Moondust probe


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Profile Chris S
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Message 1412504 - Posted: 7 Sep 2013, 7:07:01 UTC

The unmanned LADEE probe lifted off from the Wallops rocket facility on the US east coast on schedule at 23:27 local time (03:27 GMT on Saturday). Its $280m (£180m) mission is to investigate the very tenuous atmosphere that surrounds the lunar body. It will also try to get some insights on the strange behaviour of moondust, which appears on occasions to levitate high above the surface.

Nasa moon probe

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Message 1415197 - Posted: 13 Sep 2013, 18:00:02 UTC

All of the recent moon probes were supposed to be in support of a manned return. Unfortunately it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

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Message 1415506 - Posted: 14 Sep 2013, 7:01:41 UTC

It's too bad that a manned return to the moon has been all but cancelled. The moon is about the only place outside of LEO that humans have a decent chance of surviving on a long term basis. That is assuming that shelter can be made or found to protect the inhabitants from radiation. I fail to understand why even scientists have that "been there, done that" attitude about the moon. I think if we don't master living on the moon long term then we are doomed to fail on more difficult missions to Mars or an asteroid.
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Message 1415941 - Posted: 15 Sep 2013, 13:23:57 UTC - in response to Message 1415506.

I think its more a matter of finding a suitable site to land and build a base. Remember its beyond boiling hot during the moon day and -300 or so in its night and its nights last about 14 days.

Which leads to problem 2. Power. you'll need to generate a lot of electricity to maintain a base and the easiest way is solar power. the only problem is the long nights. So you need batteries to store the power.

So you need very heavy sheilding to protect the occupants very heavy solar panels and very heavy batteries. IF the 3 could be combined and made lighter you'd probably be on the moon already
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Message 1416578 - Posted: 16 Sep 2013, 21:05:59 UTC - in response to Message 1415941.

... So you need very heavy sheilding to protect the occupants very heavy solar panels and very heavy batteries. IF the 3 could be combined and made lighter you'd probably be on the moon already

But, but, but... If you make the shielding lighter then it wouldn't be the "very heavy shielding"!

Hence various ideas that have been floated of going underground, or using lunar regolith, or even of extracting water ice and cocooning the lunarnauts in that.



Meanwhile, there is the very destructively harsh environment of the violent temperature extremes, unabated solar wind to erode everything, and electrostatically charged sharp volcanic dust to foul everything and destroy air seals...


We should be amazed at how the Apollo program worked as well as it did!

Keep searchin',
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Message 1416602 - Posted: 16 Sep 2013, 22:17:02 UTC

But, like I pointed out. If we can't make it on the moon then it is extremely unlikely that that man could survive for any length of time elsewhere in the solar system. And, unlike other destinations, if things aren't working out for moon explorers earth is only three days away.
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Message 1416765 - Posted: 17 Sep 2013, 8:29:44 UTC

It just makes constructing Moonbase 1 first that much more sensible to gain experience of living on another world. Either as an International effort like the ISS or as a single nation venture. I just don't understand why NASA is fixated on the asteroids.

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Message 1416796 - Posted: 17 Sep 2013, 11:02:31 UTC - in response to Message 1416602.

But, like I pointed out. If we can't make it on the moon then it is extremely unlikely that that man could survive for any length of time elsewhere in the solar system. And, unlike other destinations, if things aren't working out for moon explorers earth is only three days away.



You're right about the moon's distance but I do think Mars has a less hostile environment than the moon in terms of temperatures or its 'weather' in general...
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Message 1416817 - Posted: 17 Sep 2013, 12:01:03 UTC - in response to Message 1416796.

But, like I pointed out. If we can't make it on the moon then it is extremely unlikely that that man could survive for any length of time elsewhere in the solar system. And, unlike other destinations, if things aren't working out for moon explorers earth is only three days away.



You're right about the moon's distance but I do think Mars has a less hostile environment than the moon in terms of temperatures or its 'weather' in general...

Don't be fooled by the movies that were made. Even though Mars has a thin atmosphere it has no magnetic field and no shielding from radiation. A torn space suit or hole in the shelter is just as dangerous on Mars as it is on the moon. Mars also has terrific dust storms that are not present on the moon. I think most experts would agree that the environment on the moon is no more dangerous than that on Mars. Also, near it's poles the moon has a good supply of water to exploit along with other critical elements.
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Message 1416997 - Posted: 18 Sep 2013, 1:33:13 UTC

There are natural caves on the Moon, for possible habitation. Whether or not they're near some form of water, would remain to be determined.

A factory on the Moon, for manufacturing much of the material for Mars
space ships, would be ideal. The escape velocities from the Moon would
be, certainly, less than on the Earth -- a big savings in vehicle design.

As for funding, let the Chinese provide it, plus cheap manufacturing would
be nothing new, to them. Still, its magnitude would require a multi-national
approach.

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Message 1417116 - Posted: 18 Sep 2013, 7:45:32 UTC
Last modified: 18 Sep 2013, 8:03:54 UTC

And then we have the icy sattelites in our Solar System who seem to have all the building blocks for life...
Found a quite interesting article on Saturn's moon Enceladus:
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/04/saturns-enceladus-emerging-as-the-most-habitable-spot-beyond-earth-in-solar-system.html

Whether Enceladus' environment is friendly for humans, appears to be different food for thought...
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