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NASA, ISS partners quietly completing design of possible Moon-orbiting space station

All of what you say is at least arguable, with the proviso that there needs to be provision for communications interruptions - caused by solar storms, perhaps.

However, I would like to clarify. I was not suggesting a manned station at Earth/Sun L3; supplying it would be a nightmare, for a start. Hence the term "probe". The idea is to fill in a giant gaping hole in our surveillance of the Solar System - the hole caused by a giant ball of plasma in the way of signals. Smile I should, perhaps, have mentioned that a relay would be needed, maybe more than one; perhaps at Earth/Sun L4 or L5. This relay wouldn't need to be manned, either. (Excuse the sexist phrasing!)

Incidentally, L3 is an unstable point - as are, incidentally, L1 and L2. I'm not sure a halo orbit is actually possible except with station-keeping reaction mass. (Maybe the EM drive, if it works, would help?)

I remain unconvinced that (at least in the near future) teleoperation from Earth to the Moon would work well at all. Especially as the delay is double what you have stated, although I did note that you said "each way". The delay between something happening on the Moon and any possible response is about 2.5s, and that's assuming that the reaction time of a human operator is zero. 3s is more realistic. A lot of things can happen in three seconds.

I would like to mention something that might be somewhat relevant here. Playing Internet games, which include combat, over a mobile connection is difficult because the latency is around 60-70ms instead of less than 10, as in a normal ISP connection. Playing such games over a satellite connection (as might happen on board ship, for example) is just about impossible because the latency there is about 200ms - one way, double that if including signal travel time in both directions. Why? Because comsats are in GEO at about 35,000km, that's why. Simple physics! Ask anyone who has tried running a WoW instance from onboard a ship.

The delay involved there is about a fifth to a sixth that involved in Earth-Moon teleoperation. Sure, when we get decent AI this problem goes away; but given that, a hell of a lot of other things change as well.

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RE: NASA, ISS partners quietly completing design of possible Moon-orbiting space station - by iancampbell - 03-12-2017, 10:35 AM

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