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Thread: Colonizing the Moon

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    Colonizing the Moon

    Inspired by a documentary I've seen yesterday I thought I put this to discussion.

    The dream to colonise the universe is almost as old as humanity itself, but so far it stayed a dream, and largely refered to other planets on which humans can live.

    Now the moon has been put to debate on several levels.

    Starting with the first run into space between USA and Russia in the 60s there was the debate about 'ownership' of the moon, whoever would be first.

    The US won, but travelling to space is dangerous and unbelievable expensive, so the SpaceShuttle programme was set to a rest. The financial crisis moves the dream further away from being realised than ever.

    But the moon offers resources, and while NASA and other government entities have to close down or reduce their programmes due to the lack of money, the private industry still works hotly to reach the cold piece of stone, that has no water, no atmosphere, no plants, and almost no gravity.

    Several different minerals can become interesting for our future though.

    Helium3: a helium compound that does not occure naturally on earth, but only in wrecked nuclear fuel rods. In contrary to hydrogen particles, helium3 produces an almost neutron free energy in cold fusion processes.
    The neutrons are the danger of cold fusion and also from nuclear power plants, they are a waste product that counts in to almost 90percent with hydrogen cold fusion and almost 50percent in atom splitting power plants. Helium 3 would produce only very few neutrons which in addition are less potent and have a lesser half-life period, while at the same time the energy win is much higher.
    One ton of Helium3 could supply several common big cities with ten million inhabitans for one year, while producing almost no waste products and leave nothing that have to be 'permanent disposed'.

    Taken all this together makes Helium 3 a quite attractive compound for future generations.

    While some, mainly private people construct partly absurd flying machines, which surprisingly partly stood the test to fly out of our earth's atmosphere and back in one piece, offering tourist visits to the moon (for which one can book tickets already), other, less prominent scientists played around with everything they could grap.

    One of this scientists did something which makes the colonisation of the moon a probability. He experimented with moon dust, examined it, melted it and did, what scientists do. Once he put the moon dust into a burner which heated the dust to over 800 degrees, and produced drink water.

    The moon dust consists partly of so deep frozen water particles, that they usually are confused with dust. But this would offer a longer stay on the moon for people who mine the minerals. So far travelling in space is, due to the needed food and drink supply, only possible for about a week with shuttles.

    There are several other minerals found in the moon dust that was brought to earth that are interesting for scientists on several levels, whereas the energy replacement of nuclear power plants might be the most interesting. But due to the now more numerous investors, the project might be realised.

    But if we change the moon, mine it and probably with this disturb the fragile gravity relation between earth and moon, does that not hold unpredictible dangers?

    What if we change the moon structure, with the melted to water dust and probably plants to supply the miners with food, to grow an atmosphere? The cycling of water, the freezing when leaving and melting again when falling back to earth, has created our atmosphere, other gases would be produced with machines that would further support this development. Dream-scientists have created a plan to do exactly this with the Mars planet, they plan with large-scale environment pollution to create an atmosphere, to make Mars a living space for humans. Since we know that it works in general, it is very likely that this would happen to the moon as well.


    Some further information (didnt read all of them, but they looked as if they were interesting, also giving links to related articles)

    Swedish plans to colonise space
    Moon colony 'within 20 years'
    U.S. to colonise Moon by 2020


    What do you think? Is this in general a good thing? Should this be done or should we try to find substances on earth that are able to replace nuclear power plants or other ways to gain the energy we need?

    Is the human race, that mindlessly destroys its own planet, entitled to go to the next planet? Do we have to respect the moon as more than just an earth's satellite?

    And, can or should any private mining concern become the owner of the moon, and with this, become the sole ruler over future energy usage?
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
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    I can see to big problems.

    First, the moon lacks an atmosphere to protect against meteorites and space debris. Just looking at the moon surface and how many craters it has, you can see that this would be a problem. Second, the lack of gravity would turn the bones brittle and make them age prematurely. So you would probably not want to live in such a colony for any longer periods.

    The thought of some small rock travelling at thousands of meters per second shattering my already brittle bones makes me want to stay on earth.

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    This is all very interesting. It would be neat if it could be kept to small scale

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    What if we change the moon structure, with the melted to water dust and probably plants to supply the miners with food, to grow an atmosphere? The cycling of water, the freezing when leaving and melting again when falling back to earth, has created our atmosphere, other gases would be produced with machines that would further support this development. Dream-scientists have created a plan to do exactly this with the Mars planet, they plan with large-scale environment pollution to create an atmosphere, to make Mars a living space for humans. Since we know that it works in general, it is very likely that this would happen to the moon as well.
    The moon's gravity is too weak to keep water in an atmosphere. That's even the case for the considerably heavier Mars. It's suspected that the reason Mars became dry is because the free hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere simply escaped the planet.

    H2 and HD rise high in the Martian atmosphere where they may be broken down to their component atoms by chemical reactions. Due to their random thermal (temperature-related) motion, collisions with energetic particles, and chemical reactions, a certain percentage of H and D atoms, and H2 and HD molecules, will have enough velocity to escape the pull of Mars's gravity, so Mars gradually loses its hydrogen and deuterium to space. Hydrogen loss (or deuterium loss) equates to water loss because the atoms are no longer available to recombine and form water in the Martian atmosphere.
    http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/20011129marswet.html

    So in any case, the moon cannot be terraformed.

    Living on the moon for extended periods of time would also have the same disadvantages as living in a space-station. Our bodies will become weak due to the low gravity. You'll be able to hold out longer on the moon than in an orbital station, but still.

    Living on the moon permanently is out of the question, also due to its low gravity - our children will grow too tall too soon. It just won't be natural.

    Using the moon as a stepping stone for further endeavours I think is a reasonably good idea. It would be much easier to launch mining craft from the moon's surface than from the Earth's. Interesting question though, of the "stellar corporations" controlling our energy resources.

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    Living on the moon? Hmmm ... let's send all the ethnics and half-castes to the moon. Problem solved, once and for all.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormraaf
    The moon's gravity is too weak to keep water in an atmosphere. That's even the case for the considerably heavier Mars. It's suspected that the reason Mars became dry is because the free hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere simply escaped the planet.
    That doesnt keep scientists from dreaming about terraforming Mars.
    The absurd thing about this is that you'd need large scale environment pollution, to re-create particles in the atmosphere to which water can attach itself (same way how clouds come to be on earth). Doing this in really large scale dimensions for about 10-20 years would, so the scientists believe, reproduce an atmosphere where humans would be able to live.
    The atmosphere would, so the scientists, also result in a higher temperature again, warming the landmasses so to say, and some believe that the warmer atmosphere would also result in a re-heating of the mars' core, and a warmer core would also produce more gravity.
    The docu I've seen some months ago about this sounded pretty convincing, simple physical laws applied. The biggest problem still is how to come to the planet, hehe.

    I agree though that the moon is quite different, since it doesnt have an atmosphere at all and probably all in all to less gravity to produce/keep one.

    And so far I understood the docu about the moon mining it was out of question to put people there permanently, but for a certain period of time, four to six weeks or something, have them mining the minerals and then come back to set of the next troop of miners and so on.

    Probably they'd built big halls in which they's produce an artificial atmosphere to grow plants and all to feed the people. For this the gravity would be enough, it's not that the moon has none. And once you have water you can produce oxygene too.
    Well, I agree in general, it sounded pretty fantastic, more fantastic than the Mars thingy.


    Neophyte: the craters are mostly quite old, so the debrie's rain is not that big of a problem. Since the moon doesnt have so much gravity in fact the most debries bomb earth nowadays, and burn out in the atmosphere, producing the nice falling stars.
    I agree though, to have the shielding atmosphere above and solid ground under the feet is something I wouldnt want to give up either
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
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    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    That doesnt keep scientists from dreaming about terraforming Mars.
    In Mars's case the issue with hydrogen escaping wouldn't be that much of a deterrent, because it would be an extremely slow process. The last time Mars had water it had to have been there for quite some time to carve those valleys. My guess is, if you can guide a couple hundred comets (consisting of dirty ice) to crash into Mars, and maybe steal Saturn's rings too, it would last a while. The rusty irony sand is probably a bigger problem.

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    How appropriate that a people that have exhausted all of the earths resources now see as an option, abandonment. Instead of changing our way of life, which is the true problem, we instead look for alternative ways to continue the madness, like escaping to the moon.

    Earth provides all the necessary requirements of life, yet we can not even properly sustain ourselves here. It is highly improbable that we will do so on a planet that does not only lack these requirements, but is even hostile to life itself.

    Of course, technology, may reach the stage where we have the means to do so, but it is currently dependent upon the resources of the earth. Living outside of Earth's 'womb' is only possible if we can still rely upon her life giving resources. The earth is our life support, we may travel away from her, but we can not survive long without her. It seems that scientists overlook this fact in favor of entertaining these fictional flights of fancy, which are at best only a temporary solution. I prefer to keep my feet grounded here upon the land. This is where all power stems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormraaf View Post
    In Mars's case the issue with hydrogen escaping wouldn't be that much of a deterrent, because it would be an extremely slow process. The last time Mars had water it had to have been there for quite some time to carve those valleys. My guess is, if you can guide a couple hundred comets (consisting of dirty ice) to crash into Mars, and maybe steal Saturn's rings too, it would last a while. The rusty irony sand is probably a bigger problem.
    Hmm, in the beginning the Earth's oceans were green (full of iron) and rust resulted from interaction with oxygen. The Earth wasn't habitable for a long time. I've seen a documentary about it.

    In my view the Moon is not an option as long as there isn't any water. The water is the essential condition for life. That's why a planet with water resources (even underground ones) should be colonised instead.

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    velvet
    Dream-scientists have created a plan to do exactly this with the Mars planet, they plan with large-scale environment pollution to create an atmosphere, to make Mars a living space for humans. Since we know that it works in general, it is very likely that this would happen to the moon as well.
    The Moon is too small to retain an atmosphere, with gravity, and therefore too small to teraform into an earth like planet. Mars is a better applicant for Teriforming, but even then it is not something that would happen immediately and probably over generations. In that period of time it will most likely, be that we will be looking outside our own solar system for better worlds to colonize.

    My guess is that the moon will become at some point a low gravity assembly point for very large spacecraft. Because unlike the recent Star Trek nonsense it is impossible to lift something the size of a Aircraft Carrier into orbit.

    But the most important aspect of space travel will not be colonization in my opinion but will be the accusation of resources that are becoming limited on earth.



    Vindefense
    Of course, technology, may reach the stage where we have the means to do so, but it is currently dependent upon the resources of the earth. Living outside of Earth's 'womb' is only possible if we can still rely upon her life giving resources. The earth is our life support, we may travel away from her, but we can not survive long without her. It seems that scientists overlook this fact in favor of entertaining these fictional flights of fancy, which are at best only a temporary solution.
    LOL!
    Yeah!
    Personally I disagree, natural selection has a way of getting rid of organisms that do not continue to push forward and adapt to circumstances. And there is noting inherently special about the earth other than the fact that it is a large rock with organic life on it. It is entirely possible that there are other such worlds that humans could adapt to as well as earth.

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