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How to colonize the Moon without busting NASA’s budget

  1. Apr 15, 2006 #1
    Simple, we take the project away from NASA and give it to the Air Force instead.

    According long established international law, an imperial power first plants it’s flag on a newly discovered land, thereby claiming it as sovereign territory belonging to the power that first explored it. The task then becomes first and foremost a military problem of defending the territory against all would be usurpers.

    Think about it: the first wave of naval exploration of the Pacific were undertaken by navies. The scientific expeditions came later, after the ocean had been mostly charted, and an infrastructure of resupply bases put into place.

    Right now, the U.S.A. is a party to the Outer Space Treaty that’s been in force since 1967. This treaty is a disaster. According to the treaty, the Moon is basically a scientific International Park, rather like Antarctica. Any country is free to explore and exploit the Moon, for peaceful purposes. The treaty explicitly bars national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, or by means of use and occupation, or any other means.

    The OST is inherently unfair to the nation that expends the treasury and blood to get there first—U.S. We planted the American flag there in several places. Therefore, it's ours. Since the OST is onerous, we can in all good conscience unilaterally withdraw from the treaty. Our task will then be to defend the Moon from all comers. They can visit, and do whatever—after they pay us a fat licensing fee. If anyone lands on the Moon without American permission, their astronauts will be captured and sent back to Earth in handcuffs.

    Thus, the first continuously manned presence on the Moon should be military bases. Once military bases are established, NSF—not NASA—scientists will be able to piggyback on the military installations. Here the model is the Arctic, rather than the Antarctic, where scientists studying the aurora borealis were based out of radar installations guarding against Soviet ICBM’s.

    In this manner, NASA can save it’s money for aeronautical engineering and unmanned space probes to more distant objectives. The construction of Air Force bases on the Moon will only place a small dent into the $400+billion DOD budget. And such scientific research that can be conducted will be done under the auspices of NSF, thus further conserving NASA funds.

    The Chinese, Russians, and Iranians will howl, but when faced with the fait accompli, there will be little that they will be able to do about it. More daunting, I doubt that the hippies who now control NASA will take kindly to a military usurpation of their bureaucratic turf—even though most of them don’t have faith in manned exploration of space.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
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  3. Apr 15, 2006 #2

    Kurdt

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    Is that really the kind of world you'd like to live in? Sounds like a breeding ground for conflict to me. If we're ever to progress to a level beyond where we are now we have to stop thinking about what makes us different and concentrate on the things that make us the same.

    I could go on but it belongs in a different forum. Anyway I believe if anyhwhere such as the the Moon or Mars were to have outposts or bases they'd be scientific outposts manned by a global effort of resources and expertise. I see very little value in any country wasting money on defending something that has no use other than as an area for scientific research.
     
  4. Apr 15, 2006 #3

    Integral

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    Could someone explain the need of a manned moon base? What function will it serve? What science will be done? What are the goals of this base?
     
  5. Apr 15, 2006 #4
    Yeah, why exactly would we want a base on the moon?
     
  6. Apr 15, 2006 #5
    To mine Helium-4 and tritinium(sp)?
    -scott
     
  7. Apr 15, 2006 #6

    vanesch

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    The flaw in the logic is here: who was the first one is not important, if you have to defend it with military means. Who gets there with the biggest guns is the owner of the moment, not necessarily the first one. And honestly, delivering a few nukes on the moon is easier than to maintain heavily armed bases. So if an international consortium decides to get you off the moon, it wouldn't be too difficult: a few hundred of unmanned rockets with very heavy hydrogen bombs would do. There are few reasons NOT to nuke such bases: they clearly present a danger to about all nations on earth, there's no ecological factor to take into account, or any civilian population to take into account. And there's not even a big danger for retalliation if the initiative goes out from an international consortium (say, the Chinese, the Russians, the Europeans and a few others): you're not going to wage a total war on earth against half the planet for a few bases on the moon.

    So this is really not the way to go: it would trigger a very hostile reaction against which you cannot do much. I think that if you want to have an influence on what happens on the Moon, then you should simply do what you have always done: do as the others, but just better and more, and the natural authority will come by itself.

    Moreover, the reasoning doesn't work very well for you if you consider space around the earth as similar to the moon: the Russians were there first, so this means they "own" now the space around earth, and users should pay heavy "space visa rights" to the Russians ?
     
  8. Apr 15, 2006 #7

    Well, since obviously we gained no benefits from landing on the moon, I mean what a waste of money that certainly resulted in us learning nothing of any scientific value, there is no need.

    Oh wait...

    On a less sardonic note, I am much opposed to the idea of militarising outer space, for the same reasons as kurdt and vanesch.
     
  9. Apr 15, 2006 #8

    Astronuc

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    Actually, the money for NASA and AirForce come from the same source - the US taxpayer via Federal Treasury. So, from the financial side, it would not matter whether NASA or AF spends the money.

    Sounds good to me! :biggrin:

    Um, the treaty was signed in 1967 before the first moon landing in 1969 - therefore, the moon is NOT a territory of the US! Nor has the US laid claim. Yes, the US could withdraw from/break/violate the treaty, but not in 'good' conscience.

    I'd rather hippies run NASA than belligerent militants. :biggrin:
     
  10. Apr 15, 2006 #9
    I like what vanesch said about, "...Who gets there with the biggest guns is the owner of the moment..."

    That's all it boils down to.

    That is the way land "ownership" has always worked. I put quotes around ownership because nobody here on Earth owns any land. We might put up our flag, print out our own arbitrary documents, notarize them, and put up a "beware of dog" sign, but nobody owns it. We just say we do so we can kick your butt if you tresspass. Kind of like if a wolf pees on a tree, he may feel like he "owns" that part of the forest. But does he really? Of course not. That forest will still be there long after the wolf is dead. But the wolf just might attack you if you decide to tresspass, because he arbitrarily believes it's his on account of his pee. I don't see why extraterrestrial land would be any different.
     
  11. Apr 15, 2006 #10
    This is what I'm talking about, and this kind of attitude will doom Western Civilization.
    Whoever controls the Moon controls the LEO's; and whoever controls the LEO's controls the Earth. Screw science!

    Bon jour mi amigo,

    You are correct that it is not always the first discoverer that gets the gold. It's the one who's willing to defend it that wins in the end. That's probably what the Chinese are thinking. As for hostile reactions, we deal with those every day as it is. Really, do you think someone will start a war over the Moon when they haven't a chance to do anything about it? As for nukes on the Moon, I think it's good strategery. It would guarantee an assured second strike capability. Any attack on the Moon would be obvious three days before the shells would hit. Plenty of time to react.

    The rest of the world shouldn't worry. If the USA really wanted to nuke you, they would have done it a long time ago. No, it's only the crazies that advocate nuclear first strikes.
    Give me a break! All government agencies are created equal; but some agencies are more equal than others. . . . .
    I think about these kinds of deals all the time--mostly because I figure I'm getting screwed. . . . When there's a new gig going on, those that have little to nothing to do with it still want a piece of the action--or at least if they can't get any, they don't want you to get any---at least anyways until they are on top and can dictate the terms. Yeah, it's true that Michaeal Jordan fulfilled the terms of his first contract before he demanded his true worth. And so have we. Forty years is long enough. It's time to renegotiate.
    An understandable belief from an amateur scientist who has never studied lunar science.

    Geologists UNITE!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
  12. Apr 15, 2006 #11
    Thank you.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2006 #12
    But the Air Froce get's more money then NASA would.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2006 #13

    Integral

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    So you can't think of any meaningful science that needs a manned moon base either.

    Are we talking about historic missions or are we talking about the future? What, on earth, or the moon for that matter, does the missions of the 60's and 70's have to do with the missions of tomorrow? Do you think that another suitcase full of rocks will justify the expense of a manned colony? We need something more then that. What do you propose? What is there that needs the presence of a human? Good science can be done with modern robotics why waste mass and money on sending a man? Really it does not make any sense to put man on the moon or Mars without some well defined needs. We can not afford to do this for glory or heroics, there must be some real and apparent need. What is that need? Please tell me.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2006 #14
    Not entirely true. There was a GREAT DEAL we gained from going to the moon. A Lot of new technology was developed specifically because we needed to invent it to go there. It's not the act of going to the moon that gave us the great benifits.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2006 #15

    -Job-

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    The moon is pretty big. Considering that only a handfull of nations can actually afford to go to the moon, there's really not much to fight about, not many to fight with and very little to defend. Eventually the moon may become more valuable and habitable, but by then Mars will be perfectly within reach so this notion of territoriality is a little ridiculous and would only hurt us. Besides, i'm a human being and then i'm an American, in that order, so i am able to cooperate with other humans, regardless of nationality.
    I vote against. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  17. Apr 16, 2006 #16
    Because of our gravity, the moon will be a cheaper launching point. Thus, saving future NASA assets. They'll ship parts there and have people assemble them there. It's basically expanding NASA, another facility. This makes sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  18. Apr 16, 2006 #17
    Cyrus!
    Finally paid my internet bill. I see they moved this thread to the politics section. In the Astronomy section, they just lock the threads--here you get banned. Glad to see your freak flag waving. However, I would add that regardless of all the spinoffs generated, the intrinsic lunar science that was done during Apollo justified the expense.
     
  19. Apr 16, 2006 #18
    Oh dear god, what internet company in their right mind would grand you service? Well, it was a nice quiet around here while it lasted. I thought you had shipped out to Iraq by now. :rofl:

    My freak flag waving?

    I don't know much about the lunar science that directly benifitted the United States, but I do know that a good amount of the technology that was needed eventually found its way to the average citizen.

    And I don't care much for your lunar base idea, it's an utter waste of money for nothing. Isn't our debt large enough as it is because of bad military policy?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  20. Apr 16, 2006 #19
    The Moon has only the surface area of Africa, according to my recollection. Correct me if I'm wrong. But I guess that can be considered to be pretty big. Whether that's worth defending. . . . Was Canada worth defending? There was this wasteland up North, and some people had faith and thought it was worth defending--and now look at it! It's better than Mexico!

    As for being a human being and then an American--in that order--you've got it backwards. I am a physical system, an animal, a carnivore, a primate, a human, and an American, but not in that order.
     
  21. Apr 16, 2006 #20

    -Job-

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    How about you choose your order, and i choose mine. :tongue2:
     
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