Author Topic: will there be a landfill on the moon?  (Read 1852 times)

Offline dunwich

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will there be a landfill on the moon?
« on: 10/19/2023 06:12 pm »
The iss produces a lot of garbage roughly 2500 kg a year (source)

The trash is mostly foam (in volume) but also contains organic contaminants like dirty clothing ... and others then there's stuff that can break like pumps


Realistickly for a manned artemis mission, will this just be left on the surface? And assuming the missions find enough resources to build something (semi) permanent would we need a landfill with todays technology?
Also if a landfill exist given surveyors 3 microbes would this be a contaminant of life, will NASA take all the garbage, foam casings dirty diapers back into space and back to earth? What if the garbage is dangerous like a broken RTG or shorted car lithium battery that could explode when exposed to oxygen?
« Last Edit: 10/20/2023 05:29 am by dunwich »

Offline Jim

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #1 on: 10/19/2023 10:07 pm »
there already is at each Apollo landing site.

Offline catdlr

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #2 on: 10/19/2023 10:58 pm »
there already is at each Apollo landing site.

Yep, apollo bags, and might I add some spent Centaur stages that chased on it and (don't get me going) the "Ranger program".
« Last Edit: 10/19/2023 11:02 pm by catdlr »
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Offline lamontagne

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #3 on: 10/19/2023 11:16 pm »
The iss produces a lot of garbage roughly 2500 kg a year (source)

The trash is mostly foam (in volume) but also contains organic contaminants like dirty clothing ... and others then there's stuff that can break like pumps


Realistickly for a manned artemis mission, will this just be left on the surface? And assuming the missions find enough resources to build something (semi) permanent would we need a landfill with todays technology?
Also if a landfill exist given surveyors 3 microbes would this be a contaminant of life, will NASA take all the garbage, foam casings dirty diapers back into space and back to earth? What if the garbage is dangerous like a broken RTG or shorted car lithium battery that could explode when exposed to oxygen?
Probably won't be  landfill.  Probably just a well ordered series of heaps.  They won't go away in the non existing wind, or be washed out by the non existing rain, and may eventually be recycled.  They're a resource way closer than anything from the Earth, after all.
The ISS produces very little garbage.  A typical american produces 800 kg of garbage per year.  So six people would produce 4800 kg, compared to the 2 500 kg you mention for the six ISS occupants.  Great work NASA & all!

The Moon' surface is a pretty good sterilizer.  Zapped by UV's for two weeks, then frozen for two weeks.   Month after month...



Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #4 on: 10/19/2023 11:24 pm »
Exactly right!  Put it somewhere out of the way, keep track of what is where, it's all valuable resource stock for the future.  Also, the Ranger Program debris is not garbage, it's heritage.  Or a resource, whichever you prefer.

Offline dunwich

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #5 on: 10/20/2023 05:47 am »
Quote
Probably won't be  landfill.  Probably just a well ordered series of heaps.  They won't go away in the non existing wind, or be washed out by the non existing rain, and may eventually be recycled.  They're a resource way closer than anything from the Earth, after all.
The ISS produces very little garbage.  A typical american produces 800 kg of garbage per year.  So six people would produce 4800 kg, compared to the 2 500 kg you mention for the six ISS occupants.  Great work NASA & all!

The Moon' surface is a pretty good sterilizer.  Zapped by UV's for two weeks, then frozen for two weeks.   Month after month...

aren't the moon poles choosen because they are less harsh on the equipment?
Longer days with less temperature shifts and potentialy water in the soil? Also surveyor 3 had still life on it 3 years afther being baked near the lunar equator, I imagen if there ever is a lunar (semi) permanent settlement garbage would be brought in quicker then that and what is to say theirs no more life on surveyor 3 at this moment (probably not, but I doubt people expected to find life on it when they brought parts of it back)

that said say astronauts collect rocks would the surface near the base be considered contaminated meaning a rock collected let's say 20 km further has to remain bagged near the actual base preventing astronauts from picking out the best to take home (because of contaminents).(a broader question would be if waste will have a impact on any missions on the moon)
How bad would it be if let's say a bag leaked, ripped with food waste near but outside the base?

Offline laszlo

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #6 on: 10/20/2023 12:17 pm »
...Also if a landfill exist given surveyors 3 microbes ...

Quote from: John Rummel, chairman of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection
The Surveyor 3 camera-team thought they had detected a microbe that had lived on the moon for all those years, but they only detected their own contamination,"

Offline laszlo

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #7 on: 10/20/2023 12:20 pm »
there already is at each Apollo landing site.

Yep, apollo bags, and might I add some spent Centaur stages that chased on it and (don't get me going) the "Ranger program".

Rather than landfills, the Rangers and Centaurs left land holes. Good luck finding any pieces of those spacecraft big enough to even notice.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: will there be a landfill on the moon?
« Reply #8 on: 10/20/2023 01:49 pm »
Quote
Probably won't be  landfill.  Probably just a well ordered series of heaps.  They won't go away in the non existing wind, or be washed out by the non existing rain, and may eventually be recycled.  They're a resource way closer than anything from the Earth, after all.
The ISS produces very little garbage.  A typical american produces 800 kg of garbage per year.  So six people would produce 4800 kg, compared to the 2 500 kg you mention for the six ISS occupants.  Great work NASA & all!

The Moon' surface is a pretty good sterilizer.  Zapped by UV's for two weeks, then frozen for two weeks.   Month after month...

aren't the moon poles choosen because they are less harsh on the equipment?
Longer days with less temperature shifts and potentialy water in the soil? Also surveyor 3 had still life on it 3 years afther being baked near the lunar equator, I imagen if there ever is a lunar (semi) permanent settlement garbage would be brought in quicker then that and what is to say theirs no more life on surveyor 3 at this moment (probably not, but I doubt people expected to find life on it when they brought parts of it back)

that said say astronauts collect rocks would the surface near the base be considered contaminated meaning a rock collected let's say 20 km further has to remain bagged near the actual base preventing astronauts from picking out the best to take home (because of contaminents).(a broader question would be if waste will have a impact on any missions on the moon)
How bad would it be if let's say a bag leaked, ripped with food waste near but outside the base?
The poles are chosen because the poles have significant amount of volatiles, such as water ice, carbon and likely others.  That's the scientific and eventually economical/mission interest. There are also points at the poles where there is 'eternal' light, so solar power would be available year round.

Regarding the camera:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reports_of_Streptococcus_mitis_on_the_Moon

If a bag ripped, nothing much would happen, since there is no wind, no water and no food.  Life requires food to thrive.  It can survive very difficult conditions, but is unlikely to replicate significantly.  Likely the astronauts will shovel up the mess, and leave the shovel with the mess on the little pile of garbage mentioned above.

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