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Space Earth Moon NASA Robotics

Project M Could Send Every Scientist To the Moon, By Proxy 150

Posted by timothy
from the why-leave-the-house dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this interesting bit of speculation: "NASA can put humanoids on the Moon in just 1000 days. They would be controlled by scientists on Earth using motion capture suits, giving them the feeling of being on the lunar surface. If they can achieve this for real, the results for science research of our satellite could be amazing."
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Project M Could Send Every Scientist To the Moon, By Proxy

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  • by the_other_one (178565) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:45AM (#31295164) Homepage
    Rovers have already been effective on Mars. Use them on the moon first.
  • by urusan (1755332) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:01AM (#31295236)

    In addition to sending human-controlled robots to the moon, lets send along refineries and factories to produce solar panels. Then we can build thousands of square kilometers of the stuff on the moon from local materials at a very low cost and beam the energy back to Earth. Covering roughly 1% of the moon's surface area with present-day solar tech would yield on the order of 20TW, worth tens of trillions at today's energy rates and capable of meeting the world's energy needs.

    I'm not sure how good this paper is, but it has some more details on the basic idea: http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/v7i28_kumar.html [acm.org] Certainly a more detailed study would be needed before really doing this to ensure there weren't any show-stopping problems (such as the one DOE/NASA undertook on the solar satellite idea, where they concluded it was not economically worthwhile with the lifting costs http://www.nss.org/settlement/ssp/library/doe.htm [nss.org]).

    This path would be even better for science too, as it would create a permanent human presence on the moon instead of probably being a one-off mission. There would also be interest in creating a self-sufficient lunar economy so that Earth wouldn't have to keep supplying it. A robotic lunar colony capable of launching solar satellites and other craft would be of great value to both science and the economy.

    We can do this with today's technology, as it's essentially a different approach to the old solar satellite idea.

  • by tftp (111690) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:31AM (#31295342) Homepage

    I cannot make any predictions on luck, however, I might suggest some sort of brush or wiper.

    You don't want to run wipers dry - the sand will scratch the glass (the windshield or the solar panel.) Rubber will not work in the range of temperatures that are found on other planets. If the material is soft the dust will embed itself into it; if the material is hard then it won't clean anything. I believe NASA went through this for the rovers, and decided to do nothing because they didn't see any solution that would be simple and effective.

  • Re:Thanks Bruce (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:27AM (#31295842) Homepage

    The bot thing is a distraction. If we don't get our genome off this mudball we're as doomed as the dinosaurs. Sooner or later some unpleasantness will occur.

    If we can't get our act together and manage to survive on earth, our chances to survive anywhere else are pretty much zero.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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