the first order of business is to contact John Young.

As far as sovereignty goes, didn't you see that little note Buzz Aldrin attached to the American flag?

It reads ... "Finders Keepers!" lol

Steven Colyer said...

UPDATE! The promised Moon Mining Idea Digs Up Lunar Legal Issues< article at Space dot com is now up. I will now add it to the main body of the post.

Steven Colyer said...

Well, THIS is a real treat:

Not only did we get the promised Friday lunar Mining article from Space dot com, we got TWO different Mining articles!

Better yet, the series continues on Monday! All added to the post.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Especially Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords and their families and all the other families of the courageous survivors.

Things are looking up, literally. Ciao bella.

Steven Colyer said...

Heidi, the Cross-Eyed Opossom. She's everywhere!