Author Topic: Best location for the first Moon Colony  (Read 16639 times)

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Best location for the first Moon Colony
« on: 06/25/2012 07:08 pm »
On wikipedia 3 locations are suggested:
1) The poles (sunpower + possible water)
2) The equator (helium3 + easier access to orbits)
3) The far side (telescopes + helium3/titanium)

There's also a 4th kind that overlaps the other 3:
4) Lava tubes (radiation shelter + temperature around -25C)

What's the best location for the FIRST moon colony?

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11347
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #1 on: 06/25/2012 07:43 pm »
  On the moon.  I had to say it.

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #2 on: 06/25/2012 07:47 pm »
On the moon.  I had to say it.

 :)


Offline Bob Shaw

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1113
  • Liked: 462
  • Likes Given: 405
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #3 on: 06/25/2012 07:56 pm »
There's a lot to be said for putting it in orbit, and man-tending/teleoperating surface facilities. The big plusses the surface has are radiation protection and building materials.

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #4 on: 06/25/2012 08:10 pm »
There's a lot to be said for putting it in orbit, and man-tending/teleoperating surface facilities. The big plusses the surface has are radiation protection and building materials.

Why a moon-orbit station to tele-operate surface facilities, if you can semi-remotely operate them from Earth, Mars rovers style? I think the first Moon Colony will be on surface.

IMHO, the main trade-off is proximity to resources (solar power, water, etc in the poles) vs easy shelter (radiation, temperature range in lava tubes). I would go for the shelter.

Offline Rabidpanda

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 527
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 572
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #5 on: 06/25/2012 08:56 pm »
ISRU is going to happen eventually.  IMO it would be best to prepare for this and put the base at one of the poles.

Offline Robert Thompson

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1117
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 658
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #6 on: 06/26/2012 06:31 am »
Find a company that has put skin into H3 as have companies into ice and PGM. H3 is an excellent El Dorado pony to get the conversation going among the public. Planetary Resources eyes ice then PGM.

Lava tubes are an exotic eventual diversion tantamount to living in sink holes and missile silos for the rich and famous. Excellent public conversation fodder; keep chatting them up and paint the picture. Groups worth naming, e.g., Shackleton, eye the poles.

Telescopes - possibly the nearest term of the three you offer. I'd put it at 2100 AD. Interferometry is hard enough in space, but a stable baseline plus zero seeing plus radio shadow makes the farside a useful but not critical path. Earth ground based telescopes will grow cyclopean apertures and/or carbon fiber secondary mirror adaptive optics and will characterize exoearth atmopheres at an nth the cost. B612 will send a crowd sourced telescope to an interior earth orbit to leverage abundant incidence on NEO's. Expect an analogue to exterior earth orbit, for, say, Kuiper Belt objects, before a moon telescope. (Astronomy major)

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 169
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #7 on: 06/26/2012 07:43 am »
On wikipedia 3 locations are suggested:
1) The poles (sunpower + possible water)
2) The equator (helium3 + easier access to orbits)
3) The far side (telescopes + helium3/titanium)

There's also a 4th kind that overlaps the other 3:
4) Lava tubes (radiation shelter + temperature around -25C)

What's the best location for the FIRST moon colony?

I think you could ask for this to be a poll if you want.

Definitely the poles IMO:

*(very) probable access to water and other volatiles so we can begin experimenting with ISRU and actually learning how to live off earth. This outweighs all others for me.

*Access to very cold areas right next to (almost) permanently lit areas.

* much more benign temperatures than the equator with its two week days and nights. Apart from stresses of heating and cooling, I'm guessing it would be very difficult to keep initial bases cool enough for humans near the equator?

*protection from solar flares in permanently shadowed craters (I'm guessing)

Offline kkattula

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2513
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Liked: 17
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #8 on: 06/26/2012 08:50 am »
  On the moon.  I had to say it.

On Phobos.

He didn't say which moon...

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #9 on: 06/26/2012 12:44 pm »
  On the moon.  I had to say it.

I disagree.  On Luna.

To the OP:  The poles.  Forget He3.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline BobCarver

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 274
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 12
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #10 on: 06/26/2012 01:00 pm »
  On the moon.  I had to say it.

On Phobos.

He didn't say which moon...

I second the motion. And suggest referring to the Earth's major satellite as Luna to avoid confusion.

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #11 on: 06/26/2012 01:31 pm »
On wikipedia 3 locations are suggested:
1) The poles (sunpower + possible water)
2) The equator (helium3 + easier access to orbits)
3) The far side (telescopes + helium3/titanium)

There's also a 4th kind that overlaps the other 3:
4) Lava tubes (radiation shelter + temperature around -25C)

What's the best location for the FIRST moon colony?

I think you could ask for this to be a poll if you want.

Definitely the poles IMO:

*(very) probable access to water and other volatiles so we can begin experimenting with ISRU and actually learning how to live off earth. This outweighs all others for me.

*Access to very cold areas right next to (almost) permanently lit areas.

* much more benign temperatures than the equator with its two week days and nights. Apart from stresses of heating and cooling, I'm guessing it would be very difficult to keep initial bases cool enough for humans near the equator?

*protection from solar flares in permanently shadowed craters (I'm guessing)

OK, so the poles. And what about Aitken Basin? Maybe it has some lava tubes near the South Pole, two birds with one stone.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #12 on: 06/27/2012 02:16 pm »
The topography is too rugged at the South Pole. On the North Rim of Whipple Crater, there is a nice, relatively flat plateau that is permanently sunlit. In addition to being directly adjacent to Whipple itself--which is more than big enough to support centuries of economic activity, there are several smaller permanently shaded craters nearby that would be easier to access than Whipple, in order to jumpstart the ISRU process.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/2700.pdf
"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 Loon

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • Between no and where RI
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #13 on: 06/29/2012 02:25 am »
I was thinking the area around shackleton.  A lava tube with access to polar resources would solve a lot of problems, radiation protection, stable thermal environment, no dust, ect. 

Sanity is a Relative Term

Offline spectre9

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2403
  • Australia
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #14 on: 06/29/2012 03:24 am »
The Whipple sunlit plateau is the obvious location for colonisation.

I wouldn't expect national space agencies to come out and announce such a thing though.


Offline Warren Platts

Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #15 on: 06/29/2012 05:25 pm »
The Whipple sunlit plateau is the obvious location for colonisation.

I wouldn't expect national space agencies to come out and announce such a thing though.

It is where the NASA Moon people are looking, however. No point in setting up a space race we can't win, however!
  On the moon.  I had to say it.

On Phobos.

He didn't say which moon...

I second the motion. And suggest referring to the Earth's major satellite as Luna to avoid confusion.

He said "Moon", with a capital "M", as in THE Moon. No confusion necessary.
"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 savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 987
  • Likes Given: 343
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #16 on: 06/29/2012 06:11 pm »
Wouldnt the plateau next to Whipple be out of direct line of sight communications ? For teleoperation, that would be a significant barrier.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #17 on: 06/29/2012 06:19 pm »
Wouldnt the plateau next to Whipple be out of direct line of sight communications ? For teleoperation, that would be a significant barrier.

Antennas and/or satellites should solve that.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 987
  • Likes Given: 343
Re: Best location for the first Moon Colony
« Reply #18 on: 06/29/2012 07:21 pm »
Antennas and/or satellites should solve that.
Antennas for lasers ? Satellites/relays would add lag, and positioning of a lunar relay sat is not trivial either. Not ideal in any case from comms perspective.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft


Tags: