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55 comments

why? (1)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about 2 years ago | (#41519773)

Forget the probes, lets land up there and start exploring!

Re:why? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#41520097)

Giant steps are what you take...

Walking on the moon.

I hope my leg don't break...

Walking on the moon.
                                                                  --Police "Walking on the Moon"

In the news today "Sting breaks leg on lunar Ice, sues Virgin Galactic Tours"

frost post! (-1, Offtopic)

OGmofo (189475) | about 2 years ago | (#41519775)

posty frost

Re:frost post! (0)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about 2 years ago | (#41519783)

Not quite ;)

Re:frost post! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41519927)

If you had run the simulation first you might have succeeded in predicting the location of frosty piss.

Re:frost post! (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#41521077)

Have you ever had frosty piss? I would imagine it is as unpleasant as a brain freeze, except I care about my junk more.

Re:frost post! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41521085)

Have you ever had frosty piss?

I had British beer once that somebody served to me cold... by accident.

Re:frost post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41528375)

Have you ever had frosty piss?

I had British beer once that somebody served to me cold... by accident.

Egads, old chap! "Cold" beer, you say? Oh, the horror! :-0

This is exciting (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#41519777)

Ice means raw materials for fuel and oxygen to breathe. This is exciting news. We need to get up there. The smaller gravity well will make it an ideal place to stage missions to other parts of the Solar System.

Re:This is exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520417)

The lower gravity makes it shitty as a permanent settlement -- Human bones need Earth-like gravity. In space we can spin the colony to help provide artificial gravity.

Re:This is exciting (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41520703)

The lower gravity makes it shitty as a permanent settlement -- Human bones need Earth-like gravity. In space we can spin the colony to help provide artificial gravity.

Permanent settlement does not imply permanent residence. People could be rotated up and down in half year shifts.
People have stayed in space twice that long in zero G, (Record in Mir for 437 days) so probably 1/6th G allows much longer periods.
Especially when you can strap on weighted suits and go about your business on the moon.

What I'd be interested on knowing:
How fast would we have to spin something to approximate 1G, and how big would it have to be? (Several times the height of a human is my guess, in order to prevent having stratified gravity.)

Is 1G even optimum or necessary to retain bone mass and a strong heart?

Re:This is exciting (3, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#41521093)

Why not permanent residence? People would adapt, evolution would take hold. We would end up with little people on the moon. So long as they don't want to come back, I think it is a novel idea. If they do, we should have Mech harnesses for them to use by that time

Re:This is exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41522153)

We wont because for evolution to kick in you need more than natural pressure you need also selection

Making it a lawless prison, otoh..

Re:This is exciting (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41524489)

Why not permanent residence? People would adapt, evolution would take hold.

Evolution isn't an automatic "hand of god" type of thing. It involves random mutations and many generations, and is heavily dependant on death. You don't automatically "evolve" to be able to live in Antarctica, we have to supply our own environment to live there. Likewise, it would likely be tens of thousands of years at least before anyone can live in low gravity and be healthy -- if ever.

Re:This is exciting (4, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 years ago | (#41522359)

What I'd be interested on knowing:
How fast would we have to spin something to approximate 1G, and how big would it have to be? (Several times the height of a human is my guess, in order to prevent having stratified gravity.)

Is 1G even optimum or necessary to retain bone mass and a strong heart?

Smaller diameters of "space station" require a higher angular velocity, but in principle there is no specific size restriction if you simply want to achieve a 1g accelleration at floor level. However, using a small diameter has a couple of problems:
1. The accelleration gradient is more extreme (equivalent to gravitational tidal forces). e.g. for a capsule twice the height of a human, your feet would be at 1g, but your head (being in the centre) would be in 0g. Use a bigger diameter and a slower angular velocity and you will reduce the gradient.
2. The coriolis effects associated with high angular velocities make it extremely unpleasant to move around in a fast spinning (hence small diameter) capsule. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] you need to spin at under 7 RPM, preferably around 2 RPM, to make this manageable. At 2 RPM you need a diameter of about half a kilometer to achieve 1g. 7 RPM is a bit more managable, requiring a diameter of 40 metres. Rather than building a cylindrical capsule, a better option might be to have a pair of capsules tethered together with a 500 metre tether.

Ice "may" be there (3, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41519839)

but they don't know for sure.

Radar instruments on orbiting spacecraft allow some study of the ice, but close-up observations are needed to confirm any findings, says Speyerer.

Why don't they put a satellite in a really close orbit around the moon and take a look with color cameras? By close I mean like 1km altitude (as opposed to earth satellites which need several hundred km altitude due to the atmosphere).

Ice is white, lunar surface is dark, should be easy to know for sure.

Re:Ice "may" be there (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41520047)

Because the ice can only be in places which are absolutely dark. Any direct or reflected sunlight and the ice will sublimate. Most likely it is hidden under the surface or in narrow gaps between rocks.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520467)

The fact that there is ice is not a reason to go. We have plenty of ice right here. If we have another, logical reason to go to the moon, the ice will make it easier for us. In and of itself, it's not an attraction.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41524409)

"We have plenty of ice right here."

But its melting fast due to global warming, which is due to increased Co2 levels, caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
It has been suggested that the polar regions of the moon may have Helium 3 - which would make it easier to achieve a working fusion plant.
So the reason to go to the moon is not because there is ice there, although that would make setting up a base possible, and also provide the fuel for sending stuff (like He3 ) back from the moon.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41520853)

Because the ice can only be in places which are absolutely dark. Any direct or reflected sunlight and the ice will sublimate. Most likely it is hidden under the surface or in narrow gaps between rocks.

Well if NASA can find entire buried settlements from space using Shuttle radar [nasaimages.org] , which could only penetrate 2 meters, imagine what a more powerful radar could find.

I rather suspect that 2 feet below the surface there could be a lot of ice in a lot of places.

Its the ultimate non-renewable resource. Used once, if not captured and stored carefully its gone into space forever.
Stillsuits anyone?

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41521565)

Though the apollo crews found no water at all in any form. It could be that the environment on the moon causes this: lots of radiation and vacuum. Maybe they just didn't drill into any ice.

Re:Ice "may" be there (2)

vaccum pony (721932) | about 2 years ago | (#41520055)

Forget satellites, why don't we land a bunch of cheap remote controlled rovers and explore the goddamn Moon already?!?

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#41520111)

Google Lunar X Prize. Teams have qualified and are working on it. SpaceX has pledged a cut rate launch. A giant radio telescope has pledged free air time (I forget which one. Might have been the Alan Array).

People are working on it. And not spending tax dollars to do it, either.

Re:Ice "may" be there (2)

vaccum pony (721932) | about 2 years ago | (#41520279)

"People are working on it. And not spending tax dollars to do it, either." Too bad. I'd much rather my money was being spent on this than on killing people so rich people could get richer.

Re:Ice "may" be there (3, Insightful)

Kickasso (210195) | about 2 years ago | (#41520071)

1 km altitude? Sure, that will work. Just need to tell the engineers that whoever crashes the satellite into a mountain, pays for it out of his own pocket.

Ice is white... when not covered by dust.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520149)

You probably can't get a satellite in an orbit as close as 1km because while there isn't an atmosphere, there is topography exceeding that value. Uneven distribution of mass in the crust of the Moon also means that orbiting at that kind of altitude even if the Moon were perfectly spheroidal would also be very tricky.

I have a better idea. It's time to pick the best candidate and *land* a rover there with the right sort of instruments to do some digging and measurements of volatile content. It's about fricking time for some ground truthing.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 2 years ago | (#41520317)

The lower the orbit you put a spacecraft in around the moon, the more fuel you will need in order to continually correct for the moon's various mass concentrations (the moon is very lumpy). An orbiter just a few miles above the surface will need a LOT of fuel to keep it from crashing in to the moon's surface. A 1km orbit would be completely impracticable.

This NASA article [nasa.gov] explains the issue quite well.

Re:Ice "may" be there (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41520521)

The ice is very unlikely to be just sitting on the surface. The moon is basically covered in unimaginably fine dust that gets onto everything. The ice would be old, and almost certainly covered in dust. Plus it's dark. Finally, why would you need a colour camera to tell the difference between "white" and "dark"?

Re:Ice "may" be there (2)

Convector (897502) | about 2 years ago | (#41521137)

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) [asu.edu] is effectively color. The Wide Angle Camera (WAC) [asu.edu] on LROC has seven visible-band and two UV filters.

Color is all done with filters. The CCD just detects light. You select for color by placing a filter in front of it to only let a chosen wavelength band through, depending on what you want to look for. You can make a color composite (what is commonly called a "color picture") by taking the same image in three different wavelength bands.

While it is amazing, LROC isn't really the right instrument for this observation. If the ice is covered by dust, it will be hard to see in visible light. The LAMP (Lyman-alpha), LEND (neutron), and Mini-RF (the RADAR used in this study) [wikipedia.org] are better for detecting buried water ice.

Re:Ice "may" be there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41523253)

the problem here is that it may be covered in "dust", hiding the "ice" from view. Much better to establish a colony around one spot, where you can have access to the ice's and determine if it is cometary ices, or just a layer of ice, making you think it is more. There may be a robot to do this already in development, but you hear of this sort of "discovery" every few yeears, to see if we have the gumption to "go fetch", which the social political party says, lets learn and the other god fearing party says lets bow to our preacher and give them all our money.

Re:Ice "may" be there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41526469)

Unless in the unlikely case that new ice is being added, dust will completely cover the ice, so it will not be visible to multi-spectral cameras (color is just for press releases). Here's a paper [brown.edu] I was involved with explaining how radar can be used to find ice under dust and debris. That said, craters are horrible places for radar. Too much surface clutter at exactly the time you're looking for subsurface echos. I don't know how many talks I've seen where people claim to see ice in craters and it's only echos from the sides.

I assume you got modded funny, because your post comes off as an arm chair rocket scientist.

China going there. (1, Troll)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about 2 years ago | (#41519965)

Well, having a moon base would be great. Especially if there is a lot of water ice. Should be easy to maintain a manned base there. But guess what we (USA) aren't going back there for a while. And China is making plans to get there well before we get back to the moon. So if/when the U.S. decides to go back to the moon maybe China will let us land.

Re:China going there. (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about 2 years ago | (#41520387)

China has signed and ratified the U.N. Outer Space treaty, meaning they don't have any influence on whether U.S. vehicles can land (and they as a state can't have jurisdiction on the moon). Of course they could easily ignore the treaty, but I imagine that for China it would be easier to just not sign than to break a U.N. treaty.

Re:China going there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520619)

Or China could tighten their money either because they are running their own mission or that they don't want competition. The U.S. might find it hard to borrow money to fund a mission to the moon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2006/06/china_goes_to_the_moon_for_helium_3_by_2024.html

175 Kelvin hot enough to boil? (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41519989)

The craters are only half the temperature of their better-lit surroundings, but they still reach an average of 175 kelvin — hot enough to boil water in the moon's thin atmosphere

175 kelvin is deeply in the negatives. Maybe sublimation is possible, but not boiling. Did they typo on the boiling or in the temperature? I should be able to educate guess this, but I'm not in the mood.

Re:175 Kelvin hot enough to boil? (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about 2 years ago | (#41520491)

Using Wikipedian [wikipedia.org] data, 175K seems to be well within the solid phase, so I'd say they're probably going for C. Still, water should not be able to be liquid phase in the Lunar “atmosphere”, so it seems both your guesses are on the money. I would think though, that “boiling” may be used here as a simplification for people unfamiliar with sublimation.

Re:175 Kelvin hot enough to boil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520539)

The pressure on the surface of the moon is well below the 1 Pa at the bottom of that chart. Other charts show that the solid-gas boundary continues with some slope, until at least 150 K. So they probably meant sublimate, but didn't want to bother explaining that at the same time as other things.

Re:175 Kelvin hot enough to boil? (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about 2 years ago | (#41520765)

I'm having trouble finding a chart that shows 0 (or very low) pressure, but using wolframalpha at 0Pa or at 1 trillionth of an atmosphere [wolframalpha.com] (source) [hawaii.edu] the phase is returned as solid at 175 degrees K.
The lack of botherance does seem to be the most likely cause of the other issue. Pity; a lot of people could have learned a new word today.

Re:175 Kelvin hot enough to boil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41523321)

No one but a human could mistake the difference in going to the "dark"side, remember they are not talking oceans of water, aka earthlike. What they are talking about is enough water for one or two people to use in a lifetime. One or two at the north and south. Not a lot a people and not a lot of breeding for that small area. Like if someone got stuck there. then they have enough skills and supplies to make a run to the poles and aurvive for a couple of years, till the whatever gives out.
Your "potable" water will still be from earth, with its big gravity well. But some one is saying, look, there is a future to look for, that may be free, but I'm not betting on the god party to let us stay free.

Maybe (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41519999)

One of the apollo crews (IIRC apollo 16) did an experiment where they took a sample from a shadowed area between two rocks, but it turned out to be completely dry. All the apollo missions were close to the equator though.

This is why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41520009)

THis is why none of you girls^H^H^H^H^H faggets ever get laid in this site.

captcha - methods - trolling my wife with mehods

This time the step to profit is known (2)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#41520271)

1. Construct moon base
2. Bottle moon water
3. Ship to Earth
4. Sell in fancy boutiques
5. Profit!!!

Given that specialty water from here on Earth frequently sells for absurd markups, "Pure Moon Water" would be like liquid gold. You could launch Fiji water back up for the Moonies to drink and have buckets of money left over.

Water? On the moon? (1)

lecithin (745575) | about 2 years ago | (#41520407)

Man, I'm feeling my age. When I went to school we were taught that it was made of cheese.

Re:Water? On the moon? (1)

lecithin (745575) | about 2 years ago | (#41520453)

Hate to reply to my own - but can't miss this opportunity....

"The moon does not look like earth at all.
There are no trees!
No Lakes, no water at all!
There is just deep, grey dust.
Dust, dust, dust."

"You Will Go To The Moon" -Mae and Ira Freeman, 1959

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Will_Go_to_the_Moon_(book) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Water? On the moon? (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41520515)

Man, I'm feeling my age. When I went to school we were taught that it was made of cheese.

What??? That movie by Wallace and Grommit wasn't a DOCUMENTARY [youtube.com] ?

The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (1)

spazmonkey (920425) | about 2 years ago | (#41521243)

Mars is actually easier to explore/colonize. The moon is not only beyond our current technology to colonize, it is even beyond any theoretical technologies we can imagine. If anyone wants to argue that point, first come up with a suit and/or seal material that can survive more than 30 hours in the lunar environment. Then we will cover the actual difficult stuff. Mars we can do right now. The moon is gone guys, let it go.

Re:The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (1)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#41521655)

???

I think even on the moon you could get a maintenance guy to come around on a schedule to replace parts that wear out.

Re:The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (2)

spazmonkey (920425) | about 2 years ago | (#41521841)

Wearing a suit that fails daily? Good luck with that. We simply don't have the materials for a suit to keep people alive there for very long, nor the ability to give them a place to live out of that suit that won't kill them in short order. Forget the usual logistical and technical difficulties, the destructive/lethal nature of contact with the lunar soil itself is a problem we can't even solve at this point.

Re:The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41522149)

That's what the clones are for.

Re:The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (1)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#41526977)

So what exactly is special about Mars that it doesn't have even more problems? About the only thing its extremely thin atmosphere does is make the dust airborne which is even worse for getting into things. You'd have to wear a almost a space suit to do anything outside and any structure's access ports would have the same problem with wear on their seals except with added airborne dust.
At least if you're on the Moon emergency supplies can be hustled up a lot faster than to Mars.
Nevermind this bickering though, I suggest colonizing both.

Re:The moon is a bust. Mars is the next step. (1)

spazmonkey (920425) | about 2 years ago | (#41528227)

Its actually the wind that makes Mars dust safe. Whats so special about it is that its weathered. Just like Earth. With no weathering, the Moons dust looks a lot like Silica or Asbestos; It is sharp, jagged, and extremely destructive. It destroys the fibers of suits and eats seals; the Apollo stuff almost fell apart afterward, it wouldn't have lasted a couple more days. Add to that it slices up and eats lungs too. Good luck developing a habitat in an environment where any dust is extremely lethal to the occupants. There is just no way to effect living quarters with no cross-contamination. It would be difficult to live in a sterile cleanroom setting here on earth. That Martian wind also distributes temperatures, you don't have the violent differentials of a vacuum. Mars actually has a lot of subtle benefits the more you look at them, the moon less.

moon (1)

lorainscott (2743459) | about 2 years ago | (#41522505)

It only proves us that there are still a lot of things to discover.

What kind of Ice (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41524657)

That is a very good news for us and a very bad news for the moon people, becasue someone is going to drill for water very soon. Fun aside. That ice could be anything. Liquid gas that was frozen, CO2 or bizarre gas leftovers from comets. There could be even some bacteria that managed to survive the impact of comets. It might be more valuable than just water.

Solar?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41525037)

10M mast for solar panels? Seriously, why bother when you can use a Thermoelectric generator? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

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