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NASA Considers Plans for Permanent Moon Base

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the ground-control-to-major-tom dept.

Space 353

el crowbar sent us a link to an MSNBC article detailing NASA's plans for a moon base. The permanently staffed structure could begin construction sometime in 2010, with six-month duty rotations the norm by 2025. Interestingly, the space agency is looking far afield for technical expertise. Consultants on the project include individuals from Caterpillar, Norcat, Boeing, and other manufacturing concerns. Right now the only detail for placement and purpose is 'on the rim of a crater near one of the poles', but the article outlines a few other ideas that enterprising individuals have in mind for a moon base. Besides helium-3 mining and lunar hotels, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup?

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Already there (1, Funny)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871390)

But I coulda swore I heard some crackpot on the radio saying the US already HAD a base on the moon. Man, slashdot is slow...

Re:Already there (1)

DreadCthulhu (772304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871398)

But this other crackpot said the US never went to the moon in the first place!

Re:Already there (3, Funny)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871738)

That's what they want you to think...

Re:Already there (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871402)

And I'm assuming plans for a giant "laser" have already been considered.

Re:Already there (4, Funny)

rifter (147452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871418)

And I'm assuming plans for a giant "laser" have already been considered.

Ridiculous. How are the sharks supposed to swim up to the moon just so we can get big frickin lasers up there? On the backs of the mutated sea bass?

Re:Already there (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871676)

That's no Moon. Oh wait, it actually is.

But why do they have the planetary destroying laser pointed at the Earth?

Re:Already there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871452)

Jesus H. Christ. Jesus. We're on the fucking moon!

Re:Already there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871478)

UFO , the Gerry Anderson series is evidence enough that we don't need another moon base. Commander Stryker will stop this, from underneath the English movie studio cleverly disguised as a Earth command.

Twofo sucks cocks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871550)

Twofo [twofo.co.uk] Is Dying

DC++ [dcpp.net] hub.twofo.co.uk:4144

It is official; Netcraft confirms: Twofo is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured University of Warwick [warwick.ac.uk] filesharing community when ITS confirmed that Twofo total share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all file sharing. Coming hot on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Twofo has lost more share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Twofo is collapsing in complete disarry, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Student comprehensive leeching test.

You don't need to be one of the Hub Operators to predict Twofo's future. The hand writing is on the toilet wall: Twofo faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Twofo because Twofo is dying. Things are looking very bad for Twofo. As many of us are already aware, Twofo continues to lose users. Fines and disconnections flow like a river of feces [tubgirl.com] .

N00b Campus users are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of their total share. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Twofo sharers fool_on_the_hill and Twinklefeet only serves to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Twofo is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Sources indicate that there are at most 150 users in the hub. How many filelists have been downloaded? Let's see. 719. But 1621 IP addresses have been logged, and 1727 nicks have been sighted connecting to one user over the last term. How many searches are there? 600 searches in 3 hours. The highest sharer on campus, known as "firstchoice", or Andrew.Maddison@warwick.ac.uk in real life, was sharing over 1 TiB, despite working in ITS and not being on the resnet. He's only there so people off campus who think they're too good for bittorrent can continue to abuse the University's internet connection.

Due to troubles at the University of Warwick, lack of internet bandwidth, enforcements of Acceptable Usage Policies, abysmal sharing, retarded leechers, clueless n00bs, and ITS fining and disconnecting users, Twofo has no future. All major student surveys show that Twofo has steadily declined in file share. Twofo is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Twofo is to survive at all it will be among p2p hardcore fuckwits, desperate to grab stuff for free off the internet. Nothing short of a miracle could save Twofo from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Twofo is dead.

Fact: Twofo is dying

Sports! (5, Funny)

Form-o-Stuff (706090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871412)

Naturally, a basketball court for all us white folk...

Definitly.. (4, Funny)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871438)

A lunapark and casino with hookers and blackjack... Ah, forget about the blackjack.

Re:Definitly.. (2, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871602)

If NASA nixes the hookers, how about a restaurant that serves Aldebaran liqueurs and Ameglian Major cow?

Maybe someone can come up with a catchy name for it.

That's our way (4, Funny)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871450)

Let's see...

Moon Base (for the sci-fi fans)
Resort Hotel (most likely modeled in the Las Vegas "style")
Commercial trips to the moon (perfect for advertising agencies to plaster their wares on)
Strip Mining (for the republicans)

Yeah, you can tell the American touch has been put on these plans (Note, I am American). Any chance we can put some government offices, maybe a DMV or something?

Disclaimer: This is written as sarcastic dry comedy, not hateful/spiteful/snotty

Re:That's our way (3, Funny)

Form-o-Stuff (706090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871464)

Perhaps a shop that sells miniature versions of the Moon Base?

Re:That's our way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871506)

Disclaimer: This is written as sarcastic dry comedy...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't comedy supposed to be funny and stuff?

Guantanamo Crater (2, Funny)

funkmotor (535405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871604)

More likely a lunar detainment and "rendition" centre far from snooping eyes and pesky UN rules and human rights lawyers.

Re:Guantanamo Crater (2, Funny)

darklordyoda (899383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871780)

Agreed. In this post 1-31 world, some sacrifices must be made if we are to answer the Mooninites in kind.

Re:Guantanamo Crater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872424)

Already novelised - Heinlein's "The Moon is a harsh Mistress"

It turns out that it's a mistake to give those you oppress access to mass drivers pointed at the Earth.

Re:That's our way (-1, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871970)

Well, if you REALLY want to make it American, you need to hand out free guns and bibles to all disembarking passengers.

Re:That's our way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872376)

Militarise it. For us observers in the bit of the world outside the east and west coasts of the USA, that's what we see the US as being very good at. The yanks aren't happy unless something shoots or goes bang or invokes religious deities. Besides, the Moon is owned by America, it's true because there was an educational film in a Simpsons episode that said it.

pr0n! (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871456)

Gotta have some good porn on the moon and imagine the possibilities of making new porn there too!

I could see lots of novelty things that would bring a premium on the moon, from radio and television shows (imagine Coast to Coast live from the moon?) plus the market for moon dust and rocks back here on earth. Something similar already done, but worth doing again, is "first day covers": envelopes postmarked from the moon.

Re:pr0n! (3, Funny)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871482)

Yeah, spacesuit on spacesuit action, that's hot. How do we get the grits in there?

Re:pr0n! (2, Funny)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871494)

Actually, the idea is to do it *in* the moon base, not on the roof of the base.

Only worth-while question: (1, Funny)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871468)

Does it come with a giant "Laser beam?"

Re:Only worth-while question: (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871654)

No, but it might come with a mass driver.

Make it mobile (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871480)

From TFA:

The general idea is to set up shop on the rim of a crater near one of the moon's poles. Such areas would be in sunlight, with a line-of-sight link to Earth all year round.

I think we should start by getting a few moon facts straight before we progress to a permenant settlement:

  1. The moon does not rotate with respect to its orbital period around the Earth.
  2. The only places where the Earth rises and sets to even a small degree are close to the equator, and we seem to have decided not to build it there.

So if it was going to lose line of sight occasionally it would be on every lunar orbit, not every year. The lunar axis of rotation is so close to the orbital plane around the Earth that a polar station will never see the Earth move significantly in its sky.

If anybody is interested my preference would be for a heavy, pressurised rover. Capable of autonomous driving and control from the ground. Each new crew lands close to the path of the rover and drives it for a week or so. They then meet up with another lander and use its ascent stage to return to Earth. Some ascent stages are landed under remote control so that the first crew can use one to return.

The problem with a fixed base is that the local area will get boring pretty quickly, so a pressurised rover will be needed in any event. If the rover only drives at 10km/h the whole habitat may just as well be on the rover. It can drive fast enough to always be in sunlight, so you don't have to worry about energy storage at night.

Ascent stages are flown down under automatic control, or left beh

Re:Make it mobile (5, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871838)

The only places where the Earth rises and sets to even a small degree are close to the equator


That's not entirely true. The earth rises and sets in places all around the moon's circumference as seen from the earth, not only at the equator. The effect that makes the moon's face as seen from the earth move a little bit is called "libration". There is libration both in longitude and in latitude. For some points near the poles of the moon, libration in latitude can make the earth invisible at times. Formulas for calculating librations can be found in chapter 53 of this book [willbell.com] .

uhhhhhh...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871486)

A moonbase? Starting four years from now?

Give me a break.

NASA Retaliating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871502)

So... are they going to sprinkle around a bunch of LED pictures of Earthlings to incite panic on the moon?

Obviously (5, Funny)

TheSexican (796334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871528)

They need an amusement park. We're whalers on the Moon, we carry a harpoon...

Needs fusion (4, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871534)

Besides helium-3 mining and lunar hotels, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup?
There's no point mining helium-3 until we get energy-positive fusion working. It's not like He-3 is some missing exotic component.

But seriously, folks... (4, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871540)

It's a pain manufacturing a vacuum; the moon has a lot of it laying around, making it a great place to make things that require one.
How about.... a solar forge, melting down local ore, bubbling a gas through it (lower gravity means more spherical bubbles, better strength) to make foam alloy structural elements, then putting it on your solar powered catapult to shoot into orbit for either a) recovery for earth use via semi-controlled re-entry or b) orbital construction.
Low gravity ceramic compounds would be interesting also.

um... a joke has to be thrown in...
great place for a remake of Sapce:1999?

If you want a joke: (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871600)

The moon is a harsh mistress. If we go up there we might not be able to come here back down :p.

Re:But seriously, folks... (1)

OlafMarzocchi (845602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871764)

That's why they want to build one... space turism is only needed for the founding.

Make it underground (5, Interesting)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871548)

Probably not very feasible, but why not have a base built underground, where the temperature could be stabilized year-round?

Re:Make it underground (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871576)

I think initially this would be due to a lack of bulldozers. "Bermed" construction has been proposed since a long way back as it solves several problems, not the least of which are insulation and protection from micrometeorites.

Who is going to direct it? Spielberg or Lucas? (4, Funny)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871554)

Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Who is going to direct it? Spielberg or Lucas? (1)

JoeKuboj (918191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871810)

Peter Hyams [imdb.com] of course

Well at least we can dream (4, Interesting)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871562)

Normally something like building a base on the moon would seem like a cool idea. But in today's world of politics and jockeying for money, this will never see the light of day. Projects over 4 years are guaranteed to get the boot at some point down the road for either political reasons or just flat out budget issues.

Re:Well at least we can dream (5, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871616)

Yeah, but think of the billions of dollars the administration can funnel to its buddies in industry before the project gets killed. And since the project isn't going to work anyway, the companies getting the money aren't going to be held accountable for what they did with the money and they can spend it on whatever they like. It's brilliant.

Re:Well at least we can dream (4, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871774)

Go to budgetgraph.com. There you will learn that the NASA budget is 16 billion. The iraq war is costing us 10 BILLION EVERY MONTH. The iran war is going to cost even more.

Think of the possibilities (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871572)

I was thinking maybe they could redesign the moon into a Death Star, in case Iran, or some other country with bad guys who speak a foreign language, becomes a real pain in the behind. It'd be so easy to just press the big red Nukem button.

Or maybe build something along the lines of the moon base in the old British sci-fi flick Space 1999, only they'd better hurry up and go back in time, since 1999 is now in a time warp seven years away in the past... Oh wait a minute. I must've forgotten to take my time travel sickness pills.

Re:Think of the possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871824)

Yup - all you need is a solar-powered rail gun.

Then you can bombard all the non-American countries on Earth with lumps of rock. We can flatten Russia, China, France, .... for little or no cost.

The Lunar Asylum (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871578)

I say we use the moon as a place to exile enemies of humanity like George Bush and Dick Cheney. Throw Osama bin Laden in there too, make them share a bunk-bed.

Re:The Lunar Asylum (2, Funny)

newnerdyuser (191770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871652)

Guantanamo crater perhaps?

Re:The Lunar Asylum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871684)

We should also use an environmentally friendly electromagnetic launcher.

Re:The Lunar Asylum (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872254)

Nooo!

The Moon is a terribly useful place - low-gravity, no atmosphere and just arounf the corner.

Throw them on the Sun. They will get a nice tan.

Priorities? (1, Interesting)

Form-o-Stuff (706090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871584)

I was just watching The House Oversight Committee being told by a NASA scientist that global warming had to be addressed. So what does our government do? Throw a ton of money at blasting a four ton tourist trap into space. Have we learned our lesson? I think not. Perhaps once we lose Manhattan the 9-11 fever will redirect its frustration. Perhaps.

Re:Priorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871918)

*Beep*

Troll Alert!

Space 1999... um... 26 years late (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871586)

Hey, somebody call Babs Bain and Martin Landau! We've got an endless supply of Eagles, crap scripts and disaffected space-hippies out there for you to go find. Just make sure you can remember the only two facial expressions you ever had to pull: "shocked" and "confused".

Re:Space 1999... um... 26 years late (1)

some guy I know (229718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872046)

make sure you can remember the only two facial expressions you ever had to pull: "shocked" and "confused".
You could tell the difference?
The robot on "Lost in Space" had more facial expressions than Barbara Bain.

Re:Space 1999... um... 26 years late (2, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872366)

You could tell the difference?

The differences are, indeed, subtle, but after the fourth repeat on ITV4 you can start to discern them.

I've recently arrived at the conclusion that the occupants of Moonbase Alpha were, in fact, the useless crap from Earth that nobody wanted to deal with. They were "tricked" into taking postings on the moon where someone deliberately set them up the bomb. Let's recall who we're dealing with here:

  • Commander John Koenig, a fucking awful leader who, when he's not making poor decisions and failing to learn from last week's episode, spends most of his time in his office staring into empty space and checking his chin for whether he needs a shave. Consistently out of his depth, and bloody well knows it too. Never speaks above a whisper.
  • Doctor Helena Russell, the stupidest MD in sci-fi history, who'd probably pass out at the sight of an open wound. Suffers from "Nurse Chapel Syndrome", a disease that renders any camera fixed on her unable to focus properly. Never speaks above a whisper. Except when screaming.
  • Professor Victor Bergman, another chin-stroker who never learns. Called in to analyse some bizarre situation, first implies he hasn't a bleeding clue, later pulls a new-age explanation out of his arse, calmly states that they all might die and they never fucking do, and then goes down the pub. A true English gentleman. Never speaks above a whisper. Except when... no, never.

The only good things about Space 1999 are the sets and special effects (I don't care what anyone says, Supermarionation was bitching) and the theme music (only ever out-funked by that of U.F.O., another Gerry Anderson great).

Re:Space 1999... um... 26 years late (1)

Ed_1024 (744566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872300)

Yes but NASA is going to have to build a nuclear dump next to the base now...

corporate welfare (1, Interesting)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871592)

Consultants on the project include individuals from Caterpillar, Norcat, Boeing, and other manufacturing concerns.

In different words, the US government is taking away most of the money flowing to scientifically valuable projects and instead handing it out to big corporations with no experience. This is kind of like the administration's picks for "experts" and service companies in Iraq.

Wars and space exploration, together with outsourcing and privatization, are a great pretext for corporate welfare and pork.

I'd prefer to see the space program killed altogether and NASA disbanded instead of having taxpayer money wasted on moon colonies and manned trips to Mars.

Re:corporate welfare (2, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871688)

Wot, no Halliburton?

Re:corporate welfare (2, Funny)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871704)

Don't worry, they'll come in later and build the schools and hospitals for the native moon people.

Re:corporate welfare (4, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871750)

"n different words, the US government is taking away most of the money flowing to scientifically valuable projects and instead handing it out to big corporations with no experience."

No experience in what? Building moon bases? Who has that kind of experience? Building equipment to build moonbases? I think Boeing and Caterpillar might be good bets as Boeing is a space contractor and Caterpillar is manufacturer of construction equipment.

Tell us, who would you recommend to build a moon base? Or are you suggesting we don't build a moonbase? In which case, what do you suggest we do instead?

Haven't they learned anything? (1, Informative)

soccerisgod (585710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871614)

Don't they know that a base on the moon is just going to be overrun by Cybermen? Duh!

Why is taxpayer money gonna be wasted ? (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871618)

just tell me the answer to this ...

A second now - (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871628)

they are not able to acceptably and feasibly maintain an orbital space station around earth. Are they gonna go set up a base in a more distant and hostile environment ?

Re:A second now - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872096)

the good thing about a base is, it can potentionaly become self sustaining. An orbital station can not.

Re:A second now - (2, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872380)

As incredible as it may sound, an orbital station is a lot worse an environment than the Moon.

Low gravity instead of no gravity: all sorts of things get more complicated in zero-G. Cooling is a nice example - you have to force circulation of fluids because convection does not exist. Fluids in pipes (plumbing in general) are also much better behaved in any gravity than in zero-G. You could have a decent shower in a moonbase, although I would not recommend a swimming pool due to the risk of drowning - it's harder to swim in low-G and the waves are higher.

No need to boost the orbit every now and then: The station has a low orbit that keeps decaying and needs to be boosted from time to time. A moonbase would have no such need.

Possibility of tapping local raw materials: There must be something we can use to build things there. Once we get started, it may even become self-sustaining

The moon as a heat-sink: One of the problems of the space station is how to dissipate heat. On the Moon you can use thermal conduction to get rid of the excess. A space-borne nuclear reactor is a bitch to build, but a land-based one (here or there) is not.

Just a little bit of atmosphere: IIRC, the Moon has a very tenuous atmosphere that blocks most micrometeorites - that's why the ISS orbit is so low (that and because the shuttle can't go higher) - but not enough to annoy deep space observations. Imagine a Hubble that, when something breaks, can be fixed by someone who lives next to it.

True: Moon-dust (extremely abrasive, sticky, toxic - what else could you wish?) is something we must learn to work with. Also, landing on the Moon requires a lot of energy, but once we have enough local manufacturing and energy-generation capacity, we can launch stuff back to LEO (or straight to the surface) very easily.

And, something to be remembered, such a launch capability could easily be weaponized. Imagine a 100-ton lump of metal falling on your "axis-of-evil" city at Mach 20.

If that doesn't make Bush and Co. sign the check, nothing else will.

Why? (2, Insightful)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871642)

So far the best rationale I have seen is for vacuum manufacturing. Fine, that's a good application for this thing, but does it work economically? How much do you pay a guy to operate the vacuum thingy here on Earth? Now, no matter how much better the vacuum on the moon, how much are you willing to pay (including things like transportation and lodging) for him to do it on the moon?

Just existing up there requires a Ph. D. in Not Fucking Up the Hab.

And for what? He-3? Try again.

global warming (0, Troll)

deadlock911 (629647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871678)

regular reentries cause a significant amount of heat, way to speed up global warming some more guys...

Settlers (4, Insightful)

mrnick (108356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871692)

Forget 6 month rotations. Ask for volunteers to make the moon their permanent home. They would need larger sturdy buildings but the goal should be to build enough infrastructure so that mining and refineries can eventually build additional infrastructure completely from resources on the moon itself. In the long run I imagine that this would be much more economical than trying to maintain an aging space station. I would def be looking to sign up to be a lunar pioneer. Sure it would be hard but nothing worthwhile comes easy. The 3 main resources that would be in short supply would be oxygen, water, and food. But with water and seed food could be grown.. maybe even enough plant life to produce a renewable supply of oxygen and food. Leaving only water, I guess that's why NASA is so bent on looking for that stuff!

Electricity could be provided from solar power, since you would have areas that always receive direct sunlight. At first a large scale Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator could provide more than enough power.

I may be a pessimist but it's my belief that the key to long term human survival (as a species) requires that we find a way to get off this rock and not just for 6 months but indefinitely. The moon seems like a very good start. Once we learn how to survive there the prospect of permanent colonization of an actual planet, like Mars, would be cake.

Nick Powers
Computer Science Masters student Texas A&M U

Re:Settlers (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871782)

Ah yes, settlers. How can we sell this?

Live on the moon in 1/6th gravity. Never come to Earth again. Ridiculously expensive to have family and friends visit. Possible long term health consequences, possible heath effect for children, if children are even a possiblity.

Yeah. Everyone I know would like to settle there.

Re:Settlers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871904)

Not everyone -- but you wouldn't NEED everyone. You'd need 10~15 crazy but dedicated people.... there's six billion people on Earth, so by large numbers, you should be able to find them.

(funny, the capcha is "fillable" )

Re:Settlers (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871964)

What about, come to the moon for some years and increase your height :)

Re:Settlers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872280)

Well some always wants to do this kind of thing. How about America, how did that get colonized?
Oh, on second thoughts, we might need to reinstate slavery...

Re:Settlers (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871860)

Yep. The sooner we have redundant, self-sufficient populations of humans in places other than earth, the better.

Certainly would be resources better spent than the $364 billion and counting being plowed into the experiment in Iraq.

Re:The Jewish Settlers (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871974)

Careful! Once you have finished building your base some Jewish fundamentalists come along and claim that God gave them this peace of Land personally. If you resist they will call you terrorists and get the US military to blow up your base.

Re:Settlers (3, Insightful)

nicklott (533496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872020)

I think you underestimate just how boring the Moon is... ask someone who's wintered in Antarctica.

They do that because a) it's cool b) it's well paid (by scientific standards). a) only lasts about 6 months, b) relies on having somewhere to go to spend the money.

Moonbase brings back memories! (1)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871702)

Lunar hotels? He3 mining? Did someone say Moonbase? http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/moonbase [mobygames.com] That was one of my favorite games ever...seventeen years ago.

Just waiting for it... (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871712)

So does anybody know when Google is going to start calling the people who applied to come in for interviews?

On the moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871742)

I can see it now. My moon garden in the future with Natalie Portman naked and petrified, covered in abrasive grits.

Mooninites (2, Funny)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871758)

Watch out for Ignignokt, he might flip you the bird real hard then explode... or maybe just light up like a toy. *shrug*

Re:Mooninites (1)

pseudosero (1037784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872422)

This is true. Boston couldn't handle a mooninite. Can Nasa handle all of them? (who knows how many more there are)

Other uses - make it a colony, not a base! (3, Insightful)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871766)

"Besides helium-3 mining and lunar hotels, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup"

Up, make it self-sustainable, self-expanding and self-developing through utilising the resources available on the moon, aiming to import as little as possible from the mother nest. I say we should aim for a colony, not a base.

Re:Other uses - make it a colony, not a base! (1)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872146)

And they should speak a bizarre mish-mash of Russian, Chinese and English.

Indians are going... (2, Informative)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871784)

Well the Indians are planning on making a moon trip... maybe everyone'll work together on the moon base.

Re:Indians are going... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872274)

Could you please repeat that? I'm having trouble hearing you over the crackly VoIP connection.

Possibly ... (4, Interesting)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871800)

Besides helium-3 mining and lunar hotels, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup?

This is possibly the most small-minded query ever seen on a /. submission summary:

[assume best Jeff Spicoli persona] Like, Mr. Hand, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup? [giggles nervously]

Opinions on the submission summary aside, the big question for me is: To what extent will Americans (I'm not) expect this venture to be self-funding? A research component (pursuit of pure knowledge stuff) in NASA's budget will, I expect, only get you part-way.

If helium-3 is present to the extent indicated by the lunar soil samples brought back by Apollo 11 and subsequent missions, then the economics of a lunar mining operations might even work - if we can find something to do with a big swack of helium-3, other than filling kid's birthday balloons. Maybe there's someone out there who is an authority on this: to what extent does using helium-3 as fuel for fusion reduce the by-product/radioactive waste produced by nuclear reactors? Is helium-3 at reasonable cost a Big Win for the nuclear industry?

The time is certainly ripe for getting serious about getting out of the fossil-fuel business (not from an economic perspective, where Exxon's $40 Billion USD profit last year looks Pretty Good, but from a How Long Can This Go On? perspective).

I'm reading this the day after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued their report, which says things don't look good, to say the least:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/2007-02-02 -climatechange_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA [usatoday.com]

So the economic appeal may be there.

Six month rotations are mentioned. I'm not an out-doors guy, but I'll tell you that the prospect of spending 175+ straight days in-doors isn't too appealing to me. Maybe this is why Huxley envisaged Happy Drugs; this would be the ultimate test of our ability to medicate ourselves to contentment in the face of adversity in our environment. I'm wondering what the rotation cycles are for remote assignments on Earth, e.g. Antarctic and Arctic exploration stations? While functionally the Antarctic Winter and the Lunar environment have the same effect - no going outside except in serious gear, or you die - I think that there is a psychological oppression that goes along with being on the moon. Comments?

I think that six month rotations would take quite a while to build up to.

Re:Possibly ... (2, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872220)

Doesn't the ISS also have six months rotations ?

Samarium mining (3, Informative)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871828)

Besides helium-3 mining and lunar hotels, do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup?
It has been suggested that the moon could be used to mine for elements that are rare here on Earth but common on the moon, such as samarium. Samarium is used in (among other things) extremely powerful magnets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samarium-Cobalt_magne t [wikipedia.org] , which in turn can be used for maglev trains. Of course it's not certain that such an operation would be economically feasible, but the are people who are seriously looking into it - and if nothing else, from what I've understood it could at least be a decent side-business if we do go to the moon.

Ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871836)

do you have any good ideas for a moon base startup?
Yes: New country for FreeNation [freenationfoundation.org]

how about (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17871862)

starting a country with freedom as its basis on the moon

i would say that could be done here on earth but it hasn't been, and there is no unclaimed land left to move to.

waspleg

Re:how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871936)

Free as in beer? Now let's call it Lunix. The constitution shall be named the GPL ;)

Datacenter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17871910)

Build A datacenter to host piratebay services, away from Mpaa, Riaa and their friends.

Heinlein & Prisons (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872034)

Heinlein had Luna City set up as a penal colony, originally. However, given the massive growth in the number of laws we have and the fact that almost everyone breaks the law doing something... (talked on a cell phone in a car? Let the batteries run out in your smoke detector? Bumped into someone on the subway? Ooops--assault!) well, it might just be easier to send the innocent people to the moon. Also, can we send up a bovine creature capable of jumping?

How about... (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872040)

Don't piss off the neighbors [tinyurl.com] . Their space guns are better than ours ;)

Lets not get religion on the moon. (1, Troll)

Tandoori Haggis (662404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872152)

IMHO organised religion should be prohibited on the moon. However, as we know all too well, various "world leaders" and terrorists, think that they hear their god talking to them and seem to enjoy misinterpreting their religious guide books. (Books and scripts which were written thousands of years ago, often in the same part of the world, funnily enough, translated, ammended, adapted and forked). No doubt they will insist on taking their gods to the moon.

I've got nothing against people having faith or belief in something but I do have a problem with people trying to force those beliefs on to others. If organised religions start to become polular on the moon, will we see a repeat of the past few thousands of years on Earth?

Re:Lets not get religion on the moon. (0, Offtopic)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872260)

Mod the parent up!

TMA (1)

iLogiK (878892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872168)

Start searching thew Tycho crater for a magnetic anomaly...

Space Tourism (1)

Pas-2 (906277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872374)

Actually space tourism is an excellent way to start "terraforming" even the moon. Of course it cannot hold an oxygen atmosphere so full terraforming is impossible. Tourist will happily pay to visit moon so that any enterprise is profitable to begin with. Tourist always leave something behind: urine and excrement that can be used to fertilize land in small greenhouses.

Also it's a good idea to transfer raw materials to moon as containers of food, water, liquor or whatever. These containers then can be melted/molded into raw materials to build things... and keep in mind that tourist are required to pay for this cargo.

gnaa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872430)

but where is the gnaa did they die omg what happenz pls2 halp i am in need of gay semen please
-dikky heartiez

More governmant propaganda! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17872470)

They allready have a base on the moon, this means in a few years time it will be magicly completed. And be built on 60's tech!

Tides? (1)

pseudosero (1037784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17872480)

The thing I always wonder when it comes to a moon colony is Will we do something that fucks with the moon's rotation/the earth's tides = ?

Is anyone concerned about this? I suppose in the beginning we won't have much impact. Just like industrialization and global warming. (Joke; They gazed upon their coal darkened skies and took a deep breath of elation, seeing smog filled skies as a sign of their(our) progress.)
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