Author Topic: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?  (Read 137 times)

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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2019, 10:09:23 pm »
Where, at what cost, and research what?

Where: Polar regions seem the most likely due to the presence of ice. Although the Sun would be close to the horizon, energy could still be harvested from solar panels due to the lack of an atmosphere interfering. The challenge would be to bring up enough batteries to last through the night (13 days), or long enough power cables to stretch to where it was day. A huge challenge is protecting against solar flares because the moon lacks an atmosphere and significant magnetic field to protect you from them (the ISS has far more protection than the Moon). Underground structures are the best bet, but a suitable underground cavern would need to be found near a polar region first.

At what cost: To meet the above challenges, a lot of weight in construction materials would need to brought there. The Saturn V could send about 90,000 lbs to lunar orbit, but less than 10% of that ever reached the surface (soft landing). My best guess is maybe 50% in a transport optimized lander could reach the surface. That means about 20 Saturn V size missions to bring the equivalent of the ISS to the lunar surface. Crew missions would be additional. The real unanswered question is how much would be required to build a structure capable of protecting against solar flares.

Research what: That is the big question. Not what you want to research, but what can you research better by a manned mission rather than remote sensing or robotics.

You're speaking of the inefficiency of getting payloads (including people) into space by chemical rockets? I've read about that, including the idea of a space elevator. But of course a space elevator is lights years ahead of our current technology.
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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2019, 10:28:44 pm »
I just thought of something. What about a large radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where the effects of the Earth's magnetic field would be nil? Clarke mentioned that in "2001".
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Offline MH

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2019, 08:12:17 am »
From what I have read Hubble isn't very much impacted by the magnetic field and may even be helped by it:

"Coronal mass ejections from the Sun are not a major risk, as it is in a low enough orbit that the Earth’s magnetic field provides protection."
https://www.spacetelescope.org/about/faq/

Offline ?Impact

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2019, 03:43:08 pm »
I just thought of something. What about a large radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where the effects of the Earth's magnetic field would be nil? Clarke mentioned that in "2001".

It is not so much the Earth's magnetic field, but the electromagnetic interference at low wavelengths by all our technology. High wavelengths can be blocked by man made shields, but it takes a very large body to block the low wavelengths. Low wavelength radio telescopes would benefit big bang research greatly. Yes, that would be an excellent lunar project but would not need to be manned during operation. For construction however, there might be something to be gained.

I've read about that, including the idea of a space elevator.

Yup, a space elevator reduces the power requirements dramatically for putting payload into Earth orbit. The challenges however are significant for materials, construction, and safety. Larry Niven solved the materials issue with the wire that connected his shadow squares (who remembers that?)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 03:45:11 pm by ?Impact »

Offline ?Impact

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2019, 03:43:54 pm »
From what I have read Hubble isn't very much impacted by the magnetic field and may even be helped by it:

Hubble is not a radio telescope. The Earths magnetic field however helps protect satellites and astronauts from solar radiation, that is what you heard. A lunar based telescope would not have such protection, that is one of the big problems with long term manned missions.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 03:47:21 pm by ?Impact »
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Offline the_squid

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2019, 10:29:35 am »
Ringworld was a great novel. 
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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2019, 05:22:01 am »
It is not so much the Earth's magnetic field, but the electromagnetic interference at low wavelengths by all our technology. High wavelengths can be blocked by man made shields, but it takes a very large body to block the low wavelengths. Low wavelength radio telescopes would benefit big bang research greatly. Yes, that would be an excellent lunar project but would not need to be manned during operation. For construction however, there might be something to be gained.

Yup, a space elevator reduces the power requirements dramatically for putting payload into Earth orbit. The challenges however are significant for materials, construction, and safety. Larry Niven solved the materials issue with the wire that connected his shadow squares (who remembers that?)

I saw a documentary a long time ago on space elevator technology. You're right though; we would need to clean up the garbage belt that surrounds the entire planet.
War is Peace
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Ignorance is Strength