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They found water on the moon!

RaakamRaakam Too many years...CanadalandRegistered User regular
edited November 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Here's a link to the article.

Of particular interest, this bit:
If future investigations find the quantities to be particularly large, this water could become a useful resource for any astronauts who might base themselves at the lunar poles.

"It can be used for drinking water," said Mike Wargo, Nasa's chief lunar scientist for exploration systems.

"You can break it down and have breathable air for crews. But also, if you have significant quantities of this stuff, you have the constituents of one of the most potent rocket fuels - oxygen and hydrogen."

Is this the first step in starting the colonization of space? First, our moon, and from there perhaps the rest of the solar system? Will we see a moon base in the next 20 years? 30? Within our lifetime?

While there may not be enough water for anything substantial, the opposite could also be true.

I suspect we'll have a military base there first, though something like the I.S.S would be ideal, a co-operative effort.

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Posts

  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    This is totally freaking awesome.

    MikeMan on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2009
    Didn't they already verify that there was buttloads of water on the moon? Or did they just suspect it, and now it's verified? Because we had a thread like this about a month ago.

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  • Inter_dInter_d Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    wouldn't the whole....like...low ass gravity kinda create a lot of living problems? would be neat either way and i also doubt it would be a military base since i doubt the other people of the world would be happy about america having a military base on the moon.

    Inter_d on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Didn't they already verify that there was buttloads of water on the moon? Or did they just suspect it, and now it's verified? Because we had a thread like this about a month ago.

    They bombed the moon because it was suspected there might be water at the poles, in craters. Before the results actually came back from the bombing, the Indians had sent up their own probe and found evidence of water.

    So, now we have two independent findings which corroborate one another. This most recent announcement is about NASA's discovery.

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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    We'd have to have a President that's interested in the moon before anything gets done. Like, really, seriously interested, enough to hand NASA gobs and gobs of money.

    Obama doesn't strike me as such a guy, at least not at the moment. It's pretty low on the priority scale. First we'd have to prove that we can still get people up there and back; we've been long out of practice.

    Or some other country would have to be confident enough to try it, but remember only the US has shown proof of concept. Everyone else would be making their first trip.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Inter_d wrote: »
    wouldn't the whole....like...low ass gravity kinda create a lot of living problems? would be neat either way and i also doubt it would be a military base since i doubt the other people of the world would be happy about america having a military base on the moon.

    It would also violate numerous treaties. The Moon is like Antarctica. No one country can lay claim to it, and it can't be used for military purposes.

    Having some sort of base there seems like it would be more sensible than something in between like the ISS currently. That thing needs to get its orbit fixed constantly and everything just generally sucks. The only real negative to the moon would be needing more fuel and more of a time delay, but that seems like relatively small issues all things considered. Plus they wouldn't be able to do a colony drop in opposition to our tyrannical dictates. Still, it's not like they're going to do anything cool in space for decades at the earliest. When the ISS finally comes crashing down a lunar base might be its logical replacement.

    moniker on
  • NorfairNorfair Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    This is still some pretty damn cool news.

    Norfair on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Inter_d wrote: »
    wouldn't the whole....like...low ass gravity kinda create a lot of living problems? would be neat either way and i also doubt it would be a military base since i doubt the other people of the world would be happy about america having a military base on the moon.

    It would also violate numerous treaties. The Moon is like Antarctica. No one country can lay claim to it, and it can't be used for military purposes.

    Having some sort of base there seems like it would be more sensible than something in between like the ISS currently. That thing needs to get its orbit fixed constantly and everything just generally sucks. The only real negative to the moon would be needing more fuel and more of a time delay, but that seems like relatively small issues all things considered. Plus they wouldn't be able to do a colony drop in opposition to our tyrannical dictates. Still, it's not like they're going to do anything cool in space for decades at the earliest. When the ISS finally comes crashing down a lunar base might be its logical replacement.

    So someone needs to shoot down the ISS is what you're saying.

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  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Inter_d wrote: »
    wouldn't the whole....like...low ass gravity kinda create a lot of living problems? would be neat either way and i also doubt it would be a military base since i doubt the other people of the world would be happy about america having a military base on the moon.

    It would also violate numerous treaties. The Moon is like Antarctica. No one country can lay claim to it, and it can't be used for military purposes.

    Having some sort of base there seems like it would be more sensible than something in between like the ISS currently. That thing needs to get its orbit fixed constantly and everything just generally sucks. The only real negative to the moon would be needing more fuel and more of a time delay, but that seems like relatively small issues all things considered. Plus they wouldn't be able to do a colony drop in opposition to our tyrannical dictates. Still, it's not like they're going to do anything cool in space for decades at the earliest. When the ISS finally comes crashing down a lunar base might be its logical replacement.

    However, much like the Antarctica treaty, no one would enforce (or is actively enforcing) it. Its success is just due to the fact that no one is crazy or desperate enough to want to mine Antarctica. Still, it wouldn't warrant the expense to make a military base on the moon at this point.

    Emissary42 on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So someone needs to shoot down the ISS is what you're saying.

    Wasn't there talk in another thread about it coming down/being brought down anyway? Or are the resupply missions going to fix that little issue?

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2009
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    However, much like the Antarctica treaty, no one would enforce (or is actively enforcing) it. Its success is just due to the fact that no one is crazy or desperate enough to want to mine Antarctica. Still, it wouldn't warrant the expense to make a military base on the moon at this point.

    I don't think it'll ever warrant the expense as long as there's nobody there, even if the cost was pretty low. What would a military base on the moon even do? Take potshots at suspicious-looking craters?

    If there were other bases there, a military base would make sense. But as it stands, there's no strategic reason to stick weapons up there. At least not any of the weapons that currently exist.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    However, much like the Antarctica treaty, no one would enforce (or is actively enforcing) it. Its success is just due to the fact that no one is crazy or desperate enough to want to mine Antarctica. Still, it wouldn't warrant the expense to make a military base on the moon at this point.

    I don't think it'll ever warrant the expense as long as there's nobody there, even if the cost was pretty low. What would a military base on the moon even do? Take potshots at suspicious-looking craters?

    If there were other bases there, a military base would make sense. But as it stands, there's no strategic reason to stick weapons up there. At least not any of the weapons that currently exist.

    To be prepared for when the damn bugs strike Rio.

    God, can you imagine what kind of world we would have if all the military budgets of the world were dedicated to shit in space?

    moniker on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2009
    Forar wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So someone needs to shoot down the ISS is what you're saying.

    Wasn't there talk in another thread about it coming down/being brought down anyway? Or are the resupply missions going to fix that little issue?

    God, I hope not. Fuck the ISS. The only thing in space lamer than the ISS is the space shuttle.

    Well, and maybe Intergalactic Carrot Top.

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  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    However, much like the Antarctica treaty, no one would enforce (or is actively enforcing) it. Its success is just due to the fact that no one is crazy or desperate enough to want to mine Antarctica. Still, it wouldn't warrant the expense to make a military base on the moon at this point.

    I don't think it'll ever warrant the expense as long as there's nobody there, even if the cost was pretty low. What would a military base on the moon even do? Take potshots at suspicious-looking craters?

    If there were other bases there, a military base would make sense. But as it stands, there's no strategic reason to stick weapons up there. At least not any of the weapons that currently exist.

    To beat a dead horse into the fine paste of a dead horse:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rods_from_god

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_Is_A_Harsh_Mistress

    Emissary42 on
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Man they're finding water everywhere nowadays. Pretty damn cool. After hearing stuff like this I can't help but speculate how much greater the hypothetical chances are for multi-cellular life out there since we've found evidence for water on so many bodies in this solar system alone.

    Moon bases are also flippin' sweet. Space is awesome.

    BloodySloth on
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Enceladus & Europa myself (possible locations for life in-system).

    Emissary42 on
  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If we found a reasonable supply of energy on the moon as well as water, something self-sufficient like the harvester base in Moon would be reasonable. Just, without the clones.

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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Fact #1: There is water on the moon
    Fact #2: Wales live in water
    Fact #3: Wales are full of delicious clean burning oil(and precious ambergris)

    I think we all know what the logical conclusion is here.


    edit: Seriously though, w00t sort of. Between water, a good amount of sunlight, and not need too much more then regolith to make cementlike stuff, an awful lot of the resources we'd need to build a moon base are already there.

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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    redx wrote: »
    Fact #1: There is water on the moon
    Fact #2: Wales live in water
    Fact #3: Wales are full of delicious clean burning oil(and precious ambergris)

    I think we all know what the logical conclusion is here.


    edit: Seriously though, w00t sort of. Between water, a good amount of sunlight, and not need too much more then regolith to make cementlike stuff, an awful lot of the resources we'd need to build a moon base are already there.

    That the Welsh are an aquatic people we should exploit for their oil?

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  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Clearly, there must be exactly one bowl of petunias per whale.

    EDIT: Read the posts starting at the first one at 4:34 AM: http://twitter.com/LCROSS_NASA

    Emissary42 on
  • RingoRingo Out of things to say Heartbreak HillRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    You can't spell

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Basically, this is CONFIRMED - WATER ON MOON.

    This is fucking great, I can't wait to see what comes of this for our space programs (I don't care what nations do what first) over the next couple decades.

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  • RaakamRaakam Too many years... CanadalandRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    Raakam on
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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    This is pretty damn awesome.
    Raakam wrote: »
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    Couldn't 4 potentially solve 3?

    I mean, if they found a way to protect a base from the radiation from the flares there's no reason they couldn't use said radiation to heat/power the base itself.

    I'm obviously not a scientist. Well...I have a degree in political science but that doesn't really help here. :lol:

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I still don't see a moon base happening any time soon. It's nice to know it's there, but the current political clime (and foreseeable future political clime) has shown no real love of the space programs. Even with this new knowledge, I think we're more likely to see commercial exploration before any government establishes a permanent base.

    Terrendos on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    It's also good not to forget that most places on the moon, you are going to need really good batteries(like ones that will supply power for 15 days) if you are going just by solar power. It's not insurmountable, but it's not day every half hour or so either. It would kinda be a bit of an issue, unless you were to use satellites to gather energy and beam it down.

    redx on
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  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Raakam wrote: »
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    My guess is we'd build the base into a hill on the moon and use it as natural shielding from solar flares. God knows how we'd manage that though. Construction on the moon, heh. We can barely walk around there.

    Gravity: Rubber bands plus treadmill? Just deal with the 1/6 gravity for non-exersize. Maybe extra velcro and rubberized surfaces.

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  • XaevXaev Registered User
    edited November 2009
    There's enough gravity to keep the astronauts grounded; why would we need any extra measures beyond the standard exercises to prevent muscle deterioration?

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  • RaakamRaakam Too many years... CanadalandRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Raakam wrote: »
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    My guess is we'd build the base into a hill on the moon and use it as natural shielding from solar flares. God knows how we'd manage that though. Construction on the moon, heh. We can barely walk around there.

    Gravity: Rubber bands plus treadmill? Just deal with the 1/6 gravity for non-exersize. Maybe extra velcro and rubberized surfaces.

    I doubt we could really do any big construction out there - hence why I was thinking you'd build it in smaller modules and ship those up there.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    This is pretty damn awesome.
    Raakam wrote: »
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    Couldn't 4 potentially solve 3?

    I mean, if they found a way to protect a base from the radiation from the flares there's no reason they couldn't use said radiation to heat/power the base itself.

    I'm obviously not a scientist. Well...I have a degree in political science but that doesn't really help here. :lol:

    The radiation thrown off by solar flares is not particularly conducive to power generation.

    Solar energy is substantially higher on the moon than Earth (Earth's about 800W-1kW/square meter, Moon's probably 1.5 times that) so solar cells would be much more effective there than here. Assume they use top-of-the-line solar cells (I've heard labs report up to about 50% efficient) and you've got 750W/m^2. I'm not sure how often the sun would be blocked from sunlight by the Earth but probably several hours a day at least, so maybe an average of 500W/m^2.

    I have no idea how much heating/cooling it would take to keep a crew alive, but I would guess several kilowatts. At the very least, you'd probably need half as many solar panels as the ones you see on the ISS but that's just for climate control. You'd need lots to provide the energy to gather the water, break it up, etc. (breaking water is a pretty energy-intensive process).

    Certainly it's all doable, though I would be remiss if I said I saw it happening within the next several decades.

    Terrendos on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    redx wrote: »
    It's also good not to forget that most places on the moon, you are going to need really good batteries(like ones that will supply power for 15 days) if you are going just by solar power. It's not insurmountable, but it's not day every half hour or so either. It would kinda be a bit of an issue, unless you were to use satellites to gather energy and beam it down.

    Battery technology is more than prepared. We have satellites drifting out of the solar system that were launched in the 70's that won't have to power down 'til another 15 years from now.

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  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    One more pressing problem is the goddamn moon dust that is going to get EVERYWHERE. The people up there are going to be suffering from the moon lung if we don't get an efficient way to pull it from the air and stop it from getting in.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Will building on the moon on any sort of massive scale fuck with the tide here on Earth, or the moon's rotation, or anything I've failed to think about?

    Henroid on
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  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The moon weighs 7.36 × 10^22 kilograms. If we build 0.01% of that in structures, I'd be shocked.

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  • XaevXaev Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    This is pretty damn awesome.
    Raakam wrote: »
    Alright, so let's pretend that somewhere deep in NASA HQ, someone has a plan to build a Moon Base. What would the hurdles be?

    - Water (possibly now answered)
    - Air (also possibly answered)
    - Power: Would solar panels be enough to generate the power necessary to heat the station? Would they need to send some kind of fuel?
    - Solar flares: Earth is protected by our magnetic shield but what would they do on the moon? What kind of material do you need to build the base and how do we get it up there? 50 shuttle trips? Do we need a space elevator before anything can happen on the moon?
    - Gravity: Do you use a magnetized floor and boots to keep scientists/astronauts grounded? How do you deal with the physiological issues? I'd imagine they'd have to do the same thing as ISS and keep flying scientists back fairly often to avoid major trouble.

    Couldn't 4 potentially solve 3?

    I mean, if they found a way to protect a base from the radiation from the flares there's no reason they couldn't use said radiation to heat/power the base itself.

    I'm obviously not a scientist. Well...I have a degree in political science but that doesn't really help here. :lol:

    The radiation thrown off by solar flares is not particularly conducive to power generation.

    Solar energy is substantially higher on the moon than Earth (Earth's about 800W-1kW/square meter, Moon's probably 1.5 times that) so solar cells would be much more effective there than here. Assume they use top-of-the-line solar cells (I've heard labs report up to about 50% efficient) and you've got 750W/m^2. I'm not sure how often the sun would be blocked from sunlight by the Earth but probably several hours a day at least, so maybe an average of 500W/m^2.

    I have no idea how much heating/cooling it would take to keep a crew alive, but I would guess several kilowatts. At the very least, you'd probably need half as many solar panels as the ones you see on the ISS but that's just for climate control. You'd need lots to provide the energy to gather the water, break it up, etc. (breaking water is a pretty energy-intensive process).

    Certainly it's all doable, though I would be remiss if I said I saw it happening within the next several decades.

    The moon only passes through the earth's shadow once or twice a year for a few hours - I don't think that planning around reduced solar power during any situation other than the two weeks of every lunar cycle that a base will spend pointed away from the sun will be necessary.

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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    One more pressing problem is the goddamn moon dust that is going to get EVERYWHERE. The people up there are going to be suffering from the moon lung if we don't get an efficient way to pull it from the air and stop it from getting in.

    I think preventing meteors from tearing shit up and turning into moon dust is going to be a bigger issue than the dust itself.

    We've got enough methods of airblasting that shit away before it even gets into the habitations. Not terribly pleasant methods but it can be done.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    It's also good not to forget that most places on the moon, you are going to need really good batteries(like ones that will supply power for 15 days) if you are going just by solar power. It's not insurmountable, but it's not day every half hour or so either. It would kinda be a bit of an issue, unless you were to use satellites to gather energy and beam it down.

    Battery technology is more than prepared. We have satellites drifting out of the solar system that were launched in the 70's that won't have to power down 'til another 15 years from now.

    It should be noted that these are not powered by batteries, but by (relatively) small thermal cells that draw energy from radioactive materials. These are great for providing long-term power but they don't produce very much.

    Terrendos on
  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Xaev wrote: »
    The moon only passes through the earth's shadow once or twice a year for a few hours - I don't think that planning around reduced solar power during any situation other than the two weeks of every lunar cycle that a base will spend pointed away from the sun will be necessary.

    Two weeks of power is a whole lot to store up to run heat, lights, life support and all the rest of the equipment. That's a lot for batteries alone.

    I wonder what would be harder: getting a reliable battery system to run for the full 14 days or setting up an elaborate system where power is collected in space/halfway across the satellite.

    Donkey Kong on
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  • PasserbyePasserbye I am much older than you. in Beach CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Man a moon base would be awesome, especially in our lifetimes.

    I'd be worried that it'd start out as an American military base (though a military base at all could be bad).

    Don't really know enough to say.

    Passerbye on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    It's also good not to forget that most places on the moon, you are going to need really good batteries(like ones that will supply power for 15 days) if you are going just by solar power. It's not insurmountable, but it's not day every half hour or so either. It would kinda be a bit of an issue, unless you were to use satellites to gather energy and beam it down.

    Battery technology is more than prepared. We have satellites drifting out of the solar system that were launched in the 70's that won't have to power down 'til another 15 years from now.

    It should be noted that these are not powered by batteries, but by (relatively) small thermal cells that draw energy from radioactive materials. These are great for providing long-term power but they don't produce very much.

    We had that technology then, is what I'm saying; we're 40 years beyond that, I'm fairly sure we've had a plentiful amount of breakthroughs.

    Henroid on
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