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Space Colonies-Lunar Base

Posted by: Texan - Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:26 am
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Space Colonies-Lunar Base 
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Space Walker
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Post Space Colonies-Lunar Base   Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:26 am
What would it take to maintain a base on the moon?

("We" are trying to do this cheaply and not haul everything up from Earth btw)

Ok, the moon has ice, which gives oxygen and hydrogen. (And Water)

Is the Ice on the moon pure water? Pure water is not good to drink.. Does the moon have the minerals we need to add to make it drinkable?

The moon has "dirt" and rocks. What elements are the rocks made out of?

"Our" moon base will need Nitrogen so we don't have to breath pure oxygen... Where do we get that from?

We will need metals. Where do we get those from?

We will need machinery. How much machinery will we have to haul up from earth before we can start to build it in space?

We need energy, should it be solar or nuclear, or something else?

Supplies:
How much will we need to bring up from earth? How much will we be able to get from the moon? how much will need to be produced in orbit? How much will need to be brought in from other places?

The overall goal is to get self sustaining, self replicating, space colonies that don't need earth for supplies.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:22 am
well if your going to go for the lunar ice you'll be at one of the poles so Solar would probably work since some of the mountains at the poles are always in sunlight. Although a moon base would most likely need a small nuclear reator as a backup and to be used to get things started.

The nitrogen will be a problem I think.

I think that aluminum is the most common metal available on the lunar surface which is good but I don't think there's many other usable metals that are easily available.

A decent sized moon base would need a complete machine shop in my opinion.

I would think that the lunar ice is far from pure water but I would also think that some minerals would be missing.

I don't think that a lunar colony would ever be completely independent of earth, the nitrogen would be the problem I think. In a hundred + years I think that Titan will be exporting Nitrogen to all over the solar system.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:08 am
At the homepages of The Artemis Project/Artemis Society - www.asi.org - and The Lunar Reclamation Society - www.lunar-reclamation.org - a lot of interesting ideas are to be read.

Artemis goal(s) are private flights to the moon including private settlement on its surface. Lunar Reclamation is working on a large number of concepts how to live on moon, build habs and much more.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:09 pm
i heard there is a mountain on the north pole which has sun light 24/7 which would be fantastic for solar power cells! there u have ur power

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:10 pm
Ok even if we have to get the nitrogen with "scoop ships" like those in "Fallen Angles" (my least favorite jerry pournelle book) What could we build with lunar resources? What could we get elsewhere in (nearby parts of?) the solar system?

Do comets carry nitrogen?

Can any of the compounds on the moon or elsewhere in space be broken down into nitrogen?

Is there any other gas that can be used to dilute oxygen so that it does not shorten our lifespans?

How much machinery do you have to ship up before you can start building other machinery?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:33 pm
Also does not life need carbon??? How did we grow plants in lunar soil awhile back if the soil has no carbon?

Where will we get carbon from?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:40 pm
At first near earth asteroids might be a better choice for setting up any sort of manufacturing capability. There are asteroids with a lot of carbon along with a host of other usable materials. I'm still not sure about the nitrogen for those but I think oxygen and hydrogen are more readily available in many asteriods compared to the moon.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:47 pm
You may very well be right. But the lunar South Pole has more than enough water to make oxygen and hydrogen for ONE base? right?

Nitrogen is the big thing.


Also if Lunar soil does not have carbon how did we manage to grow plants is soil we brought back from the moon? I thought they needed carbon.

One problem with asteriods is that they cost more fuel to catch up with and land on and they are not as close to the earth.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 05, 2004 4:40 pm
Is there nitrogen anywhere in the inner solar system?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:31 pm
there's not a lot of N in space, but there is some. carbon can be found in hydrocarbons (methane namely), and CO2 ice, that's not a major problem compared to nitrogen and, maybe, phosphorus, though i'm not sure of that. also all the wastes from a lunar colony would be high in all the elements needed for life, so they could be broken down and recycled. compared to just getting there and building a base, supporting life is relatively easy, though in the long (100+ years) run, i really have no clue how much it would take to keep a colony self-sustaining.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 05, 2004 7:13 pm
I'm not certain but I think there are plenty of near-earth asteroids that are a lot easier to get to in terms of fuel than the moon, especially if you're trying to land at one of the lunar poles. The big problem with near-earth asteroids is transit time. If my understanding is correct it takes less fuel to get to and set down on some of those rocks but it would take many months if not years. That's fine if it's an automated manufacturering setup but probably wouldn't work out with a manned crew due to additional supplies negating any saved fuel advantage. Additionally getting off an asteroid takes a lot less fuel than getting off of the moon.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:30 am
http://www.pha.jhu.edu/~reth/planet3.html

Venus has some nitrogen, not high as a percentage of its atmosphere but because its atmosphere is very dense even 3.5 percent nitrogen amounts to alot of nitrogen

Once we are able to travel to other planets to gather resources Venus will be a good place to gather oxygen.

But we will have to find closer places to get resources for our first colonies.

We can get oxygen out of lunar rocks as well as lunar water I think.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:00 am
If were making moon / asteroid bases, were gonna want to end up with our main habitation areas under the surface, to save us from all the little high speed sore things which love to fly around in space.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:14 am
i remember hearing that the water on the moon is harder than steel and very hard to get too, that was a point against the reccomendation a few months back. Think were all jumping the gun here a bit with the idea of having mining on other solar objects etc. Earth still would probably be the best place to get resources from for a hell of a long time yet economically. Until people have the money to be able to have a choice in the matter that is. You are looking so far into the future, however the ISs does have a recycling system and im sure it was the mars society that stayed in a mock up pod for six months or so without new materials, just using GM corn to produce oxygen and filtered water

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:18 am
Anyays, here is your AA road map

http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish ... tml?572004

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