Author Topic: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969  (Read 35947 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #20 on: 02/12/2009 02:24 PM »
There is a line of reasoning that goes something like this:  If the term “Illuminati” is used on any sentence, then that sentence writer must belong to the group of loonies mentioned above, even if the name “Britney Spears” is used in the same sentence.

I'm a member of the Illuminati.  You gotta problem with that?

(I've never met Ms. Spears.)

Offline William Barton

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #21 on: 02/12/2009 02:44 PM »
There is a line of reasoning that goes something like this:  If the term “Illuminati” is used on any sentence, then that sentence writer must belong to the group of loonies mentioned above, even if the name “Britney Spears” is used in the same sentence.

I'm a member of the Illuminati.  You gotta problem with that?

(I've never met Ms. Spears.)

Really? I'm a boddhisattva myself. We have a much better school tie than you folks.

Offline kch

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #22 on: 02/12/2009 02:57 PM »
... you wouldn’t believe what the monkeys were throwing!

Of course I would -- I watched the election coverage!  :D

Gotta go.

Down the hall, first door on your left ... ;)

Offline DMeader

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #23 on: 02/12/2009 03:00 PM »
Back to the original speculation.  Mankind can demonstrably land on the Moon with the aid of computing resources as simple as slide rules, metallurgy as simple as Bessemer furnaces .....

And right about there is where I quit reading. Do we have a thread for stand-up comedy routines?

Even then, brevity is a virtue!
« Last Edit: 02/12/2009 03:14 PM by DMeader »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #24 on: 02/12/2009 05:11 PM »
Really? I'm a boddhisattva myself. We have a much better school tie than you folks.

Yeah, but do you have the power to control peoples' thoughts?  We do!  Can you direct Steve Gutenberg's career?  We do!

You guys are wankers.

Offline MichaelF

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #25 on: 02/12/2009 05:20 PM »
Ahem.  Someone failed Biology.

Isolated populations suffer fewer infectious diseases, as everyone is eventually immune (resistant, rather) to the population's pathogens.  Most outbreaks occur when a new pathogen is brought into contact with a new population or when a pathogen jumps species.

Given the quarantine processes involved in all spaceflight, I cannot see a Lunar or Mars colony being more endangered by disease than, say, Pensacola, Florida.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #26 on: 02/12/2009 05:41 PM »
No conspiracy theory is needed they just royally screwed up during the 70s and early 80s.
Whether or not that is true, the idea of putting tens of thousands of people on the moon in that time frame is just loony. Look at what it took to land two people on the surface... A Saturn V. Sure you can do a bit better than that, but to make it plausible you have to do several orders of magnitude better.

It would cost trillions to build, without any credible return on the investment.

Basic arithmetic should be all you need to explain the lack of a moon colony.

I didn't mention thousands just hundreds which would be possible once ISRU is running on the Moon.

They really were planning bases before Apollo was cut and the largest part of Apollo's cost was developing the needed technology and infrastructure.

I figure the cost per ton of material landed on the moon can be reduced by a factor of ten just by increased flight rate,reusable hardware, and SEP tugs.

Once you have ISRU you no longer need to bring propellant from earth at the very least O2 which is the bulk of the of propellant mass anyway.

What I proposed would cost only a few hundred billion even less then real ID another waste of government tax dollars.

Keep in mind stuff gets cheaper with higher production rates it's called the economies of scale the cost for a given number of missions is not linear.
A good example of something made cheap because of the economies of scale would be a home computer or car these are normally very expensive to design and even more expensive to tool up production for.
 The R&D and tooling for a modern car platform for example can easily exceed $1B USD.

You can only afford to buy one because they produce tens of thousands of them.

If a rocket is produced in the hundreds to a thousand or so the per unit cost would likely drop by a factor of five to ten even if nothing else was changed about the design.

The RL-10 would cost less then many helicopter turbines if it were produced in the same numbers.

Now if we were to dump as much money into space as the Iraq war for example then yes we could have cities on the moon by now.

For the nearly 600+Billion the war costs so far we could fund COTS/CRS 200 times but you'd get far more then 200x the hardware because of the economies of scale.

And for the projected 3 Trillion the war on terror costs who knows what could be done.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2009 06:00 PM by Patchouli »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #27 on: 02/12/2009 08:09 PM »
About reading the reams of paper written about subjects.  And there is no question that wide reading imparts great knowledge.  I don't quibble with the exasperation felt by those who've had their valuable time wasted by fruitless discussions with ignorant people.  But there's a big problem in the fundamental trap which posits that one can do nothing until one knows everything.  This mentality entrenches itself in our political, corporate and educational bureaucracies as well.  There is a good reason for having this fear and punishing those who would speak without full knowledge;  grave mistakes can be made without sufficient knowledge.  But I argue that seeking knowledge is more important in than the possibility of error in that seeking.  It is a mental shortcut to paint everyone with the same brush, and to allow only pre-selected supplicants to the space fraternity.

That's the long answer.  The short answer is I have read a lot and will read more.  Obvious errors should be quickly corrected and dismissed.  Fundamental errors should certainly be discussed further.  But the philosophical debate between conspiracy and incompetence, to determine which of these is the explanatory mechanism for our current paucity of space exploration should be vigorously continued. 

It's been seriously suggested that a valid and overarching reason for not colonizing is the lack of viable resources.  But why are we now interested again in space travel, and, gasp, lunar colonization?  What has happened since the recent Bush directive to return to the Moon?  Has the price of basalt doubled and I missed it?  That sounds like a crock of well, schist.  Oh, but the asteroids have iron and chromium and all sorts of useful metals, not the Moon.  Again, I've not read all that is written on this, but I don't have to.   Why are we in space at all?  Isn’t there less in a vacuum than there is on the lunar surface?  Or am I that far behind in my reading?  Yes, there is the military rationale.  And is there no other?

We progress incrementally, and the lunar base from which we conduct further explorations, including asteroid mining and Mars visits is, I think, the way to go.  Nudging asteroids out of orbit and plopping them directly on the surface of the Earth was already tried by the dinosaurs at peak of their evolution.  It didn't work. I ask that others list rationales for lunar and space exploration, with an eye towards an honest comparison with the utility and desirability of a lunar base. 

Then there's the utopian angle, which warrants a comparison between reading literature and writing a bicycle.  Once you've read the book you never completely forget that experience; in this into similar to never forgetting how to ride a bike.  The literature has touched on political space-based utopias and political independence here is a concern with which demands current attention.  It's not a new idea, but newness is by no means a necessarily valid prerequisite to any discussion of lunar colonization. One of the purposes of literature is to guide mankind.  Our previous ancestors influenced the future by what they wrote.

Looking at my population calculation:  100,000 divided by 40 years = 2500 people a year.  At 25 people per launch, that’s 100 launches a year.  The assumption is that we have 100 ships and there’s also a lot of freight.  So is a linear calculation wrong? What if there's 100,014 people?  Or 99,999?  Or 25,000, or 2500?  Yup.  My calculation is probably wrong.  And to assume linearity and round numbers for the ease of mental calculation? One can depend on one's intuition as a starting point for any discussion.  And to suggest that the planetary war machine could easily and profitably convert to space needs?  Well.  No government contracts for me, presumably.  Jeezy Peezies, don’t get hung up on this number, suggest a better one.

Jim: I can hear the argument that the New World cannot be compared to the new lunar colony.  The obvious thing is oxygen.  So I’m not going to insist on the correctness of this analogy in all ways.  My point had more to do with the unknowns of risk being overcome by the hopes for wealth.  In this the  explorations are similar.  To argue that the rest of the post is hogwash is to argue that one should consider nothing that sci-fi has offered with respect to space travel.  Clearly, sci-fi is hogwash also.  My previous post had three main themes, the speculative the justification and comedic.  It’s harsh to throw the whole thing out.  At least laugh at the funny parts.

William: True, as you point out, my analogy suffers when the two types of colonization are compared on their differences.  That is, destroying a civilization vs. colonizing a barren Moon.  But again, I'm thinking more along the lines of the spirit of colonization.  In other words, I’m suggesting that a Spanish galleon and a spaceship can be compared directly by considering what it is they have in common. Thus, I would urge comparisons between Jamestown and the lunar colony.  What is it that they have in common?  The other thing is, colonizing the New World is the only analogy we have to work with this point.

And how much brevity is a virtue? E=mc squared is as brief as it gets, but its implementation is far more for verbose than I will ever be.  It's the verbose implementation which we find useful.  On this forum, the best posts share verbosity.  That is not to say that verbosity predicts excellence.

Michael: thanks for the A in biology.  Our colony is a pathogenic subset of the population.  People are visiting all the time and it is not isolated.  The inhabitants’ immune systems have a different set of challenges; low gravity, filtered air, controlled food, and several other things.  It seems as if there are factors which have not yet been considered with respect to disease propagation in a colony.  But point me in a better direction.  How about a B+ for effort?

It sounds like Patchouli is thinking.  ISRU is key.

And kch:  It sounds like you know that CCW song: “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”  Your other left.

Gotta go.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #28 on: 02/12/2009 08:32 PM »
Well the Moon due to it's lack of plate tectonics has more easily recovered PMGs then we can ever hope to find on earth.
This means any meteors that have fallen on the moon are still there and any massive volcanic pipes from it's early history the other source of PMGs also still exist.
We need platinum group metals for our industry esp if we're to switch to renewable energy sources.
As for pulling O2 from moon rocks it's easy to do and the hardware involved is surprisingly low tech.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/05may_moonrocks.htm
« Last Edit: 02/12/2009 08:38 PM by Patchouli »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #29 on: 02/13/2009 12:03 AM »
From The Orbitec Report "SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE DEVELOPMENT FOR A SELF-SUSTAINING LUNAR COLONY",

NIAC Contract:07600-052 (Prime Contract NAS5-98051)OTC-GS-097-FR-2000-1

Section 3.3.2 Conceptual Design for ISRU Production Plant

"If the lunar regolith is further heated to ~1630 C, carbothermal reduction of the lunar silicates
would produce oxygen."  There's tons of oxygen up there, as well as a certain amount of hydrogen.  We need to provide a small manufacturing core, and build the rest while up there.  Of course, we'll have to transport the people up one at a time....

The Report goes on at length, but it doesn't mention Platinum.  Patchouli: Do you have info on Pt?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Vacuum.Head

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #30 on: 02/13/2009 01:35 AM »
Re Platinum Group Metals
Google The Wingo Hypothesis
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/555/1
for a start

However a criticism 100,000 Loonies?
Even in the heady daze of the Space Colonisation Movement (guilty as charged officer;) the moon was merely a place of work: exploitation, extraction of resources to build the real colonies: Bernal Spheres, Stanford Tori, O'Neill Cylinders and of course the SPSs. If America had invested in Space Power vs Vietnam, Grenada,.. Star Wars, etc the payback would have been round about...NOW!
----------------------------------------
"...all the Universe or nothing." Oswald Cabal
["Shape of Things to Come" U.K. 1936  (Dir. William Cameron Menzies)]

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #31 on: 02/13/2009 03:38 AM »
I read the PGM article, and the loony movement continues to shoot itself in the rocket.  NIAC archives are full of articles and studies that try to present their cause as the greatest.  I quote from the PGM article:

"..the economic value of lunar LOX or water is ... essentially [of] no value except in the context of reducing the cost of space commerce."

I would think that reducing the cost of space commerce is actually one of the greatest values we should be looking for, especially since we have so little progress on the fusion front.  However, the PGM article puts things into perspective later on: "PGM mining can be one piece of the puzzle for building a genuine cislunar economy."

Finally, while the article reviews terrestrial platinum production, the billion dollar question regards lunar platinum reserves.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline bad_astra

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #32 on: 02/13/2009 06:56 PM »
I am glad to know that Brittney Spears is among those ruling the world. I have looked deeply into her, and I feel like I know her very well, almost biblically, certainly clinically. I have no idea what her space policy is, but I have been told her mind has been exposed to vacuum.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline cgrunska

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #33 on: 02/14/2009 07:59 PM »
Glad i decided to read this thread. Got some laughs.

Offline HIPAR

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #34 on: 02/15/2009 03:08 AM »
Gosh .. living on a moon colony?  What a boring place that would soon become.  No Kentucky Fried Chicken, no Mc Donalds, no Burger King, no whiskey!!  No thanks, I'll stay here with Brittney.

---  CHAS

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #35 on: 02/16/2009 02:09 AM »
Britney Spears, and her little brother, Broccoli, are in fact running the world, but I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion.  Let's all get back on the Moon, shall we?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #36 on: 02/16/2009 01:51 PM »
Britney Spears, and her little brother, Broccoli, are in fact running the world, but I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion.  Let's all get back on the Moon, shall we?

Paris owns it, she's just not telling Bigelow ;)
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #37 on: 03/02/2009 02:51 PM »
Been busy building rockets….

Backing up to Blackstar 02-12-09 12:21 PM

Utopian beliefs are very good and dystopian beliefs are very bad.  Pragmatic beliefs range between these two extremes.  I think that dystopian space enthusiasts are almost non-existent.  Those enthusiasts with a utopian bent are ubiquitous, as Blackstar suggests.  But his analysis falls short when he paints them all with that dreamy, conspiratorial, mildly rebellious, hypocritical brush.  His and Heinlein’s characterization of space as a mistress is perhaps an unintended nod to Grecian mythology.  The Fates ultimately ruled the male hierarchy of gods.  Our Earth Mother may be nurturing, but Space Mother is harsh.

Anyhow, space does represent mankind’s hopes for a new beginning.  Those hopes should not be dismissed in favor of a strictly business based model  for the exploration of space.   Blackstar does not specifically endorse this view, but it is the nature of his dismissal that points me to this tentative conclusion.  I, for one, would like to read of his views regarding the purpose of space exploration at greater length.

I hypothesize that there is a similarity between the big “bidness” theory of space exploration and the theory of Darwinian evolution.  The similarity is that neither theory has a purpose.  In fact, these two theories forbid purpose expressly, and I believe neither theory is an accurate model of the world we live in for this reason.  Some will argue that the purpose of evolution is to survive, and the purpose of business is to spread wealth, but the first is a paltry tautology  and the second a false promise.  It remains to be seen if either of these essentially stochastic process, business and evolution, can be shown to develop a higher purpose, even in theory.

With respect to the business model, our current economic situation proves the falsehood of unfettered business providing even a trickle of wealth for all.  Markets have never been rational, and cannot be if their guidance is left to the fickle imaginations of human players acting without altruism, without higher purpose.  This cyclical pattern of boom and bust will continue with even larger swings should business interests rule space.  What is needed in space exploration is a higher purpose, and this is an essential function of leadership.

Leadership doesn’t create purpose and leadership can also be wrong headed.  The early years of the Iraq war and the current situation of the shuttle gap easily illustrates how wrong leadership can muck things up.  The kind of leadership required in the space community would acknowledge the need to plan for the political independence of our future colonies.   This is not a hare brained utopian dream, it is the reality we need to face.

What’s happening in this forum, to the detriment of space exploration and colonization is that the demand for credibility is taking precedence over the necessity of acknowledging the limits knowledge.  The Ares rocket team, under Dr. Griffin’s leadership, exemplifies this fault.  For those who value brevity at the expense of lengthy, less error prone analysis:
Current NASA directive?  My way or the highway.

I like the term, “Oogie Boogie Science”.  I’ve been poking around in the solar shade thread.  The proponents of this idea place it well ahead of colonization as a priority, and frankly admit not even the possibility that such a shade might not be a good idea in the first place.  Here, I proposed a colony population of 100,000 after forty years.  Excuse me.  As of today, only thirty nine years and change.  I’m having a bad math day.  The point of the thread has been lost in calculation, but it is not an oogie boogie idea.  I realize also, though, that I am evolving the point of the thread as we go along.  Go ahead, evolve.

We need to plan for the certain eventual political independence of the colony. This is most definitely not a “vague set of beliefs.”  Nor is it hypocritical.   It is a coherent, consistent argument, and it is a demand of government, not a rejection of that government.

So, knowing that mentioning the word “Illuminati”, gives the reader a “Get out of Thread FREE!” pass,  I observe that my point in starting the thread remains at large, even if my math is off.

Carry on, ‘cause…

I gotta go.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline kch

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #38 on: 03/02/2009 03:23 PM »
... my point in starting the thread remains at large, even if my math is off.

It'll keep better if you refrigerate it ... ;)

Offline Jim

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Re: Had we begun colonizing the Moon in 1969
« Reply #39 on: 03/02/2009 03:42 PM »
[quote author=JohnFornaro link=topic=15838.msg370225#msg370225 The kind of leadership required in the space community would acknowledge the need to plan for the political independence of our future colonies.   This is not a hare brained utopian dream, it is the reality we need to face.

[/quote]

This is not applicable to lunar colonies since they will not be able to survive without support from earth.  Much like Antarctic outposts 

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