If by "viable" you mean "pays for itself" then not very. The moon has no resources nor strategic significance in the near future. Even scientific goals can be mostly accomplished by much cheaper rovers.
>>7837577 At a beginning stage fine, but I think in the later stages the moon will be built up to a space station-like caliber, allowing for more efficient mining of asteroids and faster collection of solar power transferred to Earth via future tech.
>>7837577 Ridiculously expensive at the present time, but totally necessary for 'real' solar system exploration. Wherever we go we need water, there is water on the moon in quantity, this coupled with low gravity for launches makes a moon facility at some point essential - it will be automated with a skeleton shift system of supervisors. But probably not in your lifetime.
>>7837577 with all those precious metals and rare earths smashed into it's surface, along with only having 1/6 the gravity of the earth you could mine a lot deeper. Besides, scientists at NASA have already figured out a way to extract water out of moonrocks, so that's a major obstacle already overcome.
>>7837593 >>7837619 Once space travel technology becomes economical and the transfer of minerals from the moon back to earth is profitable, you'd think there'd be an explosion of development. The greatest goldrush in human history.
>>7837826 When the Chinese starts large scale strip mining of the Moon for He3 it will, all of a sudden, become a national imperative for the US to go to the Moon.
The world depends on vast amounts of cheap energy but noone knows how much oil is left in the Middle East, and there is uranium for 20 years once the proposed 10x number of reactors are built.
Secondly, to launch thousands of SPS (solar power satellites) the scale may tip in the advantage of lunar fabrication.
Vast frequency ranges are today reserved space research. Build huge radio telescopes on the Moon and you can release billions of dollars worth of frequency bands. You can even create huge baselines with radio telescopes on the Moon and Earth.
>>7837693 Yeah, right. >Inconclusive evidence of free water ice at the lunar poles was accumulated from a variety of observations suggesting the presence of bound hydrogen. On 18 November 2008, the Moon Impact probe was released from India's Chandrayaan-1 at a height of 100 kilometres (62 mi). During its 25-minute descent, the impact probe's Chandra's Altitudinal Composition (CHACE) recorded evidence of water in 650 mass spectra gathered in the thin atmosphere above the Moon's surface. In September 2009, Chandrayaan-1 detected water on the Moon and hydroxyl absorption lines in reflected sunlight. In November 2009, NASA reported that its LCROSS space probe had detected a significant amount of hydroxyl group in the material thrown up from a south polar crater by an impactor; this may be attributed to water-bearing materials – what appears to be "near pure crystalline water-ice". In March 2010, it was reported that the Mini-RF on board Chandrayaan-1 had discovered more than 40 permanently darkened craters near the Moon's north pole that are hypothesized to contain an estimated 600 million metric tonnes (1.3 trillion pounds) of water-ice.
Water may have been delivered to the Moon over geological timescales by the regular bombardment of water-bearing comets, asteroids and meteoroids or continuously produced in situ by the hydrogen ions (protons) of the solar wind impacting oxygen-bearing minerals.
>>7838766 This implies there's reasons to go to other planets. Unless we're going to get something out of the gas giants or their moons, that leaves the solid planets. And we can't land on Venus, so we have Mars and Mercury. So this "Space Port" is not as much a port as it is a "Freeway On-ramp".
If you mean something like the ISS, but on the moon, it's viable, just very, very expensive. And doesn't get us much more than ISS. Microgravity rather than zero-g? Cheaper and safer to just build a centrifuge-type space station in LEO.
If you mean something that's more-or-less self-sustaining, and has some degree of resilience (i.e. it's not a matter of "evacuate or die" the first time something major goes wrong), then it's not remotely viable yet. It would be like the Victorians planning a space program. I.e. not only don't we know how to do it, we don't even know what our research priorities should be.
If we said "money's no object, we're going to have a moon colony 10 years from now", we'd end up with everyone dead because of something that wasn't even considered until it was too late.
And He-3 is just a meme. We don't have any technology which could make use of it, even if we did, it's not actually that much more abundant on the moon than on earth (not to anywhere near the extent that it's worth going all the way to the moon for it), and there's no particular reason to believe that He-3 fusion will *ever* be a useful energy source (i.e. it may well be "leapfrogged" by alternatives).
("If He-3 was important then we'd have a reason to mine space" is not evidence that it will ever be important. If you don't understand that, you need to start by researching the concept of self-awareness).
>>7839098 >If we said "money's no object, we're going to have a moon colony 10 years from now", we'd end up with everyone dead because of something that wasn't even considered until it was too late. I don't get why you'd say this. Surely if we can make the ISS work without killing everyone then a moon colony would be even easier considering it has thins like soil and water.
>>7839098 >cheaper and safer to just build a centrifuge-type space station No it wouldn't. You would need a monumental amount of resources to build one comfy enough for people to live on. It would probably be cheaper to erect a few small, livable domes on the moon.
Its viable that humans can live up there within the laws of physics. But the limiting factor is humans on Earth. If we don't the resources, energy, ethics or money to pump into it, it won't happen. We need to be convinced there is a tangable, material profit from colonizing the moon, because as good as "muh starstuff" makes you feel, it doesn't put food on the table.
>2040's >oil supplies dwindling/gone >energy demand skyrockets >moon base becomes economically feasible >ExxonMobile (tm) presents the SpaceX (tm) LunarDragon (tm) Lunar Helium III Processing Facility (tm) >mine, process He3 on moon >send to Earth, sell for big energy dollars >use moon base as cost-efficient staging area for deep space missions, both public and private >make $trillions$
This is the future. Especially if NASA does all the leg work and develops asteroid mining technology/techniques in the 2020's and deep space tech/techniques to go to Mars in the 2030's.
>>7838044 Literally cannot be more ready for this. It's something that humanity simply HAS to achieve if we're ever to be more than a couple seconds of history on a random irrelevant rock in the Milky Way.
>>7838262 >Vast frequency ranges are today reserved space research. Build huge radio telescopes on the Moon and you can release billions of dollars worth of frequency bands. You can even create huge baselines with radio telescopes on the Moon and Earth. Optical telescopes on the moon seems like a decent idea, too. All the advantages of a space telescope like the Hubble except it's firmly planted on a big rock and doesn't have to be chased down whilst in orbit for repairs and upgrades.
>>7837577 Not very But, if we build one it had best be completely self sufficient Because when the nuclear waste dump on the far side explodes ans the moon is propelled out of Earth orbit and out of the solar system, the moon base and colonists will be on their own
>>7839465 >problem of gravity I wouldn't go so far as to say gravity is problem but the moon has several advantages to orbital stations such as easy access to soil and water, possibility of mining and construction of things like space elevators, space guns and mass drivers.
>>7840017 >Honestly it would probably take 1,000 years to seriously get colonies there, but worth it. I don't think it'd take that long. The #1 barrier is cost. If it were cheap you'd have people lining up willing to build/live in a moon colony.
As we've seen in the past decade making spaceflight affordable is absolutely something that can be achieved within the next decade.
>We really can't just magic our way to other planets without that stepping stone. This is true and cannot be emphasized enough. Many complain that our tech is inadequate for colonies on the moon, mars, etc which may be true to some extent, but if we sit around and wait for the tech to happen, we'll never colonize space. Spaceflight drives spaceflight technology, not vice versa. We're aren't going to be able to develop jack shit if we sit on our asses down here on earth.
>>7840045 I disagree. There are so many people now that if something becomes available, no matter how daunting or crazy it may seem there will be hundreds or thousands out there willing to partake in it as long as it's affordable.
Not to go full Musk on you but remember that SpaceX is pushing for cheap, abundant, and eventually consumer-available spaceflight of all types. If they can manage that, things are going to change quickly and dramatically. With their current pace it's not hard to imagine them eventually building a sort of moon-bus, perhaps even as scaled-down test model of the MCT.
>>7837693 Yeah right. Hypothetically, if Selelne was really formed by a collision between Theia and Earth, then due to the lack of a significant molten core, the heavy elements 'could' be distributed closer to the surface enablng extraction in quantity. Dont know where you get ayy llmao tech from?? >Rio Tinto Group embarked on their Mine of the Future initiative in 2008. From a control center in Perth, Rio Tinto employees operate autonomous mining equipment in Australia's remote but mineral rich Pilbara region. The autonomous mining vehicles reduce the footprint of the mining giant while improving productivity and vehicle utilization. As of June 2014, Rio Tinto's autonomous mining fleet reached the milestone of 200 million tons hauled. Rio Tinto also operate a number of autonomous blast hole drill rigs.
>Bingham Canyon Mine Located near Salt Lake City, Utah, the Bingham Canyon Mine (Kennecott Utah Copper/Rio Tinto) is one of the largest open pit mine in the world and one of the world's largest copper producers. In April 2013, the mine experienced a catastrophic landslide that halted much of the mine's operations. As part of the cleanup efforts and to improve safety, mine administrators turned to remote control excavator, dozers and teleremote blast hole drills to perform work on the highly unstable terrain areas. Robotic technology helped Kennecott to reduce the steeper, more dangerous areas of the slide to allow manned vehicles access for cleanup efforts.
Maybe its YOU that should read more rather than specialising and learning nothing?
>>7839661 >Dr. Who? lol Nope. I vaguely recall a picture of someone in a foetal position on the spine on all the tankoubons. And it was translated into English.
>>7839662 >a huge city in orbit It would not be inhabitable until you had enclosed the volume and filled it with water and air. To get to this point you would already need a city, a refinery and a mass launcher on the Moon.
And then, what would you do in that city, what would the purpose be?
>>7839726 >Optical telescopes on the moon seems like a decent idea, too. Agreed. With 1/6 the gravity of Earth you could make truly gigantic telescopes on the Moon.
You could also use huge craters to make equally huge Arecibo-style radio telescopes. Place them on the eastern or western limb and you are in the radio shadow from the Earth and can do long baseline interferometry.
>>7840179 >Are space elevators viable? From the Earth? Barely. From the Moon? More likely though more conventional mass drivers would be simpler.
>>7840281 Honestly takeoff from the moon is pretty easy, and with an engine like VASIMR that can go between high thrust and high isp and only needs hydrogen, you can make a pretty good tanker to do supply runs between surface and L2. As a matter of fact, this and building a good telescope are the only decent reasons for construction on the moon.
>>7841140 >also the helium-3 on the moon weren't rather on too low levels? Not sure. The process of adsorption is rather plausible. However the samples returned from the Moon have been incorrectly stored so I doubt you can do any meaningful measurements on existing samples.
>>7841184 >engine like VASIMR OK. So how is the testing coming along?
>>7841433 I doubt that it's easy to do the math that's required to launch a rocket. If you're trying to say that launching a rocket off the moon is easy because there's a weaker gravitational pull then you're wrong. Not only gravity makes launching hard.
>>7841464 >If you're trying to say that launching a rocket off the moon is easy because there's a weaker gravitational pull then you're wrong. Not only gravity makes launching hard. Let's hear it then friend, what's your magic explanation for why it's hard, and don't pull the control card on me because you know damn well that we can easily control a craft outside of the atmosphere.
>>7840095 Lol no. Chinese are roaches, they just don't die. People based on "eat literally anything nutritious, work hard as fuck and study all you can" generally don't tend to experience total societal collapse. Even after the whole One Child policy, even after the culture revolution, EVEN AFTER the reappropriation by capitalistic hegemonic oligarchy. They are still blowing the fuck up.
Gauss guns you say? There are actually two things that will save money.
>SSTOs >Space infraestructure..
If you can have a spaceship that can actually get into orbit with oinly his own engine and at the same you have refuelling stations orbiting around then you have all the ingredients needed to start doing space things.
Because once in orbit you can almost go anywhere with homan transfers.
>>7841647 It wasn't the premise, but yes in the terrible 2000s Time Machine movie, we accidentally the moon.
The "monsters" you mention are Morlocks, one of the two species that humanity evolved into (the other being the Eloi). The cause of the split had nothing to do with the moon blowing up though; that was added in the movie and isn't in the book at all. The cause of the divergence was the huge difference in lifestyle between the rich elite and the poor working class, where the rich evolved into the frail, childlike Eloi while the working class evolved into the burly, beast-like underdwelling Morlocks.
If you haven't read The Time Machine yet, you really should. Or at the very least, watch the 1960's Time Machine movie. Both shit all over the joke 2000s movie.
>>7841140 >Not untill we have a space elevator or spacial infraestructure Helium-3 is a stupid reason to colonize the moon (if we have the technology to use it, we also have the easier technology of D-D fusion, which produces He-3), but setting up a moon base is how we get infrastructure.
What we lack in low Earth orbit is raw materials. If there were some big asteroids there, we would have established productive bases on them decades ago, and we'd be moving out from there. All the raw material is far away or in the bottom of other gravity wells.
Launch from the moon is much less technically challenging and energy-intensive than launch from Earth. We could start with a reusable rocket and nuclear reactors. This could take as little as one launch from Earth, making fuel from the ice in polar craters (which also contains carbon and nitrogen compounds).
A rocket shipment from the lunar surface to LEO can carry a mass of cargo almost equal to its propellant load. To return the empty rocket from LEO to the lunar surface takes a load of propellant roughly quadruple its empty mass.
The forces of launch from the lunar surface are far more gentle than those of a launch from the Earth's surface. Reusability isn't even close to being the same challenge.
SpaceX's Merlin 1D vacuum upper stage engine, for instance, could manage a gross lift-off mass of about 60 tons by itself, on an unstaged vehicle. Payloads of 20 tons every week might be achieved, repeated for years, at the cost of a single mission. They don't have to all go to LEO, either. Propellant depots can be built in lunar orbit and at lagrange points as well.
There's no reason you have to limit yourself to one such lunar shuttle. Each one you send up could bring a thousand tons of material to LEO per year, and of course they'd be cheaper to copy than to build the first one. A nice feature is that when you launch the shuttle, it can go as an upper stage on a reusable lower stage, like SpaceX's.
>>7841962 No. Mars has an atmosphere that is very valuable in industry, and a comprehensive set of elements. The total mass necessary is a problem, but in principle we could set up a truly self-sufficient colony on Mars. This will never happen on the moon, and "staging area" fantasies are also pretty stupid.
>>7841969 Maybe it's wrong but I imagine a handful of smaller colonies coexisting with terraforming efforts. That way, by the time the terraforming has made enough change to make the masses seriously consider mars, there will be some initial infrastructure in place to serve as a landing pad and starting point.
>>7841967 >in principle we could set up a truly self-sufficient colony on Mars. This will never happen on the moon The moon also has a "comprehensive set of elements". Some of them are just in shorter supply than on Mars.
There are lakes worth of water on the moon, trapped with other volatile elements underground and at the poles. People talk about mining helium from lunar soil, but there's far more hydrogen to be had. It's delivered the same way, and has a much greater tendency to chemically bond so it doesn't float off.
It's absolutely possible to start a self-sufficient colony on the moon.
>>7840039 Like when Europeans visited the rest of the world? It turned out far more economical and reasonable to keep them alive.
If you're trying to imply that the "direct competition" thing didn't apply, how would it apply now or in the near future? I'm pretty sure Liberians and Bangladeshis are never going to get in anyone's way of going to space or ascending to higher consciousness or whatever sci-fi shit you're jerking off to.
>>7841930 >Helium-3 is a stupid reason to colonize the moon Helium is useful for more than fusion such as cryogenics and for diving (important for offshore oil work). Today He is extracted from certain oil wells but we are running out of this.
>>7843545 Going to the moon for helium-4 is completely stupid. There's nobody who thinks that's a good idea.
Our helium supplies on Earth contain essentially no He-3. All of our He-3 comes from tritium decay, mostly as a byproduct of nuclear weapon maintenance. The tritium has to be made in nuclear reactors, from lithium. Lithium's not scarce, but the neutrons which turn it into tritium are precious and tightly controlled.
For every gram of He-3 we make on Earth, transmutation capacity must be used which could have produced 80 grams of weapon-grade plutonium from cheap natural or depleted uranium. Not only does that mean it's very expensive, but any production capacity must be watched closely for other uses.
This is what makes He-3 mining on the moon look like it might be reasonable.
If you're going to try an collect He-4 from lunar soil, you might as well just extract it from Earth's atmosphere.
>>7841315 Biosphere 2 failed because they didn't finish curing the concrete and it was depleting the oxygen. IOW: what caused Biosphere 2 to fail wasn't some inherit problem that would make artificial biospheres impossible but, rather, a dumb mistake. Making your moon colonies into separate biospheres for redundancy will greatly reduce the odds of total catastrophic failure ruining everything.
Would be a good jumping off point for further exploration. Mass drivers or source elevators are more feasible on the moon. Then you can have craft equipped with ion engines, no need for fuckhueg rockets.
>>7844600 He-4 is being generated constantly in the Earth's crust by radioactive decay. We find it in natural gas, sometimes as a large percentage , because it accumulates in the crust wherever there isn't a path to the surface.
Helium has only just recently become a prospecting target, because we stumbled on such good supplies of it while drilling for oil before.
People talking about helium shortages are just getting worried that our accidental supplies are running out, without seriously evaluating the prospects for deliberately seeking out helium.
Nobody's working that hard at finding more helium, as a commercial enterprise, because they know that finding it would drive the price far down. There are only very limited uses for helium, so if supplies are adequate, the price will be low.
>>7843772 >Going to the moon for helium-4 is completely stupid. Thankfully noone here suggested it. >>7843545 talked about He in general term, not a specific isotope.
The issue remains that we do need He in one form or another for more serious things than filling up children's balloons.
>>7845936 >People talking about helium shortages are just getting worried that our accidental supplies are running out, without seriously evaluating the prospects for deliberately seeking out helium. Last I heard prospecting for He was considered way too expensive. Even when getting He as a byproduct from Texan oil wells it is expensive.
>because they know that finding it would drive the price far down. A bit conspiratorical, hm?
>There are only very limited uses for helium Limited but important. It is used in diving gas mixtures which is commercially very important. Also used in cryogenics such as for cooling superconducting coils, used in things from mining to hospitals.
Cost of LN2 is like for milk. Price for LHe is like fine wine if you have a large scale diving operations going like in the North Sea. In Japan LHe is very, very expensive.
>>7846398 >>Going to the moon for helium-4 is completely stupid. >Thankfully noone here suggested it. >>7843545 >talked about He in general term, not a specific isotope. Holy fuck, how dumb are you? He was talking about applications of helium such that He-4 would be sufficient. You don't get He-3 just to use it for things you could use He-4 for.
>>because they know that finding it would drive the price far down. >A bit conspiratorical, hm? This is how markets work. People trying to make money don't want to push prices down. There's currently a large supply of helium which can be sold at basically whatever price its controllers want. The only reason they have to keep the price high is the suspicion that this is the only good source we'll ever find.
If people go out and find another source, thereby demonstrating that other sources are there for the finding, they can expect the price to go way down.
You'd normally expect a high price of a commodity to have people out looking for ways to extract it, but when the price is high for purely artificial reasons, rather than there being some floor based on cost of extraction, then investing in new sources is too risky.
>>7847382 >He was talking about applications of helium such that He-4 would be sufficient. You don't get He-3 just to use it for things you could use He-4 for. Sure. Again >>7843545 talked about He in general term, not a specific isotope. Only you are talking about using He2 for things you could use He-4 for. I am not sure why you have to invent this problem unless you enjoy making huge bonfires from your strawmen.
Let me take this slowly: on Earth we have a dwindling supply of He4 and only tiny amounts of He3 are made in reactors at an astronomical price.
On the Moon there are supposedly large amounts of He3. How much He4 there is I have not seen in this discussion or elsewhere for that matter. Still people have talked about tons of He3 so evidently they expect large quantities.
On Earth you can use He3 for most things that we now use He4 for. Sure there are some exceptions like dilution refrigerators that require both He3 and He4. For most things like cryogenic cooling you use whatever He isotope that is the cheapest.
>This is how markets work. Your bizarre economic theory presumes mistakenly that the consumers cannot do anything as if this were a hydraulic empire. He is cheap in the US and in countries surrounding the North Sea. It is very expensive outside these areas including countries such as Japan. If Japan could secure a cheaper alternative they would. Much of their foreign policies revolve around accessibility to raw materials.
>>7848797 >Only you are talking about using He2 for things you could use He-4 for. The guy I was responding to talked about using lunar helium for things He-4 is sufficient for. You either know this already, and are being a dick, or are incredibly fucking stupid.
>people have talked about tons of He3 so evidently they expect large quantities. Tons of helium is not a large quantity. The world reserve is at something like 8 million tons. A few more tons per year from the moon wouldn't matter. That would only be a few tens of thousands of dollars worth. You'd need to be bringing back at least hundreds of thousands of tons of He-4 to have an impact on the Earth market.
Tons of He-3, on the other hand, *is* a large quantity. A gram of He-3 currently costs about as much as a ton of He-4.
>He is cheap in the US and in countries surrounding the North Sea. It is very expensive outside these areas including countries such as Japan. What a completely fucking ridiculous claim. As if the Japanese can't buy American helium.
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