Settling on the Moon

  • Thread starter @PK nd
  • Start date
  • #26
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,456
1,148
Maybe the OP was a little vague, anyway if we build an ISS on the moon (LSS)
Shouldn't that be ILS for "International Lunar Station"? Or maybe even ISS-2 (where the first S stands for "Selenic")?
 
  • #27
237
78
Shouldn't that be ILS for "International Lunar Station"? Or maybe even ISS-2 (where the first S stands for "Selenic")?
More like ILS. :wink:
Hmm.. Yes ILS will sound better.
 
  • #28
1,692
235
What do you guys think about humans settling on the moon ???
Moon has a lack of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. There are sufficient resources for technical infrastructure but not for life. Due to the resulting requirement of imports a colony would be limited in size and never independent. It would be doomed if the supply stops for some reason.
 
  • #29
33,831
9,550
It would be doomed if the supply stops for some reason.
Most regions and even many countries on Earth are doomed without trade with others - at least if you don't want to fall back to pre-industrial levels.

Lunar regolith samples show up to 100µg/g for H, C and N. Source: Lunar sourcebook, page 444 (88 in the pdf). Not much, but a moon base would certainly try to avoid losing those elements, so a small supply can be sufficient. I guess (!) simply heating the rocks sufficiently in an oxygen atmosphere would extract a significant amount of those elements.
 
  • #30
Chalnoth
Science Advisor
6,195
442
Most regions and even many countries on Earth are doomed without trade with others - at least if you don't want to fall back to pre-industrial levels.

Lunar regolith samples show up to 100µg/g for H, C and N. Source: Lunar sourcebook, page 444 (88 in the pdf). Not much, but a moon base would certainly try to avoid losing those elements, so a small supply can be sufficient. I guess (!) simply heating the rocks sufficiently in an oxygen atmosphere would extract a significant amount of those elements.
Yeah. I don't think the raw materials would be nearly as much of a challenge as all of the infrastructure required to maintain a self-sustaining environment. You'd need a huge colony to contain all of the necessary manufacturing infrastructure just to maintain the habitat.
 
  • #31
25
2
BUT human nature is to explore. One day we will reach on moon and the infrastructure for now can be for 5 - 8 people right ....
 
  • #32
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,562
2,030
BUT human nature is to explore. One day we will reach on moon and the infrastructure for now can be for 5 - 8 people right ....
Certainly. I still say that the OP's question takes into account our current predilection for exploration, and is asking when do we make a home?
 
  • #33
marcus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
24,738
784
What do you guys think about humans settling on the moon ???
THanks for ur replies and ideas ...
2 yr back i participated in NASA AMES SPACE SETTLEMENT CONTEST 2013 and got an international rank 3 on my ideas on an orbital setllement but damn thts not possible as it requires loads of money , unbelievable number of materials and some big engineering sikils
GUY !!! WE are talking about a city floating in space ...
You are talking about permanent settlement, with some kind of economy---e.g. manufacturing fuel, chemicals, material, equipment needed elsewhere---and self-sustaining. Well-shielded from radiation, vacuum, meteorites, cosmic rays. Growing its own food. Plenty of water and mineral elements.

I think the best prospect is in the subsurface ice layer of Ceres.

People on Ceres would manufacture stuff that is in effect already in orbit, because of low gravity. Could trade at a premium.
So that is a good site for human habitat, permanent habitation with a growing population. Deep enough in the ice to be well shielded.
Artificial lighting and heating would be needed. Nuclear reactor fuel have to be imported from Earth probably. Still a good economic prospect.

Better than moon, I think. Moon too much dry rock. Too much gravity. Big deal to land and take off.
 
  • #34
33,831
9,550
Better than moon, I think. Moon too much dry rock. Too much gravity. Big deal to land and take off.
A lunar space elevator is possible with current materials. It would probably need several rocket launches to get the material up (it cannot be too thin as it needs some resistance against micrometeorites), but then it would save a lot of launches as getting to the surface and back gets easier.
 
  • #35
1,516
616
When China draws up plans for a moon base. I agree with @DaveC426913 that it's not economical, but there is an even stronger driving force in humans: the pissing contest. Landing there in the first place was anything but economical. Sure we got a lot of technology and the modern age out of it, but politicians don't care about what happens once they've retired and they stop needing donations. We went to the moon the first place for the sole purpose of getting there before the Soviet Union, we will do the same thing with China, I just hope this time around the contest will be more peaceful.
 
  • #36
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,765
5,402
We went to the moon the first place for the sole purpose of getting there before the Soviet Union
I agree
, we will do the same thing with China
I disagree. I don't think the American people are up for another one of those pissing contests. The cold war was one thing but I don't think it translates well to today's global economy.
 
  • #37
1,516
616
I don't think most people care about economy as much as they first appear to. We don't have enough money to take care of our own sick people, but we have enough to fight wars in the middle east. We don't have enough money to build new schools, but we want to build a giant wall on the Mexican border. If you call anything a threat to the United States, the ignorant masses will vote in hardliners. The SuperPACs and media will very much support it, the SuperPACs want people distracted from real issues and a Chinese moon base is even easier to sell as a threat than gays getting married. I think it'd actually be very simple to convince a large portion of the american populous to build a base on the moon. "If we don't do it, the Chinese will. Let's make american great again and beat the Chinese threat. God wants us too." I think that campaign would grow enough of a movement. Fear, Patriotism, and Religion. Three keys to controlling masses. It may not be right away, but I don't think the american people would be comfortable with a foreign moon base without our own. We can't build a wall between us and the moon.
 
  • #38
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,562
2,030
"If we don't do it, the Chinese will. Let's make american great again and beat the Chinese threat. God wants us too."
More succinctly: He who controls the High Ground controls the battlefield. We'll see propaganda of missiles raining down on Americans.
 
  • #39
Garth
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,574
105
More succinctly: He who controls the High Ground controls the battlefield. We'll see propaganda of missiles raining down on Americans.
Much easier to launch them from the Earth's surface - with a shorter flight time and harder to detect.

Garth
 
  • #40
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,562
2,030
Much easier to launch them from the Earth's surface - with a shorter flight time and harder to detect.
Agreed. But we are talking about what will motivate Westerners to join the race. And no mere facts are going to do what the image of raining missiles will do.
 
  • #41
237
78
Whatever !!! A space race is better and mindless military expenditure , I am looking forward for Space race 2 , although with wrong motivations it will still turn out to be useful in the future, I want to see people on Mars and a functional ILS. There is no gold mine on the moon, so very little possibility of a direct conflict. We will also see some private players like SpaceX etc. Believe it or not this is the only way major technological breakthroughs happen , through national pride and jingoism , arms race and space race.
 
Last edited:
  • #42
marcus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
24,738
784
Whatever !!! A space race is better and mindless military expenditure , I am looking forward for Space race 2 , although with wrong motivations it will still turn out to be useful in the future, I want to see people on Mars and a functional ILS. There is no gold mine on the moon, so very little possibility of a direct conflict. We will also see some private players like SpaceX etc. Believe it or not this is the only way major technological breakthroughs happen , through national pride and jingoism , arms race and space race.
Why can't national pride and jingoism motivate something more intelligent than a camp on Mars? A settlement on Ceres, with its thick ice layer, could be productive (in low gravity) and make economic sense.
You are talking about permanent settlement, with some kind of economy---e.g. manufacturing fuel, chemicals, material, equipment needed elsewhere---and self-sustaining. Well-shielded from radiation, vacuum, meteorites, cosmic rays. Growing its own food. Plenty of water and mineral elements.

I think the best prospect is in the subsurface ice layer of Ceres.

People on Ceres would manufacture stuff that is in effect already in orbit, because of low gravity. Could trade at a premium.
So that is a good site for human habitat, permanent habitation with a growing population. Deep enough in the ice to be well shielded.
Artificial lighting and heating would be needed. Nuclear reactor fuel have to be imported from Earth probably. Still a good economic prospect.

Better than moon, I think. Moon too much dry rock. Too much gravity. Big deal to land and take off.. And Mars even worse.
 
  • #43
This reminds me of discussions about colonising Mars. Why?

The moon is a barren desolate rock. I can't see any reason why anyone would wish to "settle" on the moon, other than if it was a prison or a monastery/nunnery etc.

It does not even have an atmosphere.... and everything would have to be "shipped in" from the "Mother Planet" at great expense.
 
  • #44
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,562
2,030
It does not even have an atmosphere.... and everything would have to be "shipped in" from the "Mother Planet" at great expense.
You would make your own atmosphere and contain it in domes or underground tunnels.

Not everything has to be shipped in. The idea behind settling the Moon is to mine as many essentials as possible from the Regolith.
 
  • #45
237
78
Why can't national pride and jingoism motivate something more intelligent than a camp on Mars? .
That's because national pride and jingoism is about " here is something I can do and you can't" attitude and planting your flags, collecting soil samples and not much more .After the competition is over people lose interest but the technologies developed will help the industry and future missions. Space settlements will take much longer time, money, dedication and a much better reason.
A settlement on Ceres, with its thick ice layer, could be productive (in low gravity) and make economic sense.
http://spacecolonization.wikia.com/wiki/Colonization_of_Ceres

I am no expert but the problem with Ceres seems to be is it's distance from Earth(for emergency evacuation or for supply of resources ,since we don't have any experience in building space habitats , it's better we start with something much closer to earth )and it's very low gravity might be a problem for permanent human settlement but Ceres can be our interplanetary fuel station and a source of water and oxygen . If we can build a star tram or some other cheaper method of transportation on the moon or/and mars Ceres can be good supplier of resources.Ceres can also be an asteroid mining station because it is relativity closer to the asteroid belt.
http://news.discovery.com/space/history-of-space/mars-prospecting-ores-gold.htm
Mars has water and possibly some ores , combined with resources coming in from Ceres will be good. I don't think the details of the feasibility will ever be worked out without a space race engaging different nations and private companies( if they can convince themselves of good returns )because right now there is no urgent need for a settlement outside earth.

http://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/nasa-looking-to-mine-water-on-the-moon-and-mars/
 
Last edited:
  • #46
We've already BEEN to the Moon quite a few times, starting in 1969(!), but we didn't stay long because we had to carry all our food, water and air. In the ensuing 46 years we may have learned a few things, but the technology required to build a colony in space was already old back then. What we need to work on is not so much propulsion systems as management of closed ecosystems -- the Earth being a less obvious but more important example. Unfortunately the Earth is so big that we fail to notice the effects of our mismanagement until it's too late. If we want to learn to behave more responsibly, the Moon is an ideal place to start.

Any sensible plan for getting off this planet, including L5 space colonies, BEGINS with a permanent Moon colony, if only to provide raw materials (Moon dust) to be smelted by solar mirrors in space into metals, oxygen and other essentials. Solar powered electromagnetic launchers on the Moon can easily fling buckets of dust out of the Moon's gravity well to factories at the various Lagrange points, obviating the fallacious necessity of lifting them from the Earth with rockets. Then we can really get started!

But NASA is embarked on an insane dead-end politician's fantasy of going to Mars BEFORE setting up a station on the Moon. This is a scheme guaranteed to sour everyone on the idea of putting humans into space. It is a suicide mission for NASA as well as the astronauts who go to Mars. What are they THINKING?!
 
  • #47
237
78
But NASA is embarked on an insane dead-end politician's fantasy of going to Mars BEFORE setting up a station on the Moon. This is a scheme guaranteed to sour everyone on the idea of putting humans into space. It is a suicide mission for NASA as well as the astronauts who go to Mars. What are they THINKING?!
I think NASA's primary objective on Mars is to find out if life is/was present on it. Sending humans there might get the job done quickly compared to robots which are extremely slow , NASA doesn't seem to have any plans for a human colony anywhere right now.
 
  • #48
You would make your own atmosphere and contain it in domes or underground tunnels.

Not everything has to be shipped in. The idea behind settling the Moon is to mine as many essentials as possible from the Regolith.
Yes but surely we can mine the rock here on Earth much more cheaply. Also the radiation on the moon could be a problem possibly? Finally, where would they get water and petrol from?

Also, any moon colony would spend 2 weeks in total darkness and 2 weeks in brutal solar radiation. I think the only possible use for it would be an orbiting prison colony for cimes against humanity etc.

Try this simulator - Orbiter 2010 - fly to the moon and back etc. You will find 1) it is not even slightly difficult to send a satellite to the moon; and 2) there is nothing to see there on the Moon - its just a big lump of inorganic rock.

Earth is so much better than the moon/rock. Earth has an atmosphere, magnetic shield, daily sunshine (rather than monthly on the moon), fossil fuels, carbon dioxide removal, perfect gravity for our species, oxygen and water production, stable temperature, seasonal variations, tides, the list is endless.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis
 
Last edited:
  • #49
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,562
2,030
Yes but surely we can mine the rock here on Earth much more cheaply.
You just finished saying that it would have to be shipped to the Moon at great expense.

Also the radiation on the moon could be a problem possibly?
That's why you build underground.

Finally, where would they get water and petrol from?
We discovered large deposits of ice in some of the polar craters. That was a big deal a few years back, because water is one of the critical resources for a colony.

Petrol, not so much.

Also, any moon colony would spend 2 weeks in total darkness and 2 weeks in brutal solar radiation.
Which is why you build underground.

there is nothing to see there on the Moon - its just a big lump of inorganic rock.
We're not going there for the view.

Well, actually, we are. Good place for telescope arrays.

Also a good place for low gravity research and manufacturing, dangerous goods, etc.

Earth is so much better than the moon/rock.
Of course it is. But this thread is about settling the Moon.
 
  • #50
I like the idea of telescope arrays. What about food? Would we transport soil?
 

Related Threads for: Settling on the Moon

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K
Replies
32
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
48
Views
11K
Top