Let's build a Moon village, says European Space Agency's new director


#1

[Read the post]


#2

How long do you think before someone posts an article saying “dark side” instead of “far side” of the moon?

I give it an hour.


#3

Why does the illustration show an orbital ring habitat rather than a lunar dome? Except for stellar observation, I would think the main difference of that location is the psychological effect of the total absence of the mother planet from the sky.

And “There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”


#4

Well, the moon colony is gonna be called Pinkfloydia, right?

(Moon colony STAT!!! )


#5

Just think of it! Representatives of all the countries (whose histories of luck, ruthless military domination and economic exloitation have been successful enough to allow them the luxury of space travel) will be there!


#6

Every few months some official in Russia will announce a plan for a manned mission to Mars, a lunar base, solar power satellites, reusable shuttle, railway or superhighway from Europe across Siberia to North America, etc. etc. etc. The press reports it as “This is what Russia is doing!!!” Similar “This is what China is doing!!!” occasionally appear.

What it really means is “This is some official’s fantasy. What he would do if the government would fund it. But there is no chance - none whatsoever - that they will fund it.”

Now it’s an ESA official’s turn.


#7

Is the far side subject to more meteor collisions than the near side?


#8

Space colonies are neat and all, but in the meantime we COULD just install those lunar telescope arrays with remote-controlled landers at a fraction of the cost. If we’re going to risk human lives it should be for the kinds of research we can’t do without risking human lives.


#9

but then who will go to the church?


#10

Pious Moon robots of course!?!? **Shudders **


#11

A Stanford torus.


#12

No. The part of the moon that faces forward along Earth’s orbit is subject to more collisions as it sweeps the rocks before it. That’s also why we see most meteors in the wee hours of the morning. That exposure rotates with the moon, roughly one revolution per month. But it doesn’t much matter; the chances of a meteor strike on a lunar base are neglible as described in this NASA paper.


#13

It doesn’t matter. The whole point of a far-side observatory is to use the moon to shield it from all the radio waves civilization produces.

This guy wants to put civilization right there. It’s not about the telescopes.


#14

Somehow those plans are translated from the Russian or the Chinese for “this is a concept” to American English as “we’re well past concept, through construction and on to budget overruns.”


#15

I thought the Heavens Gate crew had that real estate all sewed up.


#16

Apropos of nothing:

It takes a planet to raise a village.


#17

Hey America, remember when we wasted all of your money protecting us from teh commies?
um…
sudo make me moon-base?


#18

I can only respond to this in klingon. Luckily, my cell phone doesn’t have that alphabet installed.


#19

Yea, but only slightly because Earth gets in the way.


#20

“I can call spirits from the vasty deep…”

Anyone can propose anything. But the EU has about as much chance of funding a moonbase as Greece does of developing a stable productive economy. Sure: both of them could happen, but neither actually will, not soon anyway.

And to the extent that multiple nations have collaborated on anything in space, the most we’ve got to show for it is the pathetic ISS, which has not only been almost worthless for science but also has utterly failed as a jumping-off point for space-based industrialization. It’s just not going to happen.

We should be funding all kinds of things, from a serious fusion program to solar satellites to L5 colonies, and indeed, to lunar industrial facilities as well. But we’re not going to do any of those things, because they all cost money we wouldn’t have to spend on wars and government corruption if we did.