Author Topic: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?  (Read 7034 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline IanMacdonald

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 944
  • Country: gb
    • IWR Consultancy
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2019, 04:44:11 pm »
Putting on my Zen hat for a moment, I suppose ultimately there is no actual point in doing anything:-//

That said, living on Mars is a challenge, and some people like to take on challenges, so...
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2019, 06:21:22 pm »
I think people will go to Mars and build a base there eventually, just because they can.

But a Moon base is the next logical step, and it will be challenging enough. Mars is so much farther away and the environment on Mars is so much more hostile to humans (the soil is toxic just to name one problem). Mars is 400 - 50 million km away from Earth, while the Moon is 0.4 million km away and the Moons gravity is lower. The communication delay between the Moon and Earth is only 1.3 seconds, while to Mars it is between 23 - 3 minutes.

More importantly a Moon base has lots of benefits to people down here on Earth, one being raw materials (mining) and another is cheaper satellites, and there are plenty of nice science that can be done on the moon (huge telescopes on the dark side for example). And it will also make it cheaper to set up a base on mars eventually. A mars base will send us a postcard every now and then asking for more money.
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2019, 08:20:08 pm »
Yes, with the caveat that it would likely ride out some but not all disasters. The math is probably similar to the math of other kinds of backup datacenters.

Its also quite possible that some star could go supernova and the blast might even wipe out all life on nearby stars if they contained life, a strong supernova likely would. There are an average of around three in the Milky Way galaxy every century but the distribution is random. Astronomers see them in other galaxies frequently. One near Earth might cause loss of our ozone layer exposing the planet to life threatening amounts of radiation and likely causing a mass extinction. This may have happened in the past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_supernova

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1006

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1054

What could be done? Without faster than light travel? It depends on how much warning there was, I suppose.

This is a good argument for being a good 'galactic citizen'.

Could planets and their civilizations help one another in these situations? Would they? This danger of supernovas seems like a good motivator to be good to one another. You never know when you could be of help to others or they might be of help to you. Or the opposite too. We likely would be viewed by others as worthy of leaving Earth or of receiving help to survive some major disaster only if we were seen as being a positive thing, and not a danger to our own people and lives, as well as others.

As technology might give birth to new intelligent life at some point, we need to understand that with intelligence and self awareness, also would come rights. Its only if we could adapt to that reality and be good 'parents' to that life, as well as the other life here on Earth already, that we would be able to make the next step safely.

These are likely issues that all intelligent races and planets confront, stages we all go through. I think of us right now as going through our early adolescence, a very dangerous time in Nature where stupid young animals often do stupid things, and pay a high price for them. Only smarter animals play. Play is a highly useful activity and likely the best way to learn but it can be dangerous - But they (we) also need play in order to learn enough to become adults.

If they can survive their often difficult adolescence they then make it to adulthood and have offspring of their own.

Sometimes even perhaps creating new life forms.

How about for 'locational diversity'.  It only takes one big rock hitting the earth to wipe out all of mankind.  If we are to survive, we need locational diversity.  In other words, don't be here when it happens.  Or at least have multiple locations.

¿Isn't it easier to build a "bunker" for that in the earth, than a colony in Mars?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 08:49:20 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2019, 09:43:32 pm »
A colony on the moon with a population of at least 100 persons would probably survive any extinction event that could happen on earth. The biggest natural threat are volcanoes I believe. Since most of a moon base would be underground to shield it from harmful radiation and asteroids they would have a natural protection from the radiation from a supernova as well. As long as the energy producing equipment survives they should be OK (assuming they have independent food supplies and life support).
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9300
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2019, 11:30:39 pm »
Wouldn't an underground base on the earth provide most of the same benefits, without requiring immense effort to transport needed supplies during non-disaster periods? What could possibly happen to the earth that would make it less inhabitable than a lifeless rock floating in the vacuum of space with no atmosphere at all?
 
The following users thanked this post: cdev

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2019, 12:18:19 am »
Absolutely (just don't loose your G.E.C.K.). But keeping such an underground base on earth staffed and maintained would be expensive and kind of pointless and it would be hard to know if it really works until it's too late to fix. Who would want to pay for that?

With a moon base you get the doomsday bunker as a bonus. The inhabitants would be normal people and the main purpose of the base would be as a mining facility, providing an abundance of minerals for earth, low gravity factories, satellite launch and research facilities. It would pay for itself. The initial investment would be substantial, but probably less than what people spend on lotteries each year, or the military, or government shutdowns and walls, etc.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9300
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2019, 05:10:22 am »
I'm highly skeptical of it paying for itself. Even if we knew that the moon had an abundance of every single element needed for manufacturing, it would still be an effort unlike mankind has ever seen to build a self contained base there. It has been discussed in the past how manufacturing on earth relies on a whole chain which has taken hundreds of years to develop. Absolutely everything would need to be shipped up there from earth, operating a mining base would be enormously expensive, I don't think you'd ever recoup even a small fraction of that. All of the Apollo missions combined wouldn't even come close to a drop in the bucket of the amount of stuff we'd need to haul to the moon.
 

Offline sainbablo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Country: pk
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2019, 06:06:42 am »
I really doubt if they will find life on any of the other planets in our solar system. I suppose there is always a chance but -

Depends on what you classify as life.

Life as we know it? Maybe (microbes, etc.)

However, would be recognize "life" in forms other than what our pre-conceived notions are (based on our current environment)? Maybe that rock sitting out in your front yard is really an alien here trying to make first contact.

Even if we did find "intelligent" life, would we ever be able to communicate with it? We haven't learned to communicate with any other species on our own planet, why do we think we would be able to communicate with an off-world species? Ultimately who knows if an alien species has the same 'senses' we do, and thus can 'interpret' the universe in the same way we do. Without some form of commonality to build upon, communication would be impossible. Heck, spoken languages in our own species is difficult to master, with tonal inflections and what not. What if an alien species used vocal intonations outside of our auditory range, or, outside of our vocal range.

"Arrival" addressed this in some respect.  There are so many aspects of communication we take for granted. At least human/human interactions have a commonality (sight, hearing, etc.) on which to build a vocabulary.

First contact will not bode well for the lessor-technologically-developed species. Ask the native americans how well it went from their interaction with western europeans, or the mexican/central americans from their interaction with the spanish.



Human choclear range for auditory signal interpretation averages between  64hz/s-4096hz/s.  Human larynx voice  out put is with that  range.
Ranges beyond 1200  and   up to 4096hz/s   are rarely employed  in normal  conversation. It is  mostly the  string  and percussion musical  instrument's  domain though  in rare  cases opera  singers are  known to reach the upper range.

The quoted writer(above)  refers  to  tonal inflections.  These   are recognized  and  understood in a  common shared  cultural milieu . As  we examine these implications deeper, lot  needs to be done before  useful interaction with  aliens  is  achieved (if  ever  we  meet  them).This means more  time,   more  money,  more  expertise. To me this seems  to be a very  daunting  task and   if same  labours are taken to ameliorate plight  of  terrestrially located human species   the  fruit of  such  a labour would be sweeter.


 
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2019, 01:35:19 pm »
If life had managed to survive on Mars as the atmosphere boiled off it likely would be underground and likely be very simple, one celled life. Not (multicelled) life like ourselves. If life exists on any of the outer planets its chemistry would be likely to be very different than our own. The same goes for Venus.

Other outer planets have moons that may harbor liquid water underneath their surfaces. That water might be able to sustain life if it contained dissolved oxygen, however I think that may be unlikely for a number of reasons. Life like us may take a long time and unusually hospitable conditions, as well as a great many number of steps along the way (evolution!) to develop. (However, finding large amounts of liquid water outside of earth where the cost of retrieving it once we were already there was not too high would be a boon for us, because we could utilize it to survive.)

Note: I am not a scientist, just an electronics hobbyist so maybe somebody can add something I can't. But to me the possibility for life on other planets in our solar system should be framed as either very simple or very different than us, chemistry wise because we need liquid water.

Australia must be an interesting place to live because it contains some of the oldest rocks on Earth, as I understand it. Some of them can give us a glimpse into the very earliest days of life on Earth, when the chemistry was quite different than it is today.

Thats as far as I feel comfortable explaining. Because I really know almost nothing about it. Maybe somebody here knows more.

Also, the chemistry and life around volcanic vents on the ocean floor and in the pools around geysers is interesting for similar reasons. 

All life needs energy but we get it in very different ways.

Lots of those ways we likely don't know about yet.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:43:54 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2019, 01:51:27 pm »
I think concerns about highly competitive procurements and low profit margins and job outsourcing and offshoring in tenders for government spending is driving the space and military spending craze. Because for various reasons THAT spending may be exempt.

What is it that you cant get on planet Earth but will get on Mars?
Is it for  sake of Science  or just  a  costly example of  basic human restlessness ?

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline sainbablo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Country: pk
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2019, 04:48:57 pm »
If life had managed to survive on Mars as the atmosphere boiled off it likely would be underground and likely be very simple, one celled life. Not (multicelled) life like ourselves. If life exists on any of the outer planets its chemistry would be likely to be very different than our own. The same goes for Venus.

Other outer planets have moons that may harbor liquid water underneath their surfaces. That water might be able to sustain life if it contained dissolved oxygen, however I think that may be unlikely for a number of reasons. Life like us may take a long time and unusually hospitable conditions, as well as a great many number of steps along the way (evolution!) to develop. (However, finding large amounts of liquid water outside of earth where the cost of retrieving it once we were already there was not too high would be a boon for us, because we could utilize it to survive.)

Note: I am not a scientist, just an electronics hobbyist so maybe somebody can add something I can't. But to me the possibility for life on other planets in our solar system should be framed as either very simple or very different than us, chemistry wise because we need liquid water.

Australia must be an interesting place to live because it contains some of the oldest rocks on Earth, as I understand it. Some of them can give us a glimpse into the very earliest days of life on Earth, when the chemistry was quite different than it is today.

Thats as far as I feel comfortable explaining. Because I really know almost nothing about it. Maybe somebody here knows more.

Also, the chemistry and life around volcanic vents on the ocean floor and in the pools around geysers is interesting for similar reasons. 

All life needs energy but we get it in very different ways.

Lots of those ways we likely don't know about yet.





If life had managed to survive on Mars as the atmosphere boiled off it likely would be underground and likely be very simple, one celled life. Not (multicelled) life like ourselves. If life exists on any of the outer planets its chemistry would be likely to be very different than our own. The same goes for Venus.

Other outer planets have moons that may harbor liquid water underneath their surfaces. That water might be able to sustain life if it contained dissolved oxygen, however I think that may be unlikely for a number of reasons. Life like us may take a long time and unusually hospitable conditions, as well as a great many number of steps along the way (evolution!) to develop. (However, finding large amounts of liquid water outside of earth where the cost of retrieving it once we were already there was not too high would be a boon for us, because we could utilize it to survive.)

Note: I am not a scientist, just an electronics hobbyist so maybe somebody can add something I can't. But to me the possibility for life on other planets in our solar system should be framed as either very simple or very different than us, chemistry wise because we need liquid water.

Australia must be an interesting place to live because it contains some of the oldest rocks on Earth, as I understand it. Some of them can give us a glimpse into the very earliest days of life on Earth, when the chemistry was quite different than it is today.

Thats as far as I feel comfortable explaining. Because I really know almost nothing about it. Maybe somebody here knows more.

Also, the chemistry and life around volcanic vents on the ocean floor and in the pools around geysers is interesting for similar reasons. 

All life needs energy but we get it in very different ways.

Lots of those ways we likely don't know about yet.



Attempts at creating life out  of  existing terrestrial ingredients have  been unsuccessful  despite many  efforts.
Creation of in-vitro  living  cell (kind of  uni-cellular organism)  has  deluded us .  Preservation  of sperms  and  ova and  artificial
insemination has  been  successful, but  apart from positive  terrestrial spin  off   stemming  out  of  such  research  its
space applications have are yet  to  be implemented and evaluated. But  the point is and ,as  we  all  know ,outer  space and  especially  those
sites favourable for  human settlement are likely to be  over crowded  with other nations competing for space.

Is  it a  case of  "just because we  have  the  technology we  must press on"  and what  happens when all  the such  elligible nations think
alike.?




 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2019, 06:15:39 pm »
I'm highly skeptical of it paying for itself. Even if we knew that the moon had an abundance of every single element needed for manufacturing, it would still be an effort unlike mankind has ever seen to build a self contained base there. It has been discussed in the past how manufacturing on earth relies on a whole chain which has taken hundreds of years to develop. Absolutely everything would need to be shipped up there from earth, operating a mining base would be enormously expensive, I don't think you'd ever recoup even a small fraction of that. All of the Apollo missions combined wouldn't even come close to a drop in the bucket of the amount of stuff we'd need to haul to the moon.
If you are thinking off the same discussion that I can remember, that was with regard to setting up a mars colony, which I agree seems too hard to be feasible in the foreseeable future.

Sending material from the earth to the moon is cheap in comparison to sending material to mars though, and there is potential to make it much cheaper in the future (that requires more infrastructure in orbit, which in turn would be cheaper to create once there was factories on the moon). Sending material back from the moon to earth is basically free.

A moon colony wouldn't be nearly as isolated from earth as a mars colony. Travelling back and forth takes a few days and there is only a few seconds communications delay. It would provide lots of benefits to earth which would mean there would be a mutual interest in keeping things going.

You wouldn't have to send everything up there from earth. It would probably begin with a research base, then you would begin to set up small factories that can produce bulk materials, like water, oxygen, aluminium, titanium and silicon. Bulk material for buildings can be constructed with the help of lunar soil for example. The low gravity environment helps when building large structures. Once you get the ball rolling, it will only be very specialised and difficult to make parts that needs to be shipped from Earth.

The raw materials you can mine on the moon (and eventually from nearby asteroids) would last for a very long time. The surface area of the moon is almost the same size as eurasia and it can all be mined.

The Apollo program took place between 1960–1972 and technology has improved enormously since then. Even so, it will no doubt be very expensive to get the ball rolling, but once the basic infrastructure is in place it will provide an almost infinite supply of the raw materials which we are quickly running out of here on earth.

Realistically, if we started today it might not break even in our lifetime, but I do think it would pay for itself eventually (if successful).
 

Offline mrpackethead

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2802
  • Country: nz
  • D Size Cell
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2019, 07:53:24 pm »
The Apollo program took place between 1960–1972 and technology has improved enormously since then. Even so, it will no doubt be very expensive to get the ball rolling, but once the basic infrastructure is in place it will provide an almost infinite supply of the raw materials which we are quickly running out of here on earth.

Um meh doh.    If the moon has almost infinite supply of materials, which is several times smaller than the earth, why are we running out here on the earth..       Think about that.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2019, 08:02:11 pm »
1. The surface of the moon is about the same size as eurasia, but unlike eurasia the moon isn't covered with sensitive biotopes and habitats.
2. A moon colony would provide the infrastructure needed to mine asteroids effectively.
 

Offline rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6404
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2019, 08:06:08 pm »
But  the point is and ,as  we  all  know ,outer  space and  especially  those
sites favourable for  human settlement are likely to be  over crowded  with other nations competing for space.

Is  it a  case of  "just because we  have  the  technology we  must press on"  and what  happens when all  the such  elligible nations think
alike.?

When the US was discovered, there was a mad rush to colonize the area.  It has been that way throughout history - even as we try to populate antarctica and to some extent, the arctic.  Not large populations, just enough to show possession.

In the case of space exploration, it doesn't matter who comes in second, only who gets there first and plants a flag.  Note that there is a US flag on the Moon!  We were there first and that's all that matters.  We own it, everybody else is trespassing.

 

Offline mrpackethead

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2802
  • Country: nz
  • D Size Cell
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2019, 08:26:54 pm »
1. The surface of the moon is about the same size as eurasia, but unlike eurasia the moon isn't covered with sensitive biotopes and habitats.
2. A moon colony would provide the infrastructure needed to mine asteroids effectively.

humanity wont' learn. I will just continue to take and take and take with no regard for the consequence.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2019, 08:34:39 pm »
humanity wont' learn. I will just continue to take and take and take with no regard for the consequence.
Maybe. But that doesn't really affect the merits of building a moon base or not.

Note that there is a US flag on the Moon!  We were there first and that's all that matters.  We own it, everybody else is trespassing.
You mean he same way that england owns north america?

Once the Chinese build their base on the moon, that flag becomes even more meaningless than it already was. Besides there are international treaties that says no country owns the moon (outer space treaty) that the US have signed (just like most other countries).
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2019, 08:35:41 pm »
Getting minerals back to Earth from the Moon would likely be much cheaper than bringing them back from Mars. But I would be surprised if there were any minerals there that were not on Earth to the degree that it would make more sense mining them on the Moon than here. Even if some resource was only found on Earth at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or a similarly difficult location, it still would be cheaper to extract than on the Moon or Mars.

So barring discovery of the truly mythical unobtainium that solves all problems colonization of the Moon or Mars really makes no sense from the extractive industries perspective.

----

Also, I think people living there, occupation, residency, whatever, and their engaging in commercial activity would be the main thing to establish a legal claim under customary international law.  But maybe not. The answer is probably easy to find out.

----
Were they mining 'unobtainium' on Pandora in Avatar?

I looked it up and my memory was (almost) correct!

In the movie "Avatar" the mining operation on the fictional planet Pandora was indeed extracting a fictional room temperature superconductor "unobtanium".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium#Science_fiction
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 08:42:37 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2019, 08:42:15 pm »
Getting minerals back to Earth from the Moon would likely be much cheaper than bringing them back from Mars. But I would be surprised if there were any minerals there that were not on Earth to the degree that it would make more sense mining them on the Moon than here. Even if some resource was only found on Earth at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or a similarly difficult location, it still would be cheaper to extract than on the Moon or Mars.
That is incorrect. If you could see a pot of gold on the moon in a telescope it would be profitable to go there and fetch it with current technology. And there are more valuable elements than gold. I also think you underestimate the difficulty of mining at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or e.g. Antarctica. Antarctica is covered in km deep ice for example, and there are sensitive ecosystems there that we might want to protect from large industrial mining operations (not that that is going to stop people from doing it eventually, if we are running out of alternatives).
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 09:07:16 pm by apis »
 

Offline SkyMaster

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 290
  • Country: ca
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #69 on: January 19, 2019, 02:34:40 am »
What are they going to do when they run out of toilet paper?

 :-//
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 878
  • Country: gb
  • Embedded stuff
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #70 on: January 19, 2019, 07:59:07 am »
That is incorrect. If you could see a pot of gold on the moon in a telescope it would be profitable to go there and fetch it with current technology.

I don't believe that is true, last time I did the numbers the costs would need to be 100x cheaper to break even. I guess since there are no existing vehicles which can do lunar sample return it's a paper exercise anyway.

Gold is currently $40,000 / kg. If you put together a mission for a rock bottom price of $500 million, you need to bring back 12.5 tonnes of gold to break even. That's way beyond capability of any existing vehicle. You could maybe return 250kg.

Whatever you get from the Moon, has to be incredibly valuable, and incredibly easy to refine. Of course, if you scale up the operation to reduce costs, you then have to dump large quantities of the stuff onto the market, and the price will crash.

Even with SpaceX BFR, you will need to setup a mining operation on the Moon and process thousands of tonnes of regolith to extract the good stuff. Lunar regolith is horrible stuff, it will destroy any machinery within a week or two.

There is nothing on Mars or the Moon that is worth bringing back - apart from scientific data and memories. Scientific research and tourism are going to be the only viable things to do.
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Offline sainbablo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Country: pk
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #71 on: January 19, 2019, 08:09:13 am »
Getting minerals back to Earth from the Moon would likely be much cheaper than bringing them back from Mars. But I would be surprised if there were any minerals there that were not on Earth to the degree that it would make more sense mining them on the Moon than here. Even if some resource was only found on Earth at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or a similarly difficult location, it still would be cheaper to extract than on the Moon or Mars.

So barring discovery of the truly mythical unobtainium that solves all problems colonization of the Moon or Mars really makes no sense from the extractive industries perspective.

----

Also, I think people living there, occupation, residency, whatever, and their engaging in commercial activity would be the main thing to establish a legal claim under customary international law.  But maybe not. The answer is probably easy to find out.

----
Were they mining 'unobtainium' on Pandora in Avatar?

I looked it up and my memory was (almost) correct!

In the movie "Avatar" the mining operation on the fictional planet Pandora was indeed extracting a fictional room temperature superconductor "unobtanium".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium#Science_fiction


If  it is proposed  to divide  moon into  various   areas and  stake claim over  it  for  mineral exploitations  who is  to  decide  who gets  what  in  order to  stem likely hood of economic  wars between terrestrial claimants?
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #72 on: January 19, 2019, 09:45:41 am »
Gold is currently $40,000 / kg. If you put together a mission for a rock bottom price of $500 million, you need to bring back 12.5 tonnes of gold to break even.
I think your rock bottom price is too high to begin with. If we say $100 M, and if we use the 2012 gold price which was about $50 K / kg it would be about 2 metric ton of gold (with your price of $500 M, 10 t). One metric ton gold is about 0.05 m3, so 2 t is less than a cube with .5 m sides. (10 t would be a bit more than 0.5 m3). I.e. a decently sized pot of gold (or a chest if you prefer the less optimistic cost estimate).

That's way beyond capability of any existing vehicle. You could maybe return 250kg.
2 metric ton on the moon is equivalent to about 333 kg on earth since the gravity is lower.

I guess since there are no existing vehicles which can do lunar sample return it's a paper exercise anyway.
Indeed, which is why the assertion that it can't be profitable is sort of silly and meaningless as well.

You would need a lot of gold to pay for a shipment to the moon. But the idea is that it would be very cheap to send things back to earth (gravity takes care of sample return). And with better infrastructure you could lower the price of shipping things up to the moon significantly.

As I wrote before, if we started today it might not break even in our lifetime, but I do think it would pay for itself eventually (if successful). It's not a good way to make a quick buck but it would be a worthwhile endeavour for humanity.

Lunar regolith is horrible stuff, it will destroy any machinery within a week or two.
I'm pretty sure that isn't true. What's in the regolith that would "destroy any machinery within a week or two"?

Scientific research and tourism are going to be the only viable things to do.
Those are two additional benefits. Others could be building and launching satellites from the moon, manufacturing that can only be done in low gravity, and so on. I'm sure there are many other benefits to having a moon colony that will be apparent once it exist (asteroid collision detection and avoidance maybe?).
 

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 9240
  • Country: au
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #73 on: January 19, 2019, 10:54:37 am »
2 metric ton on the moon is equivalent to about 333 kg on earth since the gravity is lower.

1. Mass does not change due to gravity.  2 metric tonnes on the moon is still 2 metric tonnes in space and 2 metric tonnes on Earth.

2. The force to lift 2 metric tonnes on the moon is approximately one sixth of the force required to lift 2 metric tonnes on the surface of the Earth.  (Either you have expressed yourself poorly or you have the math back to front.)
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #74 on: January 19, 2019, 12:22:36 pm »
You are correct. I might have expressed myself poorly. To lift 2 ton on the moon you would need the same force as lifting 333 kg on the earth.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 12:35:05 pm by apis »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf