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Moon Space Science

Site for Moon Base Determined 738

Posted by Zonk
from the roadtrip! dept.
Deinhard writes "Going hand-in-hand with the recent discussion on Moon Bases, Space.com is reporting that the perfect spot for a moon base has been found. According to the article, 'the best spot to settle on the Moon may be on the northern rim of Peary crater, close to the north pole.' What makes the location so important is that it is permanently lit, with a balmy -58 Fahrenheit (-50 C)."
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Site for Moon Base Determined

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  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:51PM (#12235136)
    Record debt and deficits, and the Senate is right now discussing removing the Estate Tax. There is no money for this in your lifetime, it is scifi.
  • ice station zebra (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrLint (519792) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:54PM (#12235193) Journal
    Up at camp in the mountains in Feb. couple of years ago it was -40 in the daytime. Which is almost bearable if the wind isnt blowing... so as long as the wind isnt blowing on the moon... hmmmm well then there ya go:) no wind blowing on the moon
  • by bobbis.u (703273) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:55PM (#12235208)
    There are other countries in space besides the USA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:56PM (#12235222)
    Right - congress is doing what it should be: ensuring that we reestablish monied lineages in this society. If you're wildly successful, it's the least you can do for your progeny, to ensure them that nobody with your last name from your line will ever have to work again.

    Things like moonbases are just extraneous.
  • by JasonMaggini (190142) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @12:57PM (#12235228)
    Who says it's the government that has to build it?
  • Took 11 years ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shashark (836922) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:01PM (#12235289)
    The analysis, to be published in the April 14 issue of the journal Nature, is based on 53 images from the spacecraft Clementine, which orbited the Moon for 71 days in 1994.

    11 years for the data to be analyzed.

    In another equally insightful phrase...

    "That fits in neatly with the White House vision [space.com] of using the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars."

    No wonder.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:02PM (#12235302)
    Build it in parts here, assemble on the moon. Easier to launch a bigger ship from there.
  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:04PM (#12235339)
    EH? What fscking environment? There's nothing there but fine dust!
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:07PM (#12235385)
    The moon is just a big rock

    Yes, just a big rock, chock full of raw materials we need for your trip to Mars, and with only 1/6 the gravity and no atmosphere, it's easy to get those materials into orbit.

    "Skipping" the moon is sheer lunacy (pardon the pun). Once established, the Moon Base will py for itself countless times over.
  • by El (94934) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:09PM (#12235419)
    Huh? Are you sure your not talking about lava tubes on Mars? I don't know of any volcanic activity on our moon...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:12PM (#12235454)
    And just what claim does the government have on my family's money if it's been gained by doing honest work? "To prevent some families gathering too much money" is a just a sad excuse for class envy and socialism.
  • No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El (94934) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:13PM (#12235477)
    Growing up in Alaska, I've been outside in -60F weather, and it's not so bad (you can always put on more insulation). You just have to keep every part of your body covered, including wearing a face mask. Once you solved the problem of a total lack of oxygen, solving the problem of keeping warm should be trivial.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:17PM (#12235528)
    Because if a corporation built the base, it would belong to the corporation. If a government builds the base, it belongs to the people. If governments build the base, it belongs to the human race.
  • by stinkyfingers (588428) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:23PM (#12235599)
    And why would that stop the US Government? It didn't stop it from going to war, or continuing it, or providing an extension in welfare programs (drug benefit).
  • by JasonMaggini (190142) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:25PM (#12235625)
    Ah, to be that naive again....
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:34PM (#12235723) Homepage Journal
    Record debt and deficits, and the Senate is right now discussing removing the Estate Tax. There is no money for this in your lifetime, it is scifi.

    Ah, but you assume they actually intend to pay for it.

    We all know that Moon Base Alpha will be paid for with money borrowed by China.

    After all, it's not like they have a space program ...

  • by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:40PM (#12235807) Homepage
    Five years ago, we had plenty of money, and we were paying down the national debt, to the consternation of the debt holders.

    Now we are pumping almost a quarter of our national tax revenues into paying the interest on the exploding debt. The average schmo got $300, the wealthy got hundreds of billions in tax cuts, and we are BROKE. Not an accident; now come the cuts in every guvmint expenditure hated by the right, along with huge increases in defense and surveillance spending.

    We aren't going to buy any moon bases :(

    We are buying a war machine, an occupation authority with 14 permanent military bases in Iraq, an upcoming invasion and occupation of Iran, economic collapse, and a permanent diversion of 25+ percent and rising of our national tax revenues into the hands of the people lending us the money to go broke.

    No moon bases, not ever. A debt society trying to dig out from under the wreckage of the next ten years, for most of this century.

  • Taxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:40PM (#12235813) Journal
    You DO get taxed on birthday presents if they are bove a certain level.

    And estate taxes prevent riches from piling up ad infinitum in one family. You shouldn't have an unassailable advantage over everyone else just because your parents are richer than everyone else.
  • Since When... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:43PM (#12235859) Homepage Journal

    Have lower taxes ever kept politicians from spending money they don't have?

    Especially considering the current administration is spending money like a drunken democrat?

    Congress just has to write a check. They'll let someone else (i.e. the American taxpayers) figure out how to pay for it.

  • by RevRigel (90335) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:55PM (#12236039)
    TFA claims there are no constantly sunlit spots near the south pole, but remembering an article I saw a few years ago, I looked up Malapert Mountain [space.com], also in a space.com article. Same story..constantly lit, on a crater rim, and the inside of the crater is constantly dark, so it would be perfect for an optical telescope with a short cable run to the moon base at the crater rim. They even suspect strongly that there's water ice in the crater there. So, what gives? Is the previous article wrong or are the people in the current article suffering from amnesia/not-discovered-here? They seem to both be using data from Clementine. Here [angelfire.com]'s another, more informative site on Malapert with lots of pretty pictures.
  • Re:No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:56PM (#12236058) Homepage
    Once you solved the problem of a total lack of oxygen, solving the problem of keeping warm should be trivial.

    There is no problem with a lack of oxygen. The vacuum would kill you way before you had a chance to suffocate.

  • by sp0rk173 (609022) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:58PM (#12236075)
    Well, it's not that naive, but it is naive. IF a corporation builds it, it DOES, without argument, belong to the corporation (unless they donate it). If built by government, it is at least in theory the property of the people. Modern practice has shown this to not always be true, but it's an arguable point. I know the park down the street, national forests, army bases, police stations, etc are ideally there for my good. They were built with the idea that I, as a tax paying citizen of a "democratic" state-based society, will benefit from their existance. Now a days they tend to exist for the extention and proliferation of the system, but it's hard to stop that. I agree that his comment about the base existing for humanity is very naive. If the US government built it - or any government for that matter - it would only exist for strategic allies or neutral nations that we feel cooperation with will benefit us. Just wanted to point out, though, that if a corporation built it, it would exist for one thing: economic profit for the corporation heads.
  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:15PM (#12236312) Homepage Journal
    * Re:Finance: Money for Moon Base Unknown (Score:4, Insightful)
    by JasonMaggini (190142) Alter Relationship on Thursday April 14, @01:25PM (#12235625)
    Ah, to be that naive again....*

    without clicking |parent| i thought that you were talking about the idea of a corporation building a moonbase anytime soon very naive(because it is impossible in the short term future, how about we get private corps to build even launch vehicles on their own..).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:17PM (#12236331)
    What you've got in the moon is the potential for a small base that will forever be completely dependant on Earth for supplies. It's water-poor, the dust is an extreme health hazard, there's no atmosphere to protect you from solar radiation or run internal combustion engines in.
    With a simple substitution of "moon" for Mars (and adding the word "significant") you get the equally true statement:

    What you've got at Mars is the potential for a small base that will forever be completely dependant on Earth for supplies. It's water-poor, the dust is an extreme health hazard, there's no significant atmosphere to protect you from solar radiation or run internal combustion engines in.

  • Re:Taxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TamMan2000 (578899) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:17PM (#12236339) Journal
    There is rampant misinformation on the estate tax.

    If your estate is worth less than 1.5 million dollars there is no estate tax. I realize that 1.5 mil doesn't go as far as it used to, but would still enable a dependant to retire to an upper middle class lifestyle upon receiving this inheritance.

    And when it comes down to it, an inheritance is income. Should this income be excluded from taxation? If so why? The only argument I have heard on this is that it has already has been taxed (the "unfair double taxation" argument), when it was earned by the deceased. But this argument doesn't hold water. Would you say that one should not pay income tax on one's salary because that money is paid from the income of the organization that employees one; that money was taxed when it was income of the employer (Oh no! double taxation). The simple fact is that money circulates, it gets used repeatedly, if money was not taxed repeatedly, the government would, literally, have zero income. And while we might disagree on the needed level of government services that we should be taxed to fund, I think we can all acknowledge that some level of funding is necessary...

    Is there another reason that it should be excluded that I am unaware of?
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:25PM (#12236450) Homepage
    Why is pointing out we-can't-go-'cause-we've-made-ourselves-broke flamebait to any knowledgeable person? It's the simple truth. It's only "flamebait" if you somehow have convinced yourself that we AREN'T taxcutting ourselves broke.

    We're broke.
  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:57PM (#12236942) Journal
    I'm not te AC, but: Mars (presumably) has a reasonable amount of water , and the dust has faced at least some erosion, so it won't eat through space suit seals and kill you if it gets in your lungs (moon dust is sharp).

    I'm not sure that a Mars colony could become self-sustaining, but it could get a *lot* closer to that than the moon. Either the moon or Mars would be a far better place to launch rockets from than Earth, as you have less gravity to fight, but still enough to avoid the hassles of 0G construction.

    Plus, smash enough comets into Mars and it would retain an atmousphere for quite some time. The moon is a lost cause for terraforming.
  • by qeveren (318805) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @03:42PM (#12237486)
    I tried your formula to convert -50C back to F, and get the right result(-58F). It looks like you did F = C(9/5) + (-32) instead. :)
  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @03:53PM (#12237624)
    The estate tax is, primarily a way to redistribute wealth in an attempt to prevent permanent pseudo-nobility by limiting the number of generations across which nearly-infinite wealth can remain nearly infinite.

    An inheritance is income. Income is generally taxed in the US.
  • Re:Taxes (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2005 @04:18PM (#12237933)
    Why should the government get half of what somebody has worked for all their life to leave to their children?

    If they really intend to leave it to their children, they go through Estate Planning, set up trusts, and avoid estate taxes. The silver spoon tax really only kicks in badly when someone is about to inherit huge amounts of wealth without the previous owner having arranged its redistribution effectively.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @07:02PM (#12239577) Journal
    "No offense, but that's complete horseshit."

    We can barely keep a simple space station in orbit with a couple of astronauts, let alone a full orbital construction bay for spacecraft.

    "What you've got in the moon is the potential for a small base that will forever be completely dependant on Earth for supplies."

    And what of Mars? I suppose we'll just plant some seeds, spread a little water and have a full fledge hdroponics garden.

    The fact is it takes a lot more than water and dirt to make the supplies necessary for human planetary colonization.

    "It's water-poor, the dust is an extreme health hazard, there's no atmosphere to protect you from solar radiation or run internal combustion engines in."

    Aside from the martian dust being less toxic, how is this any different from Mars?

    "Unless you're there to harvest H3, there's no point in being there."

    That would be until precious metals or heavy elements were discovered to reside relatively close to the surface. Or if we ever needed another source of titanium, the moon would be it.

    And let's not forget that the moon has 1/6 the gravity of Earth. Using the possible water stores that reside at the poles, this makes an ideal launch platform.

    Not to mention the lack of atmosphere would be great for all sorts of astronomical purposes.

    Basically, you don't know enough about the moon to state whether or not a base there would be fruitless. And why is Mars more likely to not be fruitless? Is there proven resources there?

    "If you're planning on going to Mars, it's worse than a wasted step -- it's not a good financial move, it's not a good place to practice techniques for Mars and it's a far more hostile environment."

    Potentially, all exploration is a wasted financial step. There are no guarentees that any risk will pay off, which is why it is called a risk.

    And how is the moon not a good place to practice for Mars? Mars has almost no atmosphere (and what it does have is comprised of carbon monoxide), has a 1/4 gravity of Earth (the moon has a 1/6), has a negligible magnetic field and is very cold (just like the moon). As an added bonus, Mars has planet-wide sandstorms which blocks the sun for days.

    Both environments are hostile. That's why it so difficult for us to live there.

    "That's why we're no closer to Mars now than we were then."

    We're no closer to Mars because of physical, biolgical, logistical and psychological hurldes that we haven't cleared yet. We can't get a fscking space station together in the span of a decade, let alone build an all out orbital construction platform for building space craft. There are few countries that even have the capabilities to put satellites into orbit. Building an orbital space dock is orders of magnitude more difficult than a simple space station. Not to mention the sheer amount of money it would take to orbit and maintain the whole damn thing. Then you've got to deal with the fact that a group of humans will be packed in like sardines for a minimum 12-month round trip, and all the supplies that will entail. And the fact that said humans will be exposed to a far harsher environment just trying to get there is another matter. Just getting to Mars would be an achievement.

    "The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to get to Mars is to skip things like the moon and on-orbit assembly and to use heavy lift vehicles directly from earth."

    The fastest, easiest, cheapest way to get to Mars is to wait for us to get a better grip on interplanetary technologies and there's no better target for this than the moon. Whatever we can do for our jaunts there, we "should" be able to scale up. Even if the moon contains "nothing useful", it would at least be good target to practice with.

    "Use as much existing off-the-shelf tech as you can..."

    I agree with this.

    "... and then launce opposition missions to spend large amounts of time on the Martian surface with the specific objective of finding a good
  • by dont_think_twice (731805) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:44PM (#12240226) Homepage
    Try plotting the data on the website you suggest. It is fascinating. There are three distinct periods:
    (1) Before 1992, when the debt is dramatically increasing (second derivitive greater than 0)
    (2) Between 1992 and 2000, when the debt is increasing, but the rate of increase slows every year (second derivitive less than 0). In fact, the debt is nearly constant between 1999 and 2000. But this was not a trend confined to the late 90's (dot com era), it started dramatically in 1992.
    (3) After 2000, when the debt again shoots up dramatically (perhaps exponentially).

    It is impossible to look at that data honestly and say that it is not correlated with the president.
  • Estate tax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Scott7477 (785439) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @10:22PM (#12240789) Homepage Journal
    I personally don't want to see the development of a new noble class based on the ability to pass down accumulated wealth indefinitely. If this were the case in the US, Bill Gates' knighthood would be the real deal and we would all have to bow down before him and refer to him as "Your Excellency." The estate tax is as you say the primary method that US society uses to prevent this. The framers of the Constitution had seen the evils perpetrated by the feudal/noble system and wanted to make sure that this would never happen in the United States.

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