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Lunar Return
(02-03-2016, 08:24 PM)Rynn Wrote: I'm not sure we have a reason to go there, beyond scientific discovery (which increasingly probes are getting better at, and are cheaper) there's no real return we can get from the moon. Don't get me wrong I'm not one of those people who has to see profit before he advocates something (not at all!) but manned moon missions are so expensive it's hard not to think "is it worth it?"

The moon has a number of advantages over other near-future manned destinations.

1) It has mass, which is handy in many applications by itself: regolith radiation shielding, ballast for tether assists, etc. This trumps LEO and other cis-lunar orbital positions.

2) The mass can be turned into more useful stuff, like oxygen, aluminum, sulfur, and so on. With even simple tooling, this gives you fuel (sulfur-oxygen), structural material, etc.

3) Low gravity well. Luna is superior to Earth and Mars in this respect, if not Lagrange points.

4) Short travel times. Luna beats the pants off Mars in terms of travel time, which opens up all sorts of opportunities in emergencies (1 to 3 days is much better than 3 to 9 months), and simplifies spaceship design concerns.

If you want to establish infrastructure off planet and make a permanent colony, the moon is attractive. IMO, it's a better start than Mars. You won't make money at it, of course, but that goes for a lot of activities in space besides commsats and launching rockets.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

"Everbody's always in favor of saving Hitler's brain, but when you put it in the body of a great white shark, oh, suddenly you've gone too far." -- Professor Farnsworth, Futurama

Messages In This Thread
Lunar Return - by PortalHunter - 02-03-2016, 01:59 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by Rynn - 02-03-2016, 02:59 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by Dalex - 02-03-2016, 07:58 PM
RE: Lunar Return - by Rynn - 02-03-2016, 08:24 PM
RE: Lunar Return - by Cray - 02-04-2016, 02:28 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by Rynn - 02-04-2016, 02:39 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by Dalex - 02-04-2016, 08:44 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by Rynn - 02-04-2016, 09:09 AM
RE: Lunar Return - by iancampbell - 02-04-2016, 07:38 PM
RE: Lunar Return - by stevebowers - 02-05-2016, 05:54 PM
RE: Lunar Return - by iancampbell - 02-05-2016, 10:35 PM

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