Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Crowdfund a Moon Monolith Mission?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the ok-probably-not dept.

Moon 199

Jamie found a somewhat amusing little essay on putting together a crowd-sourced mission to put a monolith on the moon. The author estimates it would cost half a billion dollars, which is a sum he thinks could be raised. Although personally, I think a half a billion dollars could be put to better use, it's a fun thought exercise.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Raise the Stakes (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779580)

Let's raise the stakes. I propose raising half a trillion dollars to develop a time machine and put a monolith in Olduvai Gorge three million years in the past to influence Astralopithecus Afarensis evolution. Our very existence might depend on it.

Re:Raise the Stakes (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779918)

Heh, but he didn't realize when he wrote those books he was writing a self fulfilling prophecy. Seems he got the timeline a little off though, must have been using a different calendar.

Re:Raise the Stakes (3, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779960)

The switch from Mayan to Gregorian was hard on us all.

Re:Raise the Stakes (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781414)

that's why I never switched. But Mayan Almanac Helpdesk says my calendar's long term support contract will be end-of-life in less than two years without option of renewal

Useless Piece of Crap (-1, Flamebait)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780158)

Let's waste half a billion. Why not crowdfund for something meaningful and useful to the world? There are people dying and these jerks, anyone who supports this with effort or funding, are masturbating.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780222)

That is essentially what places like Kiva and the like are trying to do. They take crowd funding, and give it to pre established infrastructure to try to help people with their goals.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (5, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780352)

Well, lots of people seem to enjoy masturbating. But I am sure you don't. You spend every penny towards bettering the world and helping your fellow man, right?

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780740)

Well, lots of people seem to enjoy masturbating. But I am sure you don't. You spend every penny towards bettering the world and helping your fellow man, right?

What do pennies have to do with... wait... it isn't free? I'm supposed to be paying a licensing fee or something to someone?

Well, that explains about half of the national debt... sorry guys.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780874)

Well the kitten isn't going to bury itself ya know

What are you doing reading Slashdot?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780390)

Those precious seconds could be used earning money to lift people out of poverty! You god damned hypocrite!

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (2, Insightful)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780396)

I take it that essentially every moment of your time is devoted to preventing people from dying, since the $1.66 that this would represent if you spread the expense over every person in ths U.S. (neglecting the other 6.6 billion people in the world) is less than a half hour of a net minimum wage.

While we're at it, let's get rid of those pesky cultural arts, since that's virtually all "masturbation" as well.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781058)

Well, if you get rid of cultural arts, you take care of the monolith by default, since it is a cultural arts project.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780542)

And anyone who spends their time reading slashdot instead of working the shelter downtown is... what?

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780576)

Some of us choose not to live in a welfare state. The mere thought of any non-government entity entering another gravity well is worthwhile.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

Turbofish (585771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781274)

Absolutely right!
Even an extraterrestrial publicity stunt like this, if privately funded, would be worthwhile... more so if they include a low lunar orbit satellite with a webcam to stream continuous video to Ustream or some similar service. Anything which helps to make the point that we do not have to limit ourselves to a single world is worthwhile.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (3, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780588)

Let's waste half a billion. Why not crowdfund for something meaningful and useful to the world? There are people dying and these jerks, anyone who supports this with effort or funding, are masturbating.

This sort of project would provide a fair number of jobs and is voluntarily financed, what's non-meaningful and useless about that? The government isn't confiscating the money from you so why are you complaining? Start your own crowd sourced project to halt death or whatever it is you think is more meaningful and useful.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780834)

You're assuming that this has absolutely zero redeeming benefits to society. In reality, such a project could go a long ways towards lowering the cost to LEO and beyond which of course has the potential to benifit everyone.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780952)

Unless the dollar bills are packed in a box and sent to the Moon, they aren't "wasted". They will end up as paychecks for employees and used to pay for materials, which will put the money in people's pockets, creating jobs for people who can then give to charity. The real waste is to NOT spend half a billion dollars that you have. That doesn't help ANYONE.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781332)

Well since it is all private monies let us take your example and use it on you.

You are not spending all of your money in a way that all the rest of us think that you should be spending your money. So we are now going to berate you for spending your money.

Have a nice day and make sure that you do not forget to Fuck Off.

Re:Useless Piece of Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34781370)

Let's waste half a billion. Why not crowdfund for something meaningful and useful to the world? There are people dying and these jerks, anyone who supports this with effort or funding, are masturbating.

Yeah, look at all the good that money raised for Haiti did!

Oh wait, no it didn't - plenty was wasted, and they are arguably worse off than before. Hmmm...

I'm not saying DON'T give to good causes - but thinking that this money is somehow better spent elsewhere for a more worthwhile cause doesn't hold water in my mind.

Re:Raise the Stakes (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780186)

Well, the time machine part could be a bit complex to get. But would be easy to send a monolith to Saturn or Jupiter, it even don't need to land, just to stay in orbit. Anyway, filling it with (movie) stars will make that expensive. Can't it be filled with politicians or lawyers? it will make humanity to advance too.

lawyers in "carbonite" (epoxy?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780586)

would be a good analog for monoliths. The technology doesn't actually need to preserve them; just some blinky lights on the side will do to appease their families.

The thought of what a wonderful accomplishment this would be makes me weep.

Re:Raise the Stakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780368)

I disagree, Sonny! In retrospect, coming down out of the trees was a Really Bad Idea.

open source ipad (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779650)

Why not crowd-fund a completely open-source (thus nothing magical) tablet computer?

Re:open source ipad (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779964)

see OpenMoko. Total failure...

Re:open source ipad (1)

Andrew Cady (115471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780372)

Except that OpenMoko was not "crowdsourced" -- it was a failed for-profit investment-funded business. And they didn't fail to make a phone; they failed to make money.

Re:open source ipad (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781044)

Every "crowdsourcing" thing is a for-profit business. There isn't an organization that isn't out there to make money for themselves. Sure, they might justify it as expenses, but just as we work to get a paycheck to pay for rent/mortgage, food, clothes, etc. they do the exact same thing. The only difference is generally scale.

And they essentially failed, the goal of OpenMoko if I recall correctly was to make a multi-purpose Linux distro that everyone could flash on their phones while being about as good as the top of the line phones (which at that time I believe it was the iPhone 1st gen and BlackBerry) there wasn't anything about a phone in their original mission statement if I recall correctly. Rather, they made a phone to have a development platform to work on, and then once it became clear their distro was destined for failure and Qtopia was able to be flashed on the development phone pretty much everyone decided to screw the idea of a unified distro and go with what had already been done.

Re:open source ipad (2)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780066)

Because imitating a market leader is always doomed to fail (by the time you come out, they will have innovated again, and you will be behind). However, this reminds me of the Pandora Handheld, which is a handheld computer/video game console with an extraordinary set of hardware features that has an open, Linux-based OS and was crowdfunded via pre-orders. Unfortunately, they've failed to avoid getting jerked around by their suppliers, so they have yet to completely ship all of the units in their first batch. They shipped about 1k units last May, but the joystick nubs were unreliable, which caused them to spend 6 months waiting for that supplier to make nubs that can last long enough in stress tests. They're finally getting back into mass production now, and I think they'd get through the first batch in the next two months if nothing else goes wrong. Anyway, this is the sort of open hardware that I'd like to see further development of, it does everything, has almost every possible feature (e.g. a full size USB port) and could be considered pocket sized by some standards. Re: the first reply, I think OpenMoko failed because the hardware had next to no features. I would have bought one if it had an 800x480 screen and some buttons, for example.

Re:open source ipad (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780580)

Tell that to Apple, they are really in trouble if imitation is doomed to fail, after all, almost every major brand had a tablet computer well before Apple.

Re:open source ipad (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781326)

Were any of those tablets wildly popular? Was anyone falling all over themselves trying to imitate those tablets? Is the iPad a clone of any of those products?

It would greatly support your point if you could link us to any example of a tablet that resembles the iPad but was announced before the iPad was.

Incentives. (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779654)

Etch everyone's name on it who contributes, and you just might do it. It helps that you wouldn't have to actually pay unless the entire sum was raised. I'd kick in a hundy.

On the Monolith or the Moon?!? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779766)

Wasn't that an episode of "The Tick" when Chairface etched his name on the moon?

Re:On the Monolith or the Moon?!? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780520)

He only got as far as CHA

Blogger's Failed Logic: (0)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779656)

So I only need to find 5 million geeks-like-me worldwide who think this is a cool enough idea to donate 100 bucks

Good luck with that.

Re:Blogger's Failed Logic: (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780082)

Says the man with a 7 digit UID, we're over 20% there on /. alone!

Re:Blogger's Failed Logic: (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780230)

How many /. users do you think have extra money to spend on this?

If you aren't an underpaid IT worker than you are a student in debt. We don't have any extra money to spend, we're already starving as it is.

Unless you are a Linux Guru, who gets to demand any price he wants for his services and sleeps on piles of money.

Re:Blogger's Failed Logic: (1)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780502)

If you aren't an underpaid IT worker than you are a student in debt.

I'm an underpaid IT worker AND a student in debt you insensitive clod!

Re:Blogger's Failed Logic: (3, Interesting)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780560)

Let me make a few comments here...

1. I'm neither under paid as an IT worker.
2. A student (in our out of debt)

I do have extra money to spend, but I wouldn't waste it on this.

I don't consider myself a guru, just a mediocre linux/windows sysadmin, and a passable LAMP programmer.

Oh, and I don't know if it helps or hurts that my UID is only 4 digits. For reference for all you 7digit peeps, I'm 34, and I'm guessing I got this UID somewhere around '98 or 99.

Here's some news from that era
http://slashdot.org/search.pl?threshold=0&op=stories&sort=1&start=105690 [slashdot.org]

i dunno, seems like a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34779668)

Better than spending trillions on proxy wars. Probably would stimulate the economy better than the bailouts did. Would probably be more successful than NASA will be in the next 20 years.

Why not crowd-fund anti-aging research? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34779740)

Get cracking, apes, the universe will last billions of years but you won't! Act now!!!!!!!!!

Re:Why not crowd-fund anti-aging research? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779970)

Get cracking, apes, the universe will last billions of years but you won't! Act now!!!!!!!!!

Indeed. If we could extend lifespans to thousands of years, then waiting a few decades until you can launch a monolith to the moon with a rocket you built in your garage would hardly be a problem.

Better Use? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779776)

Although personally, I think a half a billion dollars could be put to better use

You can play that game forever though. Did you east breakfast this morning? That food could have been put to better use, as could the water from your shower, or the resources it took to make the shoes you put on your feet.

In fact I can think of no better use for a tiny drop in the total sum of money floating around the planet, than a mass exercise in artistic expression. It's kind of the ultimate way of saying, here we are.

Re:Better Use? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779924)

With some people, even the oxygen they use when breathing could be to better use...

Re:Better Use? (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780422)

I'm just throwing this out there, but what about sending a monolith of plexiglass with Glenn Beck embedded in it? I would even pay extra for some Hubble shots of that.

Re:Better Use? (1)

eam (192101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780468)

>It's kind of the ultimate way of saying, here we are.

Or "here we were", if it turns out we really did need the money somewhere else.

Re:Better Use? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781098)

So, a win-win then?

Re:Better Use? (0)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780500)

You can play that game forever though.

You're playing word games. The point isn't that this is not the optimal use of the money, the point is that this is a spectacularly stupid waste of the money. Don't forever try to find the perfect use for it, but if you're going to raise half a billion, let's do something that's not spectacularly stupid.

Re:Better Use? (1)

Andrew Cady (115471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780822)

In fact I can think of no better use for a tiny drop in the total sum of money floating around the planet, than a mass exercise in artistic expression. It's kind of the ultimate way of saying, here we are.

This is the question isn't it?

Certain activities are excess, certain are essential. You can't play the game forever: the food people eat is essential to their survival. Art is not, and as excess, it exists only in a situation of abundance of the essential.

The only reason excess can be derided, rightfully, is that the abundance of the essential, and thus art, exists amidst (and indeed is made possible by) the deprivation of the essential from a vast majority of humans. Art and excess are the privilege of the few amidst the many who live in a world of scarcity.

I do realize that one can make the argument that if we wait for justice before beauty, we will just end up with a world that is without both. It is unfortunately rare to see this position coupled with the candor to admit injustice.

Myself, I do not think we should refrain from all fun until the chimera of social justice is conjured -- and I am certain that even the poor and starving, that even those in concentration camps and prisons, find energy to devote to humor and celebration. However, given the state of the world, the message of such a piece of art as this is, to me, a message of the harshest disregard for human suffering and equality.

Re:Better Use? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780996)

You can play that game forever though. Did you east breakfast this morning?

I'm sympathetic to the suggestion that we could fund this and not be terrible people, but you're being absurd. There's a huge difference between... er... easting breakfast and spending a billion putting a pointless thing on the moon.

In fact I can think of no better use for a tiny drop in the total sum of money floating around the planet, than a mass exercise in artistic expression. It's kind of the ultimate way of saying, here we are.

I can. For one thing, an -actual- artistic expression rather than just an expensive tribute to a book/movie.

For another thing, the moon has been done decades ago. True, we planted a flag, and it was more a show of nationalism, but a monolith to say "we are here" is still redundant, and a billion to make a redundant expression is in my book too much. I might give some money to put it on Mars, but not the moon.

I'd be more inclined to fund another "bottle in the cosmic ocean" as Carl Sagan put it, similar to the Voyagers even though it would be the third. After all, there are a lot of directions to send probes, right?

Awesome (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779798)

I liked the artist's rendition of the black monolith front view. That made me laugh out loud at work. It would appear that the paper's name, Ironic Sans is quite appropriate.

I especially like (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779820)

I especially like the artist's rendition of what the Monolith would look like! :-)

Dear lord!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34779856)

I would much rather feed the hungry than fund this extravagance.

Re:Dear lord!! (3, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779934)

Yeah, but you only have to buy this monolith once. The hungry will just be hungry again tomorrow... Unless you stop feeding them, then it eventually solves itself.

Re:Dear lord!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780178)

Think of it as Evolution in action

Spend half a billion on helping people on Earth (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779948)

Surely somebody can get geeks excited in something more useful than putting a non functioning block of stone on the moon.

There's plenty of non-functioning human created hardware sitting on the moon already. Put your hundred dollars to better use, help people here, help planet Earth, whatever good cause you believe in. Some of them even give you credit, if your goal is getting your ego stroked / your name for immortality etc.

Plenty of IT related good causes down here.

Or at least match your moon-donation with an earth-donation.

Re:Spend half a billion on helping people on Earth (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780964)

What if the cause i believe in is spreading awareness in Arthur C.Clarke and the space odyssey series.

Re:Spend half a billion on helping people on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34781350)

This project *would* help people on earth. Very little of the money gets "shot into space". It's people on earth who would design and build it.

Better use? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34779952)

Why, is there a bank left that needs a bailout? Do you get a bank bailout for just half a billion anyway?

Re:Better use? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780146)

Indeed. We need to make sure No Banker Left Behind succeeds before we waste money on such frippery.

Re:Better use? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780438)

"No banker left behind" sure is a good name for a program involving a moonshot.

Mind if we add a few lawyers?

Re:Better use? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780602)

You have my permission to add as many lawyers to a one-way moonshot as you please, however, given the numbers involved, you might want to consider sending the lawyers to "explore" the Mariana Trench instead.

Re:Better use? (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780812)

Toss in most politicians and I'll have paypal at the ready.

Can't we just send Congress to the Moon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34779956)

They'd do less harm there and the skeletons of over 500 humans would make a bigger impression on future races or any aliens that found them. I think it'd be easier to raise money for that proposal as well.

Re:Can't we just send Congress to the Moon? (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780484)

I don't think they would wind up as skeletons. Unless they were skeletons to start with.

Re:Can't we just send Congress to the Moon? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780754)

Nope, most likely a quite frozen carcass until it gets hit by a micro meteorite or something.

Whats the point (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780012)

I mean why? Chairface Chippendale is just going to obliterate it with his laser, so why bother?

"$500M could be put to better use" (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780024)

Then get out there, raise it, and put it to that "better use".

Re:"$500M could be put to better use" (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781256)

no no no no no.

You misunderstand. He wants to control what you want to do with YOUR money, not what he wants to do with HIS money.

How about just getting back there first? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780094)

Really... I think putting something that is essentially just an art exhibit onto the moon before we have any sort of real plan to get anybody back there, particularly since it doesn't even offer to create any sort of impetus for getting us back onto the moon anyways, may be one of the most spectacular ways to waste money that doesn't actually involve throwing perfectly good cash into a fireplace.

Re:How about just getting back there first? (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780374)

And how exactly is this anything close to the same thing as "throwing cash into a fireplace"

the reason money exists, is to purchase time/work from somebody. $500M would potentially allow hundreds of people to earn a living for a time, stimulate an economy that globally is stagnating, and would produce results that people would for hundreds of years be able to say "we accomplished that" or "we helped fund that".

the reason the world's in an economic slum, is because people like you think that spending money makes it go away.

when you spend a few dollars on some milk at the store, you're not "throwing that money away". you're trading it for a product. the store then uses a portion of that money to pay the employee for being there to collect the dollar, and spends another portion of it replenishing it's stock. another portion goes to lining the pockets of someone who already collects an unfair portion of that purchase, but they will in turn then take that money and may employ you to pave their driveway, or god-forbid: contribute towards an artistic project involving putting a rock onto a rock that's really far away.

that money in turn will go back into circulation. it's "saving money" that ends up hurting the current system, not spending it.

TPB might want in on that. (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780122)

somebody should get the author in touch with the current "staff" behind ThePirateBay.

I'm sure they'd love to contribute something to the project if the monolith could be used in a distributed link technology. even something dumb like just a solar powered signal repeater would be awesome.

It was a joke (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780128)

Well played joke. He wanted to land the monolith by parachute, and give a small sticker as the only reward for donating 100 bucks... Think about these things,


Well trolled sir, well trolled.

Re:It was a joke (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780288)

I like his idea [ironicsans.com] for building a Godzilla shaped building in Tokyo even better.

This project already exists! (3, Interesting)

Xerotope (777662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780144)

Some people loosely connected to the Lunar X Prize want to place a Christian cross on the moon.

http://crossonthemoon.com/ [crossonthemoon.com]

Religious Zeal-sourcing?

Re:This project already exists! (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780838)

I am Catholic, and I just can't support this if it is real. Only a true religious zealot would want to put a cross on the moon. Why not a symbol from every religion?

What About a Smiley Face? (1)

jermo (1898720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780152)

Donate 500M to my cause and I'll send a solar powered excavator to dig holes and trenches to construct an earth visible smiley face instead of those stupid craters- dude moonolith? you gotta think bigger.

Re:What About a Smiley Face? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780360)

Draw a weiner and you have my $5.

Better idea (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780220)

Start a charity that provides one free space flight for children with rare and fatal diseases. Everyone wins. The kids get an obscenely expensive, cool experience and commercial space travel gets an unprecedented shot in the arm with private funds.

Re:Better idea (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780434)

is it terrible that all that makes me imagine is kids trying to become sick, so they can get a ride in space?

Re:Better idea (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780810)

Test them for alleged illness. If they maintain the illusion all the way through, just punt them out the airlock.

Problem solved.

Some Design Issues (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780226)

Off the top of my head, some of the design issues that I can think of for doing something like this are (in no particular order):

Deployment: Having a large, long, skinny rectangle (probably hollow to save mass) bolted to a launch vehicle is a bad idea. Rockets shake the ever living shit out of their payloads and that monolith is going to be one big wiggling moment arm unless the basic internal frame is super rigid. That said, it seems like making the monolith some form of deployable, maybe a telescoping rectangle, might be the best bet.

Landing: Landing on the moon is going to require some form of controlled descent, unless you just want to recreate the LCROSS mission. That said, a whole lander system (small rocket powered) is probably going to be needed to land, place the monolith, and let it otherwise deploy. Putting rockets on the monolith itself would probably be a bit difficult as tanks and thermal control issues tend to distort the nice, necessary rectangle geometry of the object. Also, stabilizing a tall object like that with rockets on the base is similar to an inverted pendulum control problem. It can be done, but it is tricky and requires a powerful control system, which requires power, which might necessitate something like solar panels. In other words, the basic geometrical nature of this particular payload would be very constraining if you wanted to turn the monolith itself into a vehicle.

Thermal control: If the monolith has any sort of electronics or equipment inside of it, they are going to cook. The vehicle will likely see sun on it's way to the moon. If the monolith itself is exposed to view, then you will have a nice, large area, black surface absorbing solar radiation. That sucker is going to get hot. Basically this would be similar to pointing a typical spacecraft's radiator straight at the sun, which is a big no-no in spacecraft design, unless you like melting things.

Cosmetics: This isn't really a mission killer, but if you truly want a big black monolith on the moon, it probably won't be particularly black by the time it gets their. Between atomic oxygen in the upper atmosphere and direct exposure to solar radiation, whatever surface coating you put on the ol' girl is going to get beat up. So it will more than likely end up a, "mostly black but very scuffed," color. Not a big deal, but something to consider.

Of course, all of these problems are solvable. Maybe the whole monolith could be stored in a box. It could erect itself by deploying some lightweight rods in a rectangular geometry and pulling a black skin between them, unless of course the outer material has to be one solid piece. Covering or storing the monolith during transit in such a fashion would help regulate the thermal issues. The most expensive part of the project, like all space projects, will be buying a launch vehicle. Lander development would also be expensive, but perhaps the project could purchase existing hardware from someone like Armadillo or White Space, once their platforms get tested.

Either way, fun project, but it will definitely be expensive and not simple by any means.

Diagram incorrectly caption (1)

shogun (657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780258)

The article needs a minor correction, the diagram is labelled as showing the front of a monolith but it is clearly a rear view.

Advertising space (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780270)

Sell the back of the monolite per square inch as advertising space or for private investors to put their name on. Maybe in a million years it will be rediscovered by some descendant of the mouse who then have achieved human like intelligence.

Another one? (4, Funny)

falken0905 (624713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780276)

Why does the moon need two?

Premature Optimization (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780332)

Let's see if we can land a golf ball on the moon for $1 million and perfect our technique before we go wasting half-billion dollar boosters that might explode on launch.

Re:Premature Optimization (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780766)

Let's see if we can land a golf ball on the moon for $1 million and perfect our technique before we go wasting half-billion dollar boosters that might explode on launch.

The half-billion dollar booster is part of that "technique".

Fund research in Prosthetic Bodies... (2)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780376)

That way we can get immortality and live long enough to visit the monolith they place there.

not a waste (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780462)

If we just describe Apollo 11 as "sent Neil Armstrong to the moon for an afternoon giggle," that would of course sound like a waste of all of those resources. Instead, America collectively spent those resources by choice.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

If a bunch of geeks want to pony up $100 to "put a monolith on the moon," sure, you can also look at that as a waste, but as an opportunity to maintain that trajectory of wonder, of daring, and of progress. Or we can sit back and watch the dreamers in other countries do the same... with possibly far less noble and gregarious intentions. A hundred bucks of discretionary spending for those who dare to dream doesn't seem out of line for me. I've got plenty of other geek toys and half-done projects around the house that cost me more than that.

We (and I mean America and mankind as a whole) earned a lot of new technologies and had a lot of new dreams due to those efforts of the 60s and 70s, and the fields of science and engineering were forever advanced by the project. We reap them now, and we now stand on the shoulders of giants, choosing new challenges that will continue to propel mankind figuratively, if not literally.

Ask the facebook kid (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780476)

Tell him it will be the cornerstone for his new house, he'll be all over it. He certainly has $500M to spare...

Kickstarter's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780556)

Just confirms a theory I've held for some time about Kickstarter:

"The more retarded the Kickstarter project the more money it will ask for, and receive."

After I move into my condo on the Moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780764)

...then I'd put $10 into that.

Kickstarter's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780790)

This just confirms a long held theory of mine:

"The more retarded the Kickstarter project, the more money it will ask for, and receive."

For nine billion Euro (1)

Javajunk (1957446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34780828)

"For nine billion Euro we could have written 'Fuck off Germany' on the moon." -Frankie Boyle

Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34780840)

In Soviet Russia monolith creates you.

How to be bad-ass, and have fun doing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34781056)

A Friend of mine made a suggestions very similar to this about a decade ago -

He noted that the production and marketing cost of a major hollywood movie is about the same as to launch a high tech satellite (I never verified his numbers, just took it on faith... yeah.)

The idea was to use movie-style financing to send a slew of home-grown autonomous robots to the moon, their only purpose: to explore the moon, fight off the other robots in low gravity (natural slo-mo), and send video of it all back to Earth.
The resulting video footage wold be edited and distributed just like a motion picture, but, in theory, the novelty of it all would be self-advertising through word of mouth (this was well before the term "viral marketing" had been coined.)

Ten years later....

A half billion dollars is less than $2 per person in the USA, or about $60 for every iPad sold by Apple (so far). Certainly do-able as a crowd-funded operation. We should definitely do something like this. Here's why- In the 1960's, the Apollo program's main objective was to show the Soviets just how bad-ass the US really is. This could be a way for the citizenry of the world to say the same thing to our governments...
 

what this really means (as a skeptic) (1, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781068)

As a skeptic, what this really means to me is: this guy is looking for a way to fund his retirement.

Half a billion? That's 500 million. Sure, it might cost that much to perform the actual operation, but consider: management and administration costs. Surely there will be a significant portion of that set aside, particularly for the fund management. Say, as a non-profit, it's a 'relatively modest' $175k/year for such a position (if he's fitting in with current gov't standards, at least), and surely that sum would be allocated to him to manage it.

Let's say the project lasts 5 years; he just netted 2/3 or so of a million in income. At that point, the project has gone bankrupt due to lack of interest.

Forget the monolith; send a Reliant Robin instead (1)

yt8znu35 (1202731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781118)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJdrlWR-yFM [youtube.com] They need to do this again but get it into space and onto a lunar trajectory. A controlled landing would not be necessary.

About as likely to succeed as cyber begging (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781126)

[NT]

Forget the moon... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781182)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm9_gpGF3Xw

Put it on one of Jupiter or Saturn's moons at least if you want to hope for any chance of survival beyond Earth's life.

500M will fund the Iraq war for one week... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34781382)

..if you want something to compare it to.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?