# Humans could be living on the Moon within 20 years: BBC

1. Aug 20, 2003

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3161695.stm

2. Aug 20, 2003

### Staff: Mentor

Humans could also have lived on the moon 20 years ago...

3. Aug 20, 2003

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
If there had been any profit in it, man would have been living on the moon for the last 20yrs. I did not think it was a matter of technology, but more a matter of reason. Why would we need anyone living on the moon? What science could they do that could not be done remotely at a fraction of the cost? What is there to be learned? Why would we want or need someone on the moon.

Just because it would be cool is not sufficient reason. There must be a real need for it before it will happen.

Last edited: Aug 20, 2003
4. Aug 20, 2003

### BiologyForums

I agree with Russ. Barely anything new about the surface of the Moon has been learned in the past decade, and humans certainly had all we needed to live.

Living in a floating space-ship is far more difficult because it isn't stationary.

However, I think the claim that someone might actually be living there is not likely, only because I see no real purpose for it.

I'm not sure what a space exploration organization could really accomplish.

Perhaps a private party will wanna do it - any takers?

5. Aug 20, 2003

### Dejango

Actually, there is a very large ammount of wealth to be found in close space, and a very good reason to colonize both Mars and the Moon. For example, the Moon itself contains a very rare element found on earth-Helium 3, which could be used in a multitude of ways, such as rocket fuel.

However, more important than that, there are enough resources in the astroid belt between Mars and Jupiter to provide every individual human being on this earth with 22 billion dollars. While of course, prices would drop and this would not be the case-the fact remains that there is a wealth of resources and money to be made in space. The technology also is not that far off...

The problem is that the government is in control of these projects, and not private corporations...(except for Space Dev).

6. Aug 21, 2003

### Staff: Mentor

Clarification: "Just because it would be cool" WAS sufficient reason in 1969. It just isn't anymore. Now there has to be a need (and rightly so).

Something often overlooked: At $10,000 per pound to launch or recover an object from low earth orbit, even if there were ample gold ready to be plucked from orbit, it would still cost twice as much to bring it back to earth as it is worth (gold today costs roughly$5,000 per pound). It costs roughly double that for something in geostationary orbit and double again to get something in orbit of the moon. Quadruple that to recover something from the surface of the moon. Mars... my guess would be at least an order of magnitude more.
As soon as I make my first billion, I'll give you a call.

Last edited: Aug 21, 2003
7. Aug 21, 2003

### BiologyForums

I see no logically reason to have interest in being on the moon.

Even if we raped every natural resource on Earth - uh, the Moon doesn't have any anyways!

It's like someone going to live in the middle of the nevada desert when las vegas hotels are vacant - and serves little important scientific purpose.

The Moon isn't to exciting really.

8. Aug 21, 2003

### FZ+

Helium, the inert gas, as rocket fuel? The only uses for He3 as far as I know are as a possible fuel in fusion reactors, and as a coolant.

9. Aug 21, 2003

### Dejango

Err-Fz forgive me..I don't know where rocket came from (tiredness perhaps?) but what I meant was not really fuel, but a fuel source-such as you said, the fusion.

Helium-3 is a very viable source of fuel: "extremely potent, nonpolluting, with virtually no radioactive by-product."-Julie Wakefield

10. Aug 22, 2003

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Given that we could find an affordable way to launch and retrieve material from space, it still does not make sence to send man along. Man would simply be along for the ride and his presence would add nothing except cost to the trip. We would need to have life support and food and the man, this extra mass is simply unnecessary. All science and mining could be done with robotics and remote control. Why send a man?

11. Aug 22, 2003

### heumpje

Then again a robot also has a weight, needs to be guided by men and consumes energy. You might as well send a human up there.

12. Aug 22, 2003

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
You do not need to send life support systems food, water etc with a robot. It can be designed to do a job. Remote monitering, and the humans go home to the spouse at the end of their shift. The main payload hits for taking a human along is life support and safety systems not the 200lbs of tissue.

13. Aug 22, 2003

### Artman

I think there were other issues at stake in 1969. The space race, and the race for the moon in particular, was both a pissing match between the super powers of USSR and USA and a means of bringing the world together. Even though jealous of each others achievements, we would be proud that a human had overcome yet another obstacle of space exploration. Like the photos of Venus sent back by the Russian probe are of interest to the whole world as well as being a source of pride to the Russians at overcoming, if only briefly, the extremely harsh conditions of Venus long enough to radio back those images.

Also, if the moon had any important resources, it was important to the USA to note that the USA got there first. Who knew (as it did turn out) it was just cool?

But you are right that today the need for space exploration has to be demonstrated in order to find funding.

14. Aug 22, 2003

### Staff: Mentor

Thats what I meant - it was us saying to the USSR: we're cool and you're not. And to the rest of the world: hey, look how cool we are!

15. Aug 23, 2003

### bdkeenan00

one reason to colonize the Moon is the fact that it will be cheaper to launch rockets on trips to Mars and the outer planets on the Moon, but I don't see any reason to open the Moon to everyone. It would be fun to live on the Moon though.

16. Aug 24, 2003

### KillaMarcilla

Man, one time I read a really awesome short story wherein some guy did a sci-fi metallurgical survey from Earth of the Moon, and discovered that right under the surface, it had huge insane deposits of gold and high-quality uranium, and there was a whole new private space race that made getting to and from the moon affordable after only ten years

Then it turned out at the end that it had all been a successful hoax to create a real space industry

h0 h0 h0, that was sweet

It's too bad I can't remember the author's name, the story's name, or even any of the characters' names.. man, some day I'd go "Hey, Google, you know about this story?" and it'd be like "Yeah, that was a good one. It's () by (), here are some relevant sites..."

17. Aug 29, 2003

### kishtik

there are reasons

As I read in a magazine there are serious reasons to send human to moon for living or for a long time.

First of all telescopes, as you may know our atmosphere causes them work rather ieffeciently. They tried to solving this by satellite telescopes like Hubble but maintaning satellites isn't cheap. I have read that Hubble (although having a smaller mirror radius) was sending breathtaking photos (with a greater performance than the Keck twins).
Think we build a telescope like Kecks on the moon!

Secondly, we can build larger radio-telescopes there because of smaller weights.

And of course that rocket issue. It's easier to launch from there.

Best Wishes.

18. Aug 29, 2003

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Re: there are reasons

Telescopes on the moon would be sort of ok, trouble is the moon would eat up most of your field of vision, and unless you put it on the backside of the moon the earth would always be blocking a part of the sky. With that said, what was the purpose of the men?

Seems to me orbit is a better telescope platform, the best orbit would be a solar orbit normal to the earths. You could set it up to intersect with the earth every few years for maintenance. I am sure Janus could tell us how to achieve such an orbit, and would also point out that the energy requirements would be huge.

As for this fable about cheaper launches from the moon, this is true only for material which ORIGINATES on the moon. If material is launched from the earth why would you want to drop into the moons gravitational well? It would cost energy getting onto the surface of the moon (in one piece!) and then about that same amount of energy to get it back off the moon. So for any minerals or any object fabricated on the moon, yes it is easier to launch from the moon then earth. But if something starts on the earth, once you are clear of the earths gravitaional well you are best off sending it straight (as straight as orbital mechanics allow!) to its final destination without a pit stop on the moon.