Author Topic: Why we need to go back to the moon  (Read 73290 times)

Offline robertross

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #180 on: 10/04/2010 11:11 pm »
In her press conference after passage of S. 3729, Garver seemed to be paving the way (or testing the waters) for an EML space station.

Garver says, "Hopefully additional space stations unique to what we do in space."

Attached audio of the "teleconference" with Lori Garver here.

My understanding would be that politically, she couldn't advocate for lunar surface missions so soon after the President's BTDT comment.  But by shifting focus now from NEO to EML, she can pave the way for a shift to a lunar surface destination a few years from now.

I'm suggesting that a document like the 'HEFT round 1' could be used as a steering document to make politicians shy away from a NEO mission initially (deferring it until later), while concentrating on a lunar destination first.

Now EML is certainly on that map for commercial access, and we all know how 'pro-commercial' she is.

It's not really the politics I want to focus on (or maybe it is?), but more of the enabling & reasonable arguement FOR 'lunar-first'.

My belief is a permanent pressence detracts from going further, because as some on here have argued, ISS detracts from BEO for the very same reasons: you can't do it all. The more money allocated to ISS takes away from BEO.

So if we start to put people on the moon for extended periods of time, they need to be backed up by a regular stream of logistics to ensure safety & habitability. Commercial is perfect for this, and quite in fact, it's tailored role, as it allows NASA to concentrate on the hardware for advanced capabilities, not groceries & parts.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #181 on: 10/05/2010 03:28 am »
What is best served by a choice of destination:

1. Multiple short trips to the moon, supported by a COTS program that includes propellant depots & cargo re-supply (as a follow-on to ISS capabilities)

or

2. A single-shot NEO mission way out in the future, risking future mission funding in the process?

The NEO mission, just like another Apollo 8 or a crewed Mars fly-by, can make sense if and only if it can be done fairly easily on the way to or in addition to developing another intrinsically worthwhile capability, such as exploration of the moon, Mars or main-belt asteroids.  As an objective all by itself, it is not worthwhile.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #182 on: 10/05/2010 03:31 am »

The NEO mission, just like another Apollo 8 or a crewed Mars fly-by, can make sense if and only if it can be done fairly easily on the way to or in addition to developing another intrinsically worthwhile capability, such as exploration of the moon, Mars or main-belt asteroids.  As an objective all by itself, it is not worthwhile.

This is actually a very valid statement and one that I can actually agree with.
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #183 on: 10/05/2010 08:13 am »
... Enjoy...

I did.  Very much.  Thanks for posting.  Plus, your website is pretty good too.

This map is great!  How is this done?  Fifteen years ago, I asked Paul Spudis for an AutoCAD map of Shackleton crater, based on the Clementine data.  He didn't provide it, and I have a terse email somewhere from him to the effect of:  "map the shadow projections yourself", as if it were an easy thing to do.  Obviously, it can be done.

...if an ecosystem is so important to the economy, why do you think the Moon is our salvation?

I interpreted his statement differently, but more wordily.

If we develop a space based economy which would support an independent colony on the Moon, we will have had to perform enough prospecting to know where the useful mineral deposits are; we will necessarily have to sufficiently solve the ISRU problem and also have a closer working approximation to the closed cycle life support problem; we will have to solve the power generation problem; have a sufficient ability to manufacture spacecraft and habitat on the Moon; and a host of other things.  For many decades at the beginning of this consensual human activity, most of the manufactured product will have to come from Earth. 

For a lunar colony to be independent, it will have to re-create an ecosystem of some sort, and in all probability this ecosystem will be a drastic subset of Earth's, even if it has a large genetic database kept in storage somehow.

The way humanity is progressing at this time, it seems that, over the 50-100 years that such an independent ecosystem could by created, that the terrestrial ecosystem will severely degraded.  In a possible "topia", midway between dystopia and utopia, it is conceivable that the Earth's agricultural ecosystem might suddenly collapse, and the ensuing human chaos might end the vast majority of human life on Earth, leaving the colony as the survivor.

Unfortunately this is looking like the most plausible scenario. The most likely outcome is a general collapse with isolated high-tech enclaves. Biotechnology, information processing and micro-manufacturing advances will make such colonies quite viable on Earth as well as the moon.

Quote
The utopian outcome would be Garden Earth, Industrial Moon.  The dystopian outcome would be wasteland Earth, and uninhabited Moon.

So his statement makes sense to me, in my interpretation.

I get the sentiment, but I think the real development would happen in other ways.

If we still have the technological clout to develop the moon, that same clout will be used to save the Earth (well not the Earth, our own behinds actually). The benefits to Earth of going to the moon would be in technological spin-offs and inspiration. Inspiration is important because it directs investment flows; investors are people and are swayed by risk and popular sentiment quite easily. Invest in a coal power plant or an uncertain solar energy project?
« Last Edit: 10/05/2010 08:19 am by Lampyridae »

Offline renclod

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #184 on: 10/15/2010 07:17 pm »
But... but...

Buzz Aldrin Wants a Lunar Base First
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/15/mars-moon-nasa-buzz-aldrin/?test=latestnews

What the

Offline marsavian

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #185 on: 10/15/2010 07:35 pm »
With the SLS and its capacity, the Moon, Mars, NEOs can all be done in time in a simultaneously increasing manner over this century.
« Last Edit: 10/15/2010 07:36 pm by marsavian »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #186 on: 10/15/2010 07:50 pm »
With the SLS and its capacity, the Moon, Mars, NEOs can all be done in time in a simultaneously increasing manner over this century.
Exactly

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #187 on: 10/15/2010 09:35 pm »
Hah! That Buz Aldrin article was interesting.  I'm glad to see his perspective on Mr. Moon.  Aldrin doesn't "blame" Obama for the current situation; neither do I.  The Prez is responsible for the words that come out of his mouth, as well as the actual benefit to come from the policies he oversees.  The Prez disappoints again; from the article:

Quote
"There are statements supporting the presidentís new vision for NASA from Norm Augustine, Charles Bolden and John Holdren," Weaver said in an interview. He said that the new legislation supports the Presidentís ambitious plan for NASA to pioneer new frontiers of innovation and discovery. Why Mars, and not the moon? "That should help answer your question," he said.

What might those statements supporting the Prez's vision be?  Why, nothing other than the statements made by his appointees, who are under his strict instruction.  Talk about circular reasoning.  Weaver must also publicly state what he is instructed to as well.

I'm coming around to the belief that maybe the President is to blame for some of what's going on with our nation's HSF policies now.  When does his false reasoning, BTDT, now supported by circular reasoning, become genuinely untruthful?  I've actually got a recent email from a NASA official and I have a firm belief that it was deliberately crafted in a misleading fashion.  And I'm just a guy.

Quote
The most likely outcome is a general collapse with isolated high-tech enclaves.

I can see this too.  Can you see drones being sent out to deliberately poison the crops of less technologically equipped survivors?  Try "Night of the Long Knives", by Fritz Reuter Lieber, available online as afree download.  From the last lines of the noveletta, or whatever you call it:

Quote
... a rumor that there's a new America growing in the Deathlands -- an America that never need kill again.  But don't put too much stock in it.  Not too much.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline neilh

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #188 on: 10/15/2010 11:18 pm »
But... but...

Buzz Aldrin Wants a Lunar Base First
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/15/mars-moon-nasa-buzz-aldrin/?test=latestnews

What the


The "Wants a Lunar Base First" in the article title is quite misleading.
Someone is wrong on the Internet.
http://xkcd.com/386/

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #189 on: 10/20/2010 05:40 pm »
But... but...

Buzz Aldrin Wants a Lunar Base First
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/15/mars-moon-nasa-buzz-aldrin/?test=latestnews

What the?


Well, at least he's come to recognize that a lunar coaling station makes sense for going to Mars. What he wants is an international consortium to help out private efforts to produce propellant:

Quote
Aldrin endorses the formation of an International Lunar Development Corporation to begin commercial enterprises on the moon. And a broad collation of governments — Russia, China, India, the U.S., and others — should form this quasigovernmental organization, which would help private enterprises capitalize on the lunar resources. Together, these nations can build that lunar gas station.

“Who should send up the propellant? China, India, Europe. We’re going to Mars, we need propellant. And we could buy propellant from them at our moon gas station,” he told Vanity Fair in June.

http://buzzaldrin.com/buzz-aldrin-dreams-of-mars/

What I don't like is the idea of just handing over the Solar System's supply of rocket propellant to China, et al. NASA should be buying the stuff from American companies.
« Last Edit: 10/21/2010 07:21 pm by Warren Platts »
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline spacester

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #190 on: 10/22/2010 06:17 am »
We need to go back to the moon because it is a necessary thing to do before we can call ourselves a space-faring species. Are we to forever be mere interlopers and visitors? Isn't the goal to be able to do regular business up there, in all the places that matter. We've been staring at it for how many centuries, and now that we can go, no one can think of a reason? That's just silly.

Ya gotta love Buzz Aldrin, I know I do. Anybody ever read 'Encounter with Tiber', a SF novel he co-wrote? The first 100 pages were a virtual Buzz Manifesto for How It Can Be Done. (It was tourism that got the ball rolling in that story.)

But what we have here is competing perspectives, namely the paradigm of charting destinations and then building equipment to accomplish those missions, versus the paradigm of establishing capability whereby many missions are enabled and are to be selected at such time as the capability is actually forthcoming.

Some say the essence of intelligence is the ability to voluntarily opt for delayed gratification. I believe that also applies here.

Buzz (it would appear, I have a hard time keeping up with his statements) and most "conventional thinking" folks want to establish destinations so that we have a goal to work towards, fearing that a lack of clear goals prevents progress. See, that makes sense for tasks, but not for long-term ground-breaking envelope-pushing tech development.

To me the lasting big-picture step forward made by the Augustine Commission was the (perhaps temporary) victory of the flexible path as the avatar of the capability-first paradigm, which I have for many years seen as being more intelligent because of the delayed gratification imposed by not bring able to talk mission until hardware is built.

The silly part is that you can still talk mission all you want while the hardware is being built, with provisionary performance numbers. The delay in that gratification needs only be long enough to get thru enough budget cycles to propose the right hardware and get enough accomplished so that they cannot cancel you.

Getting back to the moon, Constellation never had a chance. Not only was it budget starved, but the logic behind it as a fuel stop on the way to Mars, or a training ground for Mars, was flawed from the beginning. If you're going to establish a destination as your program driver and then build all your hardware around that destination, the reasons for going to that destination should not be about some other destination. We were all supposed to ignore the naked emperor behind the curtain. (Sorry about the mangled metaphor.)

Obama had one thing right is his original budget proposal: restoring funding to science, to get all those grad students back on track. IMO he got one other thing conceptually right: capability before destinations. Someone said that to him and he bought it. He also stupidly bought and repeated the line "been there done that". That statement was not worthy of his intellect, and that audience is not the audience that needs everything simplified for them.

I'll resist the politics and get directly back on topic with a second post.


Offline spacester

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #191 on: 10/22/2010 06:51 am »
I have the answer for why go back to the moon. Trouble is, no one buys it. It is more than a bit counter-intuitive, perhaps even seen as un-american or even sinful. LOL I could argue all those points but if you don't see it, you may never see it. Allow me the briefest of development before I shock you with the simple concept that will actually work for getting us back to Luna. This is my most concise version to date.

The science is not sufficiently compelling. ("Or we'd have done it by now")

Science has been the program driver behind most of America's space efforts.

Ergo you need a different program driver.

Exploration is the obvious next choice.

Magnificent Desolation. Sorry Buzz, but you were right. What's to explore?

More to the point, why do we explore? Curiosity killed the cat, you don't explore without some kind of reason.

Exploration is typically done as prelude to exploitation.

Exploitation is perhaps a dirty word to some but I am not aware of any economic activity where it isn't the central concept.

Exploitation is typically about resource extraction.

Resources? What resources? He3? Come on, get real. Which reactors are going to use it again?

Moon rocks, trinkets, real estate, LUNOX, what? The moon is not an Ore Body (in the technical, mining terminology sense).

Well heck, exploration is dead in the dust of tranquility then I guess.

We need another answer for the program driver.

What else can be exploited, if not resources?

What else do people do besides analyze and explore and extract, activities that naturally engender real, massive economic activity?

Come on people, think!

People pay bucks to HAVE FUN.

We need to go back to the moon to HAVE FUN. If you believe in destiny, all those centuries of staring at the moon were teleologically connected to our species going to the moon to PLAY.

What were the two main "program drivers" behind the growth of personal computers? It wasn't the scientists, it wasn't the businesspeople, it wasn't even the military.

Bill Gates envisioned a territory to be conquered, namely office desktops, and he knew it was the *capability* provided by software that was going to allow him to claim all those desktops as his territory. What he didn't realize was that the workaday world, while huge, wasn't going to be the biggest industry driver.

It was gaming and porn that drove progress.

Calm down, I'm not proposing either of those two forms of pleasure as part of a space program. LOL

Skipping ahead to wrap it up . . .

We need to *explore* the technologies needed to *exist* on the moon with an eye for economically establishing facilities that will *exploit* the desire of people to *enjoy* their *capability* to *play* on the moon.

Specifically (as an example), create a lunar industrial park to develop power, robotic and ISRU capabilities with the goal of building a large enclosure that would last *forever* and be fully pressurized so that you could strap on wings and fly.

Lots of other fun to be had before the flapping and flying starts, it would be the ultimate success.  ;D

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #192 on: 10/22/2010 07:17 am »
LCROSS found deposits of 5% water ice. That's nothing to be sneezed at. I think the eventual logic of this may yet swing NASA round, just like LOR and DIRECT.

Offline kirghizstan

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #193 on: 10/23/2010 12:49 am »
the best runningback in the NFL, adrian peterson just tweeted the following:

AdrianPeterson
So I was sitting here pondering! On July 20, 1969 , The united states landed on the moon!!! RIGHT...
Why have 40yrs passed and we still haven't made it back???
A little Something to think about!

even people other than space geeks wonder these things

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #194 on: 10/23/2010 01:33 am »
LCROSS found deposits of 5% water ice. That's nothing to be sneezed at. I think the eventual logic of this may yet swing NASA round, just like LOR and DIRECT.

And of course the LRO and Chandrayaan-1 radar seems to indicate ice deposits even richer.

Some of the recent LCROSS findings disturb as well as excite me. Other stuff easily vaporized was found in the ejecta. Including mercury (hg).

Googling it seems mercury's hard to separate from water.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #195 on: 10/23/2010 01:36 am »
Yes.

LCROSS found deposits of 5% water ice. That's nothing to be sneezed at. I think the eventual logic of this may yet swing NASA round, just like LOR and DIRECT.


You've got it. Either the President gets it, or he gets left behind by Congress... Congress and the country need a vision. The Moon and LCROSS science results just handed us a vision on a silver platter. As Horace noted over 2,000 years ago, "Carpe diem" or "Seize the day." The volatiles make everything doable on the Moon. Everything. What a gift for those who are bold enough to go to the Moon!


Today, a year (and a few weeks) after the LCROSS impact, the science results have finally been released; I'll let the press release speak for itself:

Quote
The suite of LCROSS and LRO instruments determined as much as 20 percent of the material kicked up by the LCROSS impact was volatiles, including methane, ammonia, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/observation.htm   




Cheers!  :)
Edited.
« Last Edit: 10/23/2010 06:42 am by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #196 on: 10/23/2010 06:40 am »
I have the answer for why go back to the moon. Trouble is, no one buys it. It is more than a bit counter-intuitive, perhaps even seen as un-american or even sinful. LOL I could argue all those points but if you don't see it, you may never see it. Allow me the briefest of development before I shock you with the simple concept that will actually work for getting us back to Luna. This is my most concise version to date.

......
..........................

Skipping ahead to wrap it up . . .

We need to *explore* the technologies needed to *exist* on the moon with an eye for economically establishing facilities that will *exploit* the desire of people to *enjoy* their *capability* to *play* on the moon.

Specifically (as an example), create a lunar industrial park to develop power, robotic and ISRU capabilities with the goal of building a large enclosure that would last *forever* and be fully pressurized so that you could strap on wings and fly.

Lots of other fun to be had before the flapping and flying starts, it would be the ultimate success.  ;D



Yes! You've got it.


Playing on Luna will sell the Moon to tourists.

Having fun on Lunar beds will sell the Moon to honeymooners and other lovers.

Exploring Luna will sell the Moon to those people who like to climb mountains, crawl in caves, scuba dive, fly, or do other interesting things.

Making money on Lunar goods and services will sell the Moon to business folks.

Defending humans from NEO's and other Solar System events will sell the Moon to a diverse, wise, and practical group of military folks.

The Lunar treasure chest of resources and opportunities will sell the Moon to high technology companies.

Farming and gardening on Luna should sell the Moon to many farmers and gardeners.

Diving and swimming on Luna should sell the Moon to divers and swimmers and water lovers everywhere.

Lovely art from Luna should sell the Moon to most artists and other art lovers.

Mining on Luna should sell the Moon to miners and the happy owners of mining companies.

High tech Lunar jobs, inventions related to space exploration, research results, and industrial products should sell the Moon to taxpayers.

Peaceful interaction and exciting experiments at the ISS and on Luna will encourage international cooperation on Earth and sell the Moon to most politicians, scientists, reporters, and Internet users.

Comfortable Lunar retirement communities should sell the Moon to retired folks.

A diversity of large telescopes on Luna should sell the Moon to astronomers and everyone who enjoys the mystery and beauty of the universe.

Famous Lunar theme parks should sell the Moon to many young kids.

Robots on the Moon should sell the Moon to lots of kids and tech lovers.

Famous Lunar casinos should sell the Moon to many of the people who love to gamble.

Professional and amateur Lunar games and physical competitions of all kinds should sell the Moon to many sports fans.

Geology expeditions should sell the Moon to geology students.

Lunar cats purring and jumping should sell the Moon to cat lovers everywhere.

Lunar beauty competitions, fashion shows, ballet, and modern dances will sell the Moon to many of the graceful and trendy folks.

Lunar novels, magazines, movies, TV programs, and Internet connections will sell the Moon to just about everyone on Earth.


All in all, many kinds of work, homes, and pleasurable activities on the Moon should be quite doable. We now know the Moon has the resources needed for its sustainable development. When will the great rush to Luna begin?

Cheers!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #197 on: 10/23/2010 08:16 pm »
{snip}

All in all, many kinds of work, homes, and pleasurable activities on the Moon should be quite doable. We now know the Moon has the resources needed for its sustainable development. When will the great rush to Luna begin?

Cheers!

When any of the people on your list can afford $20 million tickets to LEO.

Offline the_roche_lobe

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #198 on: 10/23/2010 10:39 pm »
Quote
I think the eventual logic of this may yet swing NASA round, just like LOR and DIRECT.

Yes, but what if the budgetary environment never allowed both? As much as I like DIRECT, if it was a choice between NASA developing that and a robust lunar surface access system (and we know they aren't mutually exclusive, EELV/newspace options have been discussed here extensively) I'd take surface access any day.

Point is can anyone really see DIRECT and a lander system being funded in the current environment?

P

Online 93143

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Re: Why we need to go back to the moon
« Reply #199 on: 10/24/2010 12:17 am »
Why not?  If SLS comes in ahead of schedule and under budget, and it may very well do so (Orion would have if it weren't for Ares I), that should (a) leave more space in the budget, and (b) encourage investment in an agency that's just proved it still has what it takes.  Also, I think there are indications that Congress may finally be starting to understand that NASA is underfunded.  I hope they won't be shortsighted enough to just not use what is inarguably a moon rocket...

A poor economy doesn't necessarily translate to a dim outlook for NASA.  Look at Britain - apparently their new space agency will be entirely spared by the massive cuts their government's been forced to make.  Space is different from normal government activities (and in neither country does it make up a sufficient share of the budget to warrant comparison with social programs or military expenditures...).

Also, if we go with the ACES architecture, we'd have to shut down and mothball the Apollo/Shuttle infrastructure and reorient NASA; Augustine reports NASA's cost estimate for this as $3-11B.  In other words, changing direction could cost as much by itself as developing SLS.
« Last Edit: 10/24/2010 12:17 am by 93143 »

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