I'm not holding my breath
I'm also going to hold onto my copies of Galaxy and If. Its as close to space travel as I'm going to get without recreational pharmaceuticals....pity.
Russian, American and European space agencies are in talks to create a human colony on the Moon, according to Russian news source Rianovosti. MOON_STATION Artist's impression of the Moon station from Nasa's Global Exploration Roadmap Russia wants to build either a space base on the surface of the Moon itself or a space …
Because that would be expensive, difficult and dangerous.
The following courtesy of the gorgeous RobotRollCall of Reddit fame.
"The Earth is in orbit around the sun. That means the Earth, and everything on it, is moving through space at about seventy thousand miles an hour. In order to drop something into the sun, you'd have to bring it to what is effectively a dead stop in space, which means accelerating it from rest to seventy thousand miles an hour going in the direction opposite the Earth's orbital motion.
That's twice the velocity necessary to fling something out of the solar system entirely. Now, we have launched a rocket to solar escape velocity before, about 35,000 miles an hour … but only once in all of human history, and doing so required a custom-assembled rocket and more than two hundred million US dollars, and the total payload was still only about a thousand pounds. And that's half of what we'd have to do, in terms of total velocity, to fire a payload of the same size into the sun … and rockets don't scale linearly with final velocity but rather exponentially, meaning the cost of putting a thousand-pound payload into the sun would probably be on the order of a billion US dollars, not counting the up-front R&D costs.
And did I mention that spent nuclear fuel is among the densest stuff on our planet? A cubic foot of the stuff weights more than a thousand pounds — 1,189 pounds, to be precise.
"Purely financial" doesn't even begin to cover it. To put any useful amount of the stuff into the sun would literally cost more than the total amount of money in the whole world."
"In order to drop something into the sun, you'd have to bring it to what is effectively a dead stop in space"
I think "dead stop" is not required. It would drop, eventually, if the speed is below Sun's escape velocity, so it's just enough to "throw it behind" in Earth orbit. No?
Apart from that I agree that would be quite silly and expensive endeavour.
would be to convert into energy the 99.3% (for CANDU reactors) or 99.5% (for light-water reactors) of the fuel which remains behind, by burning it in a thorium reactor. http://energyfromthorium.com/
I mean, really? Taking 600,000 tons of fuel (just counting the US supply) to THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON? Seriously, that is a terrible idea.
Now given the history of the International Space Station and the objections that prevented China from joining in and going of to build there own space station. This along with China's announced plans to build a moon base. I have to ask, are we seeing the very early stages of a new `cold` war America+Russian and chums vs China. Still, it'd competition as they say and if they end up playing each other at a game of football, then I realy can't see this ending badly.
Moral being you can have a butterfly flap it's wings and cause a tornado the otherside of the World. But you can build a massive moon base and have absolutly no impact on the moons orbit,rotation and as such no effect at all upon the tides of the planet below.
All I want to know now is will we get epic TV days watching a moon base being built, just like the early day veiwing enthusiasim of the early space flight. I think we might.
Create a modern population for planetary seeding on Earth, in a Mirror Base Station for Lunar Operations.
What would you build on the Moon ....... a temporary structure or a work of future art. And when built on Earth, would it be a Universal Progress Model
You keep on rubbing it into their noses the Phobos grunt (not sure of the spelling) failure, but the fact is that Russia has done pretty good with space craft. Soyuz is considered the most reliable means of space travel. Look it up! Give them some breathing room, everybody messes up every once in a while and in space travel, the mess ups tend to either cost a lot money or people die. That's how it was when people started to explore the earth by sea.
'the mess ups tend to either cost a lot money or people die. That's how it was when people started to explore the earth by sea' ...
Sadly that's still the case in certain parts of Italy.
Aircraft occasionally have a sudden tendency to stop defying gravity too.
And cars can occasionally collide.
Even horses have been known to squash people and don't get me started on skateboards!
(broken arm 1977)
It is impossible to ignore Russia's commitment to space travel. It is quite a source of pride for those people. The biggest issue with the spacecraft is that there have only-been incremental improvements over such a long time period. Soyuz has cut a unique niche in the manned-transfer-to-LEO market. No one has their numbers in successful launches.
In comparison, look at the changes in interplanetary robotic exploration. It has grown more-advanced in leaps-and-bounds. Although the failure of Fobos-Grunt has yet to complete a root-cause-analysis, the French pictures of a 180-degree-off-axis craft paints a picture of internal failure. Along with the recent issues with ISS supply craft, this could be a sign of transition from the proud Russian attention-to-detail in their spacecraft business.
I hope that they 'fix' whatever is broken in Roscosmos. It is a unique asset to the world.
"tutting over mankind's sluggishness in this oft-predicted area."
Just tut them back! A few months ago I reread the A C Clarke story "Earthlight" from 1955 where at one point an astronomer on a moon-based observatory (about 150 years from now) watches a colleague developing photographic plates, and muses that photography will always involve such chemical magic. Later in the story we visit the observatory's computer, which is room-sized and still gets its data via punched cards....
I'd certainly agree with the building and launching of rockets from the moon due to it's lowered gravity but not the mining.
The Moon is too important to Earth to start mining it, however as a launch platform for other mining vessels.
The main thing would be the NEW research that could be done in laboratories on the moon in low gravity or perhaps in zero-g lab orbiting the moon?
We could finally work on intergalactic space travel drive systems
The "dark side" of the moon is no darker than the other side, it simply faces away from Earth. That would be advantageous for radio astronomy, but that's it. OTOH, having zero atmosphere means the most you need to do to eliminate the interference of the sun is to use a shade or occlusion disc, and you would have no need for fancy adaptive optics. OTOOH, you would still need vibration isolation that an orbiting 'scope would not.
Not only are there radiation environment issues, but also the fact that ISS wasn't built to handle the range of dynamic stresses* involved in accelerating out of Earth orbit and then decelerating into lunar orbit -- not to mention the constant reboosts and orbital correction manuvers once there owing to the oddly distributed "mascons" (mass concentrations) in the moon which make maintaining a stable orbit more difficult.
*To get an idea of what happens during an orbital reboost firing aboard ISS, check out NASA's YouTube channel and watch some of the video shot by bracket-mounted cameras inside the ship when the engines light...
"shakin' aalll-lll oooo-oooooverrr-rrrrrrr...!"
Really they should be a bit more specific of *why* they want to colonise the Moon.
All I can think of are either:
a) reasons of discovery e.g. manned telescopes, or
b) betterment of human existance which could be:
i) exploitation of resources (helium-3, wealth); or
ii) exploitation of environment (e.g. microgravity for therapies, development of medicine).
iii) waste management (bad idea)
It was fine to go to the Moon "because it is there" in the 70's but now it needs a revised mandate.
Penal colony anyone?
Launching rockets from the Moon would be a whole lot easier, so it's a stepping-stone to Mars, which could actually be conceivably colonized.
Colonizing Mars is a good idea because, well, either we do that or we die. It's just a matter of time. That said, it's not exactly urgent - but then again, when I start saying that something isn't urgent, I always end up not doing it until it becomes urgent...
They seem to be talking about a lunar base, with personnel having short tours of duty. A colony would imply people living there permanently and having children there.
By the way, although we know that humans have long-term problems in 'zero' gravity, has any research been done on what's likely to happen long term in lunar or martian gravity?
Wow, in the US, the editor would surely be challenged on the title. The title makes it sound like the Russians and Americans are off on some separate pursuit.
- There is no NASA corroboration
- The only real quote from the Russian put the ESA at-parity with the other two, but you would never know from the title
- NASA's official position is that the Moon isn't the next opportunity. HEO or Lagrange points have been placed FAR above building bases on the Moon.
- While we are at it, where is the ESA or Roscosmos corroboration?
... I suppose the discussion is good for conjecture...
Sounds like your describing Benidorm maybe?
On that note, I hope that daily mail reading, carlsberg swilling expat scousers are involved in no way in colonising the moon. The last thing we need is a f****** Benidorm in outer space.
That mob colonising the solar system....doesn't bear thinking about.