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Industrial activity on the Moon?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by -Tomasz-, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. -Tomasz-

    -Tomasz- Explorer

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    Hypothesis necessary for this thread: By, 2050, there is a stable private presence on the Moon (hotels, other habitats, laboratories, factories, etc...).

    A part from tourist atractions (ie: hotels) and research facilities, how do you imagine industrial activity on the Moon?

    For instance, consider energy production: would it be made for earthlings, if yes, how would it be sent home to Earth?

    What other types of goods would be produced on the Moon, and for what purpose?

    Are there any legal conditions that would have to be met for such activity?

    Discuss
     
  2. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I think Lagrange satellites would be more useful overall (closer, low-gee, just as claustrophobic in your living quarters, & what elements are really on the moon of value?). The moon's main economic value is in generating tides on earth, me thinks. If anything, we should harvest tidal energy, and thank the moon.
     
  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Virtually everything used on the moon will have to be produced there. For any foreseeable future, it'll just be to expensive to ship stuff from earth.
     
  4. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    space travel is pretty expensive. You'd need something very valuable to ship back from the moon.
     
  5. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    By 2050? :crazyeye: Remember, people in the 60's thought they'd be flying cars by 2000. Shoot, people in the 30's thought we'd have 'em by the 1980's.

    People are having trouble getting enough fuel to drive to work everyday and there are still a few threads a month of colonizing other planets.
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I've seen Tritium as a pretty common example of a huge resource available from the Moon. When fusion takes off, we're going to want Tritium.

    At least, that's what the Space Elevator pushers claim.
     
  7. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    How do you know "fusion will take off"?
     
  8. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Because it's a viable idea, and it's being invested in.
    It will take a bit, but the 'hard road' is being actively worked on. If an 'easy road' pops up in the meantime, we're golden.
     
  9. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    I think you mean [wiki]helium 3[/wiki] ;)
     
  10. -Tomasz-

    -Tomasz- Explorer

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    1. There is no need to ship energy back to Earth if you can beam it there via laser.

    2. It is believed that there are huge deposits of helium three on he Moon, so we would need to build a sufficient infrastructure to exploit it.

    3. The Moon is one huge natural resource made of the same elements as Earth. Our main problem in doing space travel is getting from Earth into orbit. The Moon would be ideal to host facilities and a base for further space exploration. You would only need to ship people from Earth, all the heavy hardware (such as big space station componenets, fuel, etc...) could be produced on the Moon.

    In the 1960s people thought a lot indeed about where we're going to get in next decades. However, what they didn't have then that we do now is the private sector which is lifting off. The reason why we haven't gone far in the last 50 years in terms of the Moon is lack of competition from the USSR, and thus lack of government funding. In a couple of years we will not be dependent on government initiative for space activity. Space is quite profitable at the moment for tourism; tourism will fund more private developpement in orbit, and of course there will always be competition for market share. So funding as well as competition are solved.
     
  11. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    An helium-3 I've heard. I'll take my earlier comment back. There's some cool stuff on the moon, so at least mining is a possibility.

     
  12. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Doc Ock wanted tritium, and that's what he's getting.

    (sorry, tritium is used in research)
     
  13. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    I know that leaving earth is pretty expensive, but I don't think that's the case with leaving the moon's gravity well - 1/6th that of earth. Of course it's a different environment regarding the economics of the infrastructure, but in terms of energy used, it will be way cheaper, kilo for kilo, to lift stuff off of the moon.
     
  14. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    If we colonise the moon, it'll be to have potentially dangerous fusion/nuclear reactors somewhere far away from us, along with various high energy research interests/activities, astronomy and tourism.
    I doubt that the moon will be popular for anything else.
     
  15. AL_DA_GREAT

    AL_DA_GREAT amour absinthe révolution

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    There can't be many natural recourses on the moon. I say there won't be much industry. Electricity will come from solar pannels. I think you will have a difficult time convincing people to live on the moon. It is the worst place immaginable to live.
     
  16. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki Anton's key

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    Worst? For this solar system, try Jupiter or Venus for example before moon.

    Moon is supposed to have quite a lot rare metals and helium-3 from asteroid crashes.
     
  17. -Tomasz-

    -Tomasz- Explorer

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    No natural resources? I admit there is no oil nor trees on the Moon, but you've got plenty of different metals. Also, I've read some time ago, that NASA has done research on moon rocks and they came up with a way of getting water out of the Moon dust. The lunar surface may look poor at a first glance, but if one is to dig a bit deeper, one will find plenty of useful materials.
     
  18. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Yeah, the Moons an entire world, there's lots of good stuff on it.

    The helium 3 business seems a little bit far fetched to me. I mean, we're not talking about just scooping up stuff and sending it in rocket, but some serious processing.
     
  19. JerichoHill

    JerichoHill Bedrock of Knowledge

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    Could easily put alot of solar panels on the moon and beam the energy back to earth, say, in an isolated spot, for distribution.
     
  20. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    I suppose it'd be like an oil rig, or a sea-ship. Hard, lonely job, but well paying.
     

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