Space Station Vs. Moon Base

  • #26
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
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Oh cool! I didn't know that. That's a really interesting point. Has Hubble always had that capability or was that added in one of the repair/service missions? If I recall correctly, the WFPC can't do that.
The northern and southern 'continous viewing zone' is the angle from north pole that you can see continualy without the sun/earth getting in the way, it just depends on the orbit. The instruments generally don't observe for very long because of cosmic rays, it's better to stack shorter exposures.

I was just suggesting that night on the far side of the Moon is much darker than night on Earth, and no human-generated light pollution would affect the telescope.
Ok, I was just making it clear that the Earth is never in the sky from the back side of the moon but the sun is half the time.
The best place to put a telescope for a good view is at L2, the Lagrange point directly out along on a line from the sun through the Earth.
 
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  • #27
russ_watters
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Note that light pollution requires an atmosphere, so the issue isn't any different for the Hubble than for a telescope sitting on the far side of the moon...
 
  • #28
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How does the orion 2024 whatever program plan to address this [radiation shielding] problem?
Do you have links or references? As of now, I know of no viable proposal (even remotely) to build permanent or long-term temp-habitation facilities any place outside of Earth's magnetic field.
Well, I find a lot of things centered around the phrase "Lunar Architecture".

NASA planners used the international group's deliberations as well as input from academia, private sector and private citizens as the basis for sketching a U.S. blueprint for a return to the moon. NASA's Lunar Architecture Team, chartered in May 2006, concluded that the most advantageous approach is to develop a solar-powered lunar base and to locate it near one of the poles of the moon. With such an outpost, NASA can learn to use the moon's natural resources to live off the land, make preparations for a journey to Mars, conduct a wide range of scientific investigations and encourage international participation...

As currently envisioned, an incremental buildup would begin with four-person crews making several seven-day visits to the moon until their power supplies, rovers and living quarters are operational. The first mission would begin by 2020. These would be followed by 180-day missions to prepare for journeys to Mars.

The proposed lunar architecture calls for robotic precursor missions designed to support the human mission. These precursors include landing site reconnaissance, natural resource assays and technology risk reduction for the human lander.
So there is a plan, which action was being taken on at some point. I'm not really sure what "viable" has to do with it, I'm just curious what the planners thought was going to happen.
 
  • #29
Note that light pollution requires an atmosphere, so the issue isn't any different for the Hubble than for a telescope sitting on the far side of the moon...
I must very respectfully disagree. Earth puts out a lot of radiation, and not all of it is even man-made. For example, there's a spot called the "South Atlantic Anomaly" that's troublesome to electronics in orbit. I believe that the principal advantage Hubble has over ground based scopes is not a light pollution advantage, but that Hubble can see in UV, to which our atmosphere is opaque.
 
  • #30
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Do you have links or references? As of now, I know of no viable proposal (even remotely) to build permanent or long-term temp-habitation facilities any place outside of Earth's magnetic field.

When W tried to polish his credentials by claiming that a goal of NASA should be to send men to Mars, every physicist should have flooded their TV outlets with estimates of the costs of the raw materials for fuel, shielding and engineering costs. At the same time, biologists and medical doctors should have been factoring in the costs of air, water, food, energy for hydroponics, etc, and lofting all that out of Earth's gravity. It's pretty apparent that we can't send our brave Marstonauts out there with years' worth of cans of Spaghettios and ramen noodles. Frankly the people in NASA (and other physical sciences) dropped the ball big-time to let the dope play "visionary scientist president".

There are huge engineering challenges that we face, not the least is low-mass, low-energy shielding systems for vessels in interplanetary space. There is also the huge cost of fuel to get stuff pried away from the Earth, and the "danger factor" that we send people and valuable payloads into orbit sitting on top of complex controlled-bombs that may or may not behave. I love Science Fiction, and a personal favorite is Babylon 5 (with Harlan Ellison consulting). Unlike some, I don't place a lot of faith in the possibility of the plot-line.
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2006/12/05/moon-base.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/12/061204-moon-base.html

Theres 2 links for you to look at.
 
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  • #31
turbo
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Uhh, neither of those address shielding from solar radiation, nor do they give even cursory attention to the costs of getting adequately-shielded vehicles or temporary habitats to the Moon, or the costs of sending short-term missions there to man the stations. Those are not practical proposals, nor do they reference such proposals - they are pie-in-the-sky articles written for public consumption, and they ignore basic engineering practicalities. It's all well and good to give a name to a theoretical project and promote it in the popular press, but not at the expense of ignoring basic engineering and physics. Tell the public "We're going to the Moon" and then tell some NASA engineers. Their reactions will be a bit different, I guarantee.
 
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  • #32
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Uhh, neither of those address shielding from solar radiation, nor do they give even cursory attention to the costs of getting adequately-shielded vehicles or temporary habitats to the Moon, or the costs of sending short-term missions there to man the stations. Those are not practical proposals, nor do they reference such proposals - they are pie-in-the-sky articles written for public consumption, and they ignore basic engineering practicalities. It's all well and good to give a name to a theoretical project and promote it in the popular press, but not at the expense of ignoring basic engineering and physics. Tell the public "We're going to the Moon" and then tell some NASA engineers. Their reactions will be a bit different, I guarantee.
I just gave them as a link to show you that NASA is planning for a moon base. I didn’t put them up there to explain HOW they were going to do that.
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/why_moon.html
If you don't believe the other two links, how a bought one directly from NASA?
 
  • #33
turbo
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Well, here is another one.
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/news/GES_FAQ.html

It's all just cheerleading. No feasibility estimates, no engineering studies, no cost-benefit analyses (not even an OOM estimate of project costs), just a bunch of people saying "we want to go to the moon, and this is something we might be able to do when we get there." This is not a project - it is not even the beginnings of a project.
 
  • #34
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Well, here is another one.
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/news/GES_FAQ.html

It's all just cheerleading. No feasibility estimates, no engineering studies, no cost-benefit analyses (not even an OOM estimate of project costs), just a bunch of people saying "we want to go to the moon, and this is something we might be able to do when we get there." This is not a project - it is not even the beginnings of a project.
It is not yet a project yet but it will be in the future. They are developing the spacecraft for going to the moon. They are beginning preparations for starting the project.
 
  • #35
turbo
Gold Member
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My point was (and remains) that there are always going to be public-relations program within NASA to drum up support for imaginary "feel-good" projects that never have a snowball's chance in He** of getting funding for even the preliminary engineering studies. This is because the simple mass-lofting costs associated with manned missions are already well-understood and they are prohibitive compared to robotic/remotely commanded mechanical probes. Mission-costs can be kept under control by utilizing multiple fly-bys to keep fuel requirements in check, but at the cost of time. You can't do this with manned projects, nor do you want to do Solar fly-bys with humans in that little can. Also, we don't much care if the robotic probes come back to Earth, so we won't need to loft the extra fuel, secondary launch vehicle etc, to get those probes back. We can't be quite as cavalier about manned missions. We need dramatic breakthroughs in propulsion, fuel efficiency, and shielding before we can contemplate more manned missions beyond Earth orbit.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of robotic missions in the pipeline. Do you have an idea how long GLAST was in the pipeline as a serious project with engineering, sensor selection, etc in progress? Even then it was projected to launch in 2005, and that slipped over and over again.
 

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