Will there be a million people on the moon by 2060?

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In summary: I think one of the most popular services related to the Moon will be about burials (of small samples of ashes, at $/mg price).
  • #36
Rive said:
I can see the headlines of tomorrow's newspaper:

"Astronaut in the ISS killed by a golden tooth!"
 
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  • #37
Any large scale expansion of our technological civilization into the Solar System will have to make use of the Moon as a waystation, a depot, a source of building materials or even water and oxygen. I don't know if there will be a million people there by 2060 but I'd be surprised if there weren't a lot say ~10k.
 
  • #38
I wish I could live on another planet other than earth. a small world cup
 
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  • #39
bob012345 said:
Any large scale expansion of our technological civilization into the Solar System will have to make use of the Moon as a waystation, a depot, a source of building materials or even water and oxygen. I don't know if there will be a million people there by 2060 but I'd be surprised if there weren't a lot say ~10k.
I'd be surprised if there was anyone.
 
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  • #40
PeroK said:
I'd be surprised if there was anyone.
And I'd be surprised if I was surprised at anything in 2060.
 
  • #41
Y'all are way too timid at predicting the future of space.

There is an old puzzle about yeast that doubles every half hour, and fills the container at 7PM. When is the container half full? 6:30PM.

There are four basic curves to apply to prediction of things such as this.

First is an exponential decay, the blue line. This is the case when interest in something dies off. Space travel is unlikely to follow this curve since there is a great deal of money in it. Today it is making profits for lots of companies.
Second is a constant curve, the dark orange line here. Again, this is unlikely for space travel.
Third is linear growth. SpaceX is already well past this.
Finally there is exponential growth. This follows when the activity becomes self-increasing.
1685641820732.png


Starlink alone is quite interesting. They are already making $300 million/year. The cost to put up the expected satts for the network is $600 million.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnko...booking-over-300-millionyear/?sh=43ee0da27063

SpaceX is already well past self sustaining. Musk can afford quite a bit of rocket development with even those numbers. Falcon Heavy can take 64 metric tons to low Earth orbit. His plans for Mars include something like a FH launch per day starting in a few years. And he has bigger rockets in the testing phase.

He can afford to blow them up on a regular basis. Blowing up rockets is a big part of the process of learning how to build them.

In 2023, SpaceX is doing roughly a launch per week. This is double what they were doing in 2021. They are on the exponential curve. And their doubling time seems to be about 2 years.

And yes, lots of people want to go. For a variety of reasons. There are lots of technological manufacturing type reasons. Lots of things possible when you have plenty-o-free vacuum. And when you have sunshine not interrupted by clouds. And when there is no environment to pollute. Want to store a million tons of arsenic? Put it over there and just watch where you walk.

And yes, tourism will be a thing, if the price gets low enough. The energy costs to low Earth orbit are similar to the energy costs from New York to Australia. Getting to the Moon roughly doubles it. Ordinary people ought to be able to afford a trip to the moon. If they can, and if it becomes as safe as commercial flight, millions will.
 
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  • #42
Grelbr42 said:
Y'all are way too timid at predicting the future of space.

There is an old puzzle about yeast that doubles every half hour, and fills the container at 7PM. When is the container half full? 6:30PM.
And at 7:00 the yeast goes dormant.

This is just Fun With Math! that has little relation to the issue of space travel. Heck, maybe 7:00 was 1972?
 
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  • #43
russ_watters said:
This is just Fun With Math! that has little relation to the issue of space travel.
what he said (very small).jpg
 
  • #44
Grelbr42 said:
And yes, tourism will be a thing, if the price gets low enough.
And when the chance of being blown to bits is near zero which will be hard to achieve with rocket technology.
 
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  • #45
Grelbr42 said:
And yes, tourism will be a thing, if the price gets low enough.
No, not if surviveability is unlikely. Your whole post is glossing over / ignoring a whole host of factors. At best you are simply hand-waving away all the dangers. As Russ said, all you've done is a just an exercise in math.
 
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  • #46
There were two missions in 1969. one in 1970, two in 1971 and two in 1972. So it's hard to see how the time constant for an exponential is short, but even if it is very long, one expects to have had over 100 missions by now, And there were 7. Six successful.

If you toss in 8 and 10 as being at least as successful as 13, you get 1-3-2-2 missions per year. Excel tells me the best fit is +10% per year. Um...OK.

This model predicts by now we would have 3290 missions to date and almost a launch every day. Neither is the case. This model predicts by 2060 only 300,000 people will have gone to the moon (not that they are there at the same time then) and it will be at least a decade later before that number hits a million.

So even "fun with math" doesn't support this. Any realistic model will be, well, more realistic.
 
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  • #47

Will there be a million people on the moon by 2060?​


If a million people are willing to pay enormous amounts of money only to run around in a dusty and sandy desert, then I should seriously consider buying some land in the Sahara. The weight will only be a matter of latex.
 
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  • #48
People in the 1960s had the example of ~50 years from the Wright brothers to commercial jet travel, and they projected this same trajectory for space travel (hence 2001). But the economics and technological difficulties are far different. Very difficult to come up with compelling economic reasons for humans to leave Earth
 
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  • #49
Vanadium 50 said:
you get 1-3-2-2 missions per year. Excel tells me the best fit is +10% per year.
But there should be a string of 50 zeroes added to the end of that. What does Excel say then?
 
  • #50
I like to lie with statistics.

In February of 2023, Tulsa Oklahoma (metro area ~1M) had ~200k airline passengers and shipped around 8M lbs of freight.
https://flytulsa.com/wp-content/upl...nue-and-Statistics-Schedule-February-2023.pdf

That is roughly 40,000,000 lbs.
at 100$/lb (an order of magnitude smaller than today’s LOW orbit costs) that‘s $4B per month.
This ignores trains, trucks and fluid flow.

edit: I meant if Tulsa was on the moon.
 
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  • #51
Well, the compelling reason will be to monitor the Farside Telescope.

About 40 people winter over at the South Pole. So an argument for someday having 10 or 20 people on the moon for a long-ish term - say a month - might be made.

That is nowhere near a million.
 
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  • #52
Vanadium 50 said:
That is nowhere near a million.
A closer look at what it takes to supply 1,000,000 people in a desert here on earth with fresh water leads to a devastating end of that crude dream. Las Vegas has only 642,000 citizens and you can watch it falling dry. And don't come with water on the moon. Even if, it takes a major industrial complex and a lot of energy to harvest it in the necessary amount.
 
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  • #53
Frabjous said:
at 100$/lb (an order of magnitude smaller than today) that‘s $4B per month.
?!?!?!

I'm not sure 100$/lb.

The annual GDP for Tulsa, OK in 2021 was ~60B. I don't think the majority was air freight and passengers.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NGMP46140

As I recall, the cost of 1 kg from sea level to LEO is ~$10k / kg. That's the number I was given in the mid 1980s. Just to get a 80 kg human to orbit would cost about $800 k, not including the infrastructure to support the human in space. 1 metric ton (1000 kg) in space would cost $10 M.

I haven't look at the cost/kg in a long time, but the energy require to put a kg in LEO is still the same now as it was then. The cost has probably increased.

One has to look at the energy requirements for the various systems, e.g., the requirement for liquid CH4 (basically LNG) or LH2 and LOX, and see what production capacity is required.

I remember vividly the grandiose plans for ISS, which when faced with reality shrunk in size and scope, while the budget ballooned massively by more than an order of magnitude.
 
  • #54
Astronuc said:
?!?!?!

I'm not sure 100$/lb.

The annual GDP for Tulsa, OK in 2021 was ~60B. I don't think the majority was air freight and passengers.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NGMP46140

As I recall, the cost of 1 kg from sea level to LEO is ~$10k / kg. That's the number I was given in the mid 1980s. Just to get a 80 kg human to orbit would cost about $800 k, not including the infrastructure to support the human in space. 1 metric ton (1000 kg) in space would cost $10 M.

I haven't look at the cost/kg in a long time, but the energy require to put a kg in LEO is still the same now as it was then. The cost has probably increased.

One has to look at the energy requirements for the various systems, e.g., the requirement for liquid CH4 (basically LNG) or LH2 and LOX, and see what production capacity is required.

I remember vividly the grandiose plans for ISS, which when faced with reality shrunk in size and scope, while the budget ballooned massively by more than an order of magnitude.
I meant if Tulsa was on the moon.
 
  • #55
Frabjous said:
I meant if Tulsa was on the moon
$100/lb may be too low. Initial costs might be much greater. Ultimately, it will depend on how self-sufficient a lunar base would become, e.g., recycling CO2 into O2. And then there is processing of lunar minerals into structural materials.

One objective for a lunar base would be to support space exploration, e.g., missions to Mars and/or outer planets, since it costs less to launch a kg from lunar surface than earth surface.

Back and forth between the moon and earth is orders of magnitude more complicated than migrating across the earth, and round trips to Mars and beyond is way more complicate than lunar missions.
 
  • #56
donglepuss said:
What do you think????
I think this whole thread is a waste of time. The idea that there will be 1,000,000 on the moon by 2060 is just silly.
 
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  • #57
Astronuc said:
$100/lb may be too low. Initial costs might be much greater. Ultimately, it will depend on how self-sufficient a lunar base would become, e.g., recycling CO2 into O2. And then there is processing of lunar minerals into structural materials.

One objective for a lunar base would be to support space exploration, e.g., missions to Mars and/or outer planets, since it costs less to launch a kg from lunar surface than earth surface.

Back and forth between the moon and earth is orders of magnitude more complicated than migrating across the earth, and round trips to Mars and beyond is way more complicate than lunar missions.
Probably, but $4B/month is way to high to be economically feasible.
 
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  • #58
phinds said:
I think this whole thread is a waste of time. T
Even the OP has bailed
 
  • #59
Vanadium 50 said:
Even the OP has bailed
Yes, but PF's first law applies: The sillier the thread the higher the number of posts.
 
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  • #60
As to the original question Will there be a million people on the moon by 2060? Perhaps if Lunar industry follows the Las Vegas model.
 
  • #61
Continuing on with PF's First Law - why don't we have undersea cities by now? Easier and closer, and nuclear submarines have a 15 year head start on rockets to the moon.
 
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  • #62
russ_watters said:
Millionth customer gets free groceries.
Yeah but the delivery fee is murder.
 
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  • #63
BWV said:
I went to a tech conference in Marin County back in 2012, the kind of resort hotel where the best and brightest In Silicon Valley need to have the strawberries on the breakfast buffet labeled ‘gluten free’. Panelists and people in idle conversation were all seriously talking about dying on Mars, like there would be a one-way shuttle available in their dotage.
Dead
 
  • #64
When we get 1000 folks living on the Moon, we will re-open this thread. Thanks all for participating.
 
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