Right now, all of humanity’s eggs are in one basket. A sufficiently large asteroid strike could wipe out much of the animal life on the planet. We’ve seen evidence of that before in the strike that ended the reign of the dinosaurs. Or a sufficiently deadly virus could infect a large swath of the population … nah, competent leadership would take swift action to limit the spread of such a virus.
I’m not saying we need Luna Park and I’m not saying we need it right away, but having an off-site backup sufficient to keep humanity going in case something happens to the original seems like a good medium-term goal.
Water. Turns out there’s a sizeable amount of ice in the subsurface of the moon.
We need a gas station in space because getting things into space is expensive. Not so much about retrieving minerals back to earth.
Check out this TED talk by Bill Stone. I recommend watching the whole thing but I linked to the part about the moon.
I don’t think the US ever signed that treaty.
What’s “medium term” in your view? I’m on board with a Star Trek future, except for the part where it turns out we’re the Ferengi. We’re just technically nowhere within sight of anything like increasing humanity’s Kardashev level. Setting up an industrial and military presence on the Moon is getting way ahead of ourselves. A base now would be an enormous cost sink, and would no more serve as a “backup” for humanity than the ISS does. The options for long-term survivability within our solar system if something happened to the Earth are mighty slim even given technology we can only imagine.
I’m not saying “don’t go to the moon.” A younger me would have been all over this idea just because it’s space. I’m saying this particular vision of what going to the moon looks like makes no sense at all.
The Moon Treaty is the particular piece of International legislation that Trump’s executive is attempting to address here. In my youth I ran a space advocacy group that would have been, ahem “over the moon” about this news in the mistaken notion that this would have opened up “the high frontier”. Older and perhaps wiser, I now understand that any frontiers will open up due to the egos and avarice of the wealthiest corporate owners irrespective of legislation. This legislation provides no more than faux accomplishment for the egotists in governments who believe that they are still in charge.
Not really. The moon is big enough that we could remove 10^large tons of it and ship it back and it wouldn’t matter. Plus, we’d use most of it there, I’m sure.
Of the stupid shit the Trump admin does, this isn’t in the top 10 or even the top 100. Clearing up the legal ownership of extraterrestrial resources is pretty important for the future of our species.
Yeah right. I don’t think that’ll be easy.
There is a golden rule in international relations you don’t break: “Pacta Sunt Servanda” – “agreements must be kept”. And the US administration took a big dump on that by willy nilly canceling a bunch of treaties that were hard fought for.
The last few years has started to make me think that we are at the point where we need to choose whether we want a Star Trek future or a Mirror universe future. Too many people seem to want the Mirror universe for some unfathomable reason.
Going to colonise the Moon or Mars makes no sense when we can’t manage a self-sustainable community on Earth.
Remember, even in the Star Trek future, humanity had to come terrifyingly close to self destruction via the Eugenics Wars before it finally decided to get some fucking “act right.”
What are the chances that it is just a distraction from current crisis?
You are so right. We’ve got one moon, and we depend on it. Unfortunately, we have people who aren’t satisfied with discovering something and learning from it - they have to exploit it and ruin it in the process. We see the horrible things mining does on Earth, but they just have to take that same crap process and attitude to every other place in the solar system and beyond.
At this point, all I can hope for is that the massive -up in the making will happen long after I’m dead. God knows, that didn’t come true with too many of the post-apocalyptic stories I’ve read, but I really don’t want to see the moon function as a billboard, explode, crack like an egg, spin off into space, or become a launchpad for weapons.
Ironic name considering that Artemis was famously a virgin goddess who prided herself on remaining eternally unspoiled and untouched by either man or god.
How will this affect the moon’s whaling industry?
I only want him to live long enough to see every damn executive order he wasted everyone’s time and money with, undone. Every one.
but 7 months or 5 years, he really should be far more concerned about the NEXT justice department because there won’t be anyone to protect him anymore and “former” presidents don’t get legal protection
The thing I absolutely hate about this argument, is pretending that the most significant risks to a habitable earth are all outside of human control. Given what we know about global warming and other environmental degradation, it’s really disingenuous to pretend that punching out in lifeboats should somehow be top priority.
That is the problem. However for all we know they are trying to regulate mining cheese on the moon as a Covid cure. Undoing the national and international damage done by the administration is probably going to take decades.
Beat me to it. Salutes (Not in a Space Force kinda way)
That depends on where it lands, especially if you drop it straight down.
Also, I hope that someone looks at the effects of liberating all that kinetic energy in the atmosphere on a routine basis, as well as vaporized outer shell.
The counterpoint to this is that the same systems that you need to sustain life on the moon could be used on Earth to sustain a population in the face of a global catastrophe. If it’s bad enough you could even install them underground or under the ocean. All of which are way easier than sustaining them on the moon.
In fact if you do want a moon habitat you should be building these anyway to work out the details. The only major project to attempt this that I know about is the BioDome project, and it ended up as a partial failure in the end. Once you can build a BioDome that is actually self sustaining then you can think about building that dome on an irradiated airless rock subject to extreme thermal swings.