Author Topic: NASA plans lunar outpost  (Read 1007 times)

stacer

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NASA plans lunar outpost
« on: December 05, 2006, 08:00:25 PM »
This might be old news, as far as I know, because I don't pay attention to this kind of thing very much, but I do think it's cool. We haven't talked about this kind of thing in general societal discourse since the 80s, I think.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/04/AR2006120400837.html

It does make me wonder about the resources of the moon they're talking about.

And it makes me want to watch Earth II again.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 08:02:20 PM by stacer »
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The Lost One

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Re: NASA plans lunar outpost
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 03:38:40 AM »
When the article refers to funding through "space businesses" I'm thinking that NASA is secretly hoping that space tourism will start to boom.
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GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: NASA plans lunar outpost
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 07:17:32 AM »
I sincerely doubt it, since the people at NASA understand that going into space requires intense training and great physical shape.  Not to mention it is extremely expensive--there are ways you can buy your way into space, but it wouldn't grant them enough money to end up funding even a significant chunk of the project.  Sincerely profitable space-tourism is a fair distance away.

I think more likely what they're talking about is TV, cell phone, and radio stations that could have satellite fields on the moon for relay of signals en mass, though I'm not sure how practical that would be, since you can't define where to orbit of the moon goes like you can with a smaller relay satellite.  You could construct a lot of long-lasting relay dishes on a plot of land, though, I would imagine.  Also, I would guess that many scientific organizations would pay good money to be able to conduct research on the moon.  Not only is it a near-perfect, low gravity vacuum that provides a new environment for long-term research, but it would also be relatively uninhabited  and has no environment to worry about, which means fewer regulations on nuclear research, plus tons of space.

I bet there will be a little speculation about space-tourism, but I doubt that is what NASA is hoping to get significant funding from, especially near the beginning of the project.  But who knows.
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The Lost One

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Re: NASA plans lunar outpost
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 03:32:47 AM »
I'm not sure if TV, Cell phones or such media enterprise would be a significant source of funding. To be fair though, I agree that space tourism is also unlikely to be a source of major funding. I only mentioned space tourism because I was aware of NASA's position on space tourism (that it requires intense training, good physical conditioning and it's expensive) but when Congress hasn't been as generous to NASA is in the past, they might be looking for funding from sources that they have previously dismissed (i.e. space tourism).
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Entsuropi

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Re: NASA plans lunar outpost
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 01:38:05 PM »
Other planets have stuff they could mine that is much rarer on Earth. Lots of Hydrogen on the moon for example, which could be used for power generation.
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Fellfrosch

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Re: NASA plans lunar outpost
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 04:28:35 AM »
H3 is also found on the Moon, which is very rare on earth, and something that I heard on NPR was a justification to going to the Moon, in addition to Hydrogen.  Still, the economics of putting an outpost on the Moon is not very clear.
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