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Uranium at the moon?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:32 pm
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Uranium at the moon? 
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Post Uranium at the moon?   Posted on: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:32 pm
In another thread recently initiated in another section by a newcomer Senior von Braun said that there is no or nearly no Uranium at the moon - and I agree that this the state of knowledge currently.

But may it be that Uranium simply hasn't been detected yet because it is hidden under the lunar soil and rocks and can't be detected without mining? How are Uranium-layers found on Earth? Can satellites detetc them? And if yes which way they recognize it?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:40 pm
Assuming that the moon is as old as the earth, you wouldn't find much uranium since it would have been 'degrated' in to the lighter elements. If uranium was present on the moon, you could find out how much is still there by backtracking.

Detecting uranium? Very sensitive GM tube? What do you want to do with it anyway? There is enough room to place a lot of solarcells on the surface so i dont see the point of hauling and building a nuclear reactor on the moon.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:35 am
The question is caused by a thread in the XPRIZE in General section where a newcomer initiated a dicussion about a future Mars XPRIZE.

In that thread nuclear propulsion has been mentioned. Such propulsion is or will be regulated on Earth and so not available to privates. Senior von Braun mebtioned that up to now no lunar Uranium is known which could be used for nuclear propulsion.

At the moon however such regulations don't exist - especially there is no government which rules the moon and no legislator who can create laws for the moon - and because of thsi at the moon private access to nucleár propulsion is no problem once privates reach tje moon and build the required prodcution equipment and mines there.. What's required then is layers of lunar Uranium.

Since moon is as old as Earth or a little bit younger there is achnace that there might be undicovered Uranium - At Earth there still is Uranium too. Reasons why the moon didn't get Uranium may be that Uranium is much heavier than Iron and that the moon is much smaller and so may have got smaller amounts than Earth of each element.

On the other hand the Uranium found and used on Earth is very close to the surfce - closer than 3 kilometers. So there should be a probability that is Uranium at the moon too because it is supposed that the moon has been broken off the Earth in the first billion years of Earth's existence. Because of this the moon should have got a significant amount of the Earth's near-surface geology too I suppose - which may include Uranium.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:37 am
Well, if we would rely on nuclear reactors for energy on earth alone, we probably can get along with it for about 100 years, not much more. Taking this into account, i dont think it will be efficient to invest money for this since there wont be much more uranium on the moon.

And by the way. You need uranium 238 for these kind of things, and there is a lot more u-235, so there will be not much useable uranium left.

i think that will be the question, will it be cost-effective to do this for just 50 years or so? Uranium is used on earth for energy-purposes, so there wont be much left when the technology is ready for nuclear traveling. A small reactor as a safeguard if solarpower would ail or energy would drop, that's a better idea imo.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2005 6:17 am
Will be worth some thoughts.

But I am still interested if the may be U-238 at the moon benetah the surface and simply couldn't be detected yet.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:19 pm
As far as I know uranium ore is found the same way other ores are, by geological science. Remote sensing may help, but the real work is done by field geologists walking around the area with their little hammers.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 04, 2005 4:26 am
cambelp2002 wrote:
Quote:
As far as I know uranium ore is found the same way other ores are, by geological science. Remote sensing may help, but the real work is done by field geologists walking around the area with their little hammers.




So in other words, we may not have found it, but we really have no idea whether it's there or not?


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:56 am
There have been 12 people with little hammers on the Moon. One of them was a real geologist. They didn't find the right type of rocks to indicate uranium in the area. At least in those 6 places. And remote sensing seems to confirm the the rest of the Moon does not contain the type of rocks where uranium would be expected either.

But, yes, it could be there and we have just not found it.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:33 am
Some scientists suppose that the core of Earth is liquid because huge amounts of radioctive material is part of it. They suppose that this radioactivity is the reason why the core is liquid. They assume that the radioactive material is Uranium.

Regarding the moon this menas that lunar Uranium may be that deep in the body of the moon that no signs are to be seen at the surface - at the Earth's surface there too are no signs of Uranium in the depth where the core is.

The lunar Uranium may be in depths where no rocks can indicate it - this would make it extremely speculative.

But what is the smallest size of rocks seen by lunar probes up to now? Perhaps the indicating rocks are so small that only people at the surface can see them - and the six places where astronauts have been were extremely limited "regions" and simply the wrong places to look for Uranium only. Have they been looking for Uranium explicitly or did they look simply what rocks they really do find? I suppose it was the second.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:09 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Some scientists suppose that the core of Earth is liquid because huge amounts of radioctive material is part of it.
I never heard that. Do you have a reference?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:09 am
I will look for articles etc. but may be I have been using the wrong terms and thus misunderstanding. It is assumed that radioactivity is the source of the heat of the earthian core - may be the outer one only - and that this heat melted the core and keeps it melted. So "liquid" may be the wrong word - "fluid" too perhaps.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:31 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
There have been 12 people with little hammers on the Moon. One of them was a real geologist.


I might note that all the landed Apollo astronauts tended to consider themselves as "real" geologists once they made it out of NASA's training courses. They memorized countless types of rock by number, as mentioned by Michael Collins in his excellent book, Carrying the Fire.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:43 pm
Sort of. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, Jim Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke and Gene Cernan were geologists the same way that Harrison Schmitt was an astronaut. Eleven took night classes in geology and one took night classes in astronaut. :lol:


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:59 am
Heh. Nice.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:26 pm
I miss Gene Shoemaker. He played a major role in all of that. He was going to the moon himself--or so he thought. I hate the way we lost him.


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