Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:23AM (#31295062) Homepage Journal
    You can't get instant feedback from the moon. There's a slight delay. So, it doesn't really feel like you are holding something in your hands unless you're standing still. It mostly feels like you're drunk when you operate a waldo with a delay. People are going to have to get trained to deal with that.
    • by colonelquesadilla (1693356) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:24AM (#31295070)

      You can't get instant feedback from the moon. There's a slight delay. So, it doesn't really feel like you are holding something in your hands unless you're standing still. It mostly feels like you're drunk when you operate a waldo with a delay. People are going to have to get trained to deal with that.

      We train for that in grad school.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:33AM (#31295112)

      363104km = moon's orbital perigee.
      405696km = moon's apogee.

      2*363104 km/c = 2.42236914 seconds of round-trip signal delay.
      2*405696 km/c = 2.70651238 s

      So maybe we don't need round-trip time, but just one-way streaming time. Divide by two.

      • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:41AM (#31295140) Homepage Journal

        Most of the delay on the Deep Space Network is a result of the 30 year old hardware that processes and transmit the signals.. the speed of light defines a minimum that is never practically met. Emory Stagmer talks about it in his interview on Spacevidcast [spacevidcast.com].

        • by Teancum (67324)

          Still, no matter how hard you upgrade equipment and deal with processing delays, there is still the raw physics that must be addressed.

          I admit that some of the hardware is using radio receivers which have vacuum tubes and computers processing data with core memory. This is a sort of thing that comes with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. It is also something that comes from government service, where it can take several different budget cycles to update equipment in a program like the Deep Space

      • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:47AM (#31295172) Homepage Journal
        Add a varying amount between 0 and 1/2 the circumference of the earth, with the 1/2 being best-case. I don't know what the velocity factor of optical fiber is. Yes, there's also a signal-processing delay, but let's not assume we're using 30-year-old equipment so it should not add very much.
      • round trip time is what matters... seeing the results of your action before being able to correct it...
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by derGoldstein (1494129)
          Depends. Suppose you saw another robot before he noticed you. You could take several shots at him before knowing whether the first shot hit, just to be on the safe side. It's a matter of knowing how to handle lag.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Cellphones add a delay of about a second when both phones are on the same network and talking to the same mast. I would have thought the kit to send signals to the moon would introduce an even longer delay. Then bear in mind that we are not always at the point of the earth closest to the moon, so that will introduce an even greater delay. I guess to have continuous contact with the moon, we would need to send the signal up to a satellite network which bounces it round to the nearest bird to the moon at t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That might be true for US cellphones, but for the rest of the world the delays are a few milliseconds within any country.

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            It is certainly the case for UK cellphones, and I would imagine it is the same for any country that uses GSM networks.

      • by selven (1556643)

        0:00:00.000 - Data from machine's eyes sent out
        0:00:01.211 - Data reaches Earth, human acts on it
        0:00:02.422 - Data gets back to moon, machine acts on it
        0:00:03.633 - Human sees himself acting more than 2 seconds ago

        No matter what, if Earth is involved you have to have round trip delay since Earth itself is operating on 1 second old data.

    • Thanks Bruce (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)

      I probably would have gone with "You can't take and hold ground with bots - to stake a claim requires Men on the ground." But that works.

      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.

      • What if you could transfer your consciousness to the robots? Would that count? Just getting the genome off the planet is simple -- just send some human DNA up in a satellite. We need to better-define our goals.
        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          No-one ever thinks that all the way through.

          "Transferring consciousness", in practice, would just mean programming the robot so that it acts exactly like you would in every way. You still have the original- it's more like you've copied it than transferred it. Unless you destroy the original (good luck with that) then it's not really any different from creating a regular automated robot.

          And then there's the problem of "transferring back" when the robot has finished it's tour. Basically, that'd mean overwriti

        • How much will this man-robot soul transfer process cost (i.e. how accessible will it be?), and what happens when the robot-men and the meat-men inevitably clash over resources?

          • by c6gunner (950153)

            How much will this man-robot soul transfer process cost (i.e. how accessible will it be?), and what happens when the robot-men and the meat-men inevitably clash over resources?

            Same thing as now, when meat-men and meat-men clash over resources. One side wins and one side loses.

            I dunno why, but people seem to think that the human race should no longer be subject to any type of evolutionary pressure. Seems like a silly belief to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138)

        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 utilizing remote robots advances our knowledge faster right now than attempting to stuff a human being up there, we'll achieve sustainable space travel faster that way.

        Though to be perfectly honest, we've sent remote robots to other planets many times. The mars rovers come to mind. The only difference is that this would be more representatively sha

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

        by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:27AM (#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.

        • If we can get out act together but don't get off earth then our chances are pretty much zero too. If we distribute ourselves around the galaxy then there is at least a higher chance of at least one group getting their act together before being annihilated.

        • I think with over 7 Billion examples of survival on Earth; I would be surprised if you required more examples. Understanding of things around us are based on our ability to move around. Some people feel uncomfortable about understanding new things. But for the rest of us, it is different. Opening up commercial space flight is not a bad thing. The use of Waldos is only a stepping stone, and it is superior to hiding on this planet, alone.
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          We could have a Utopian society and streets paved with gold, but if an asteroid the size of Texas smashes into our planet it will be all for naught.

          We, as a race, have to start by getting off this planet and then proceed to get out of our solar system.

          • by grumbel (592662)

            If you want to protect against rocks, just do more observation, given a few years warning its not that hard to let a rock miss earth and certainly much easier and cheaper then creating a self sustaining colony. On top of that conditions after an asteroid impact are not that bad, they might wipe out large quantities of life, but even then you are still much better of then on the moon, where you have absolutely no life to begin with nor the conditions to sustain it.

            We, as a race, have to start by getting off this planet and then proceed to get out of our solar system.

            Yes, someday sure, but there is no need to w

            • by Ihmhi (1206036)

              If people had your attitude we would never get anywhere. We learn how to do things well by actually fucking building things and going places.

              Yes, it will cost money. Yes, people will die. There is not one robot that exists today that can do what a human can do better on an extraterrestrial surface. And let's not even forget the benefits of having colonies on the moon and in space.

              Sure, we can recreate the conditions of a moon colony out in Antarctica. Can we recreate the gravity, which would make a lunar ba

              • by grumbel (592662)

                There is not one robot that exists today that can do what a human can do better on an extraterrestrial surface.

                For the cost of shipping a human to another planed you should have not much of a problem to build one. The reason robots are so inferior is mainly because they are cheap.

                Can we recreate the gravity, which would make a lunar base an ideal staging ground for launching ships?

                And how exactly do you propose we build a factory that can build rockets on the moon? For the cost to launch all the required stuff to the moon you could likely do an in depth exploration of all the rest of the solar system, you know, that kind of exploration where you actually learn something new. Also to actually build something on the mo

                • by Ihmhi (1206036)

                  For the cost of shipping a human to another planed you should have not much of a problem to build one. The reason robots are so inferior is mainly because they are cheap.

                  Right, and yet despite all the money Honda is throwing at Asimo it still can't do everything a human can do nearly as well or remotely as fast.

                  And how exactly do you propose we build a factory that can build rockets on the moon? For the cost to launch all the required stuff to the moon you could likely do an in depth exploration of all the rest of the solar system, you know, that kind of exploration where you actually learn something new. Also to actually build something on the moon, so that you don't need hundreds or thousands of workers, it would help to have some good autonomous robots, the kind of robot you might learn to build when you actually build robots for space exploration.

                  Why should we bring construction materials to the Moon when it already has lovely things like Iron, Titanium, Magnesium, Aluminum, and many other materials [wikipedia.org]? We don't need to bring construction material to the Moon; we just need to bring mining equipment.

                  Thats what the orbit is good for. You don't really want to learn about long term effects when you are already on the trip to Mars, as that would be a little late to actually do something about it.

                  Getting into orbit still requires putting people in space, so that still goes with my point.

                  I find our robotic space probes quite inspirational and for the cost of human space colonies you could probably shoot enough to the moon that school kids could drive a few on them on their Xboxs for promotional purposes. That would be cool.

                  You might, yeah. That's

      • Pff... We can build machines and soon grow bodies. What do wen seed our genome for? Yes, may be nice. But definitely not a must.

        Usually, our brain, in form of data, would suffice. And that one could be sent as data. Giving us light-speed travel to every location that we already reached the normal way. Think about it: Using Project Orion [wikipedia.org] style rockets, we would perhaps just about get to Alpha Centauri when we would find a way to read a whole brain to transfer it.

    • by pcolaman (1208838)

      You've got to rotate the shield harmonics and remodulate the deflector dish to emit Tachyon Particles...DUH! Jesus dude didn't you take Star Trek 201 in college?

      • by sarahbau (692647)

        I love Star Trek, but that part of it always drives me crazy. If someone figures out their shield frequency, they can shoot right through them as if they aren't there. Luckily, changing the shield frequency is all they need to do to block the enemy attacks once again. It doesn't even seem difficult for them to tell the shields to randomly change frequencies, because they often do this when fighting the Borg. So why isn't it just standard for shields to constantly change frequencies? I assume the Enterprise'

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ultranova (717540)

          They also can't beam things to or from the ship when their shields are up, but there are a few times when they are able to calibrate the transporter to beam through enemy shields. If they can do that, can't they calibrate the transporters to work through their own shields?

          No, because the laws of physics in Trek universe aren't stable, but change unpredictably from time to time. The locals have adapted to that and update their thinking without even noticing; those of us outside the continuum perceive change

          • by Teancum (67324)

            No, because the laws of physics in Trek universe aren't stable, but change unpredictably from time to time. The locals have adapted to that and update their thinking without even noticing; those of us outside the continuum perceive changes as discontinuity.

            Of course, you are missing the point that the physics in the Trek universe are unstable due to economics of Paramount Studios and the casual whims of the screenplay writers who may need a plot devices of some sort or another. Forgetting that the Trek uni

        • by jeremyp (130771)

          In Star Trek the shields are always exactly the right strength to keep the crew alive without making the crisis too short to fill a one hour slot on TV.

    • They could time shift the pre-recorded data into of delayed movments into a simulation where you could experience it in real time (i.e. post-real time)

    • If the delay is a problem to this or any other tele-operated mission, put the scientists in orbit around the body to be explored (in this case LUNAR orbit).

      I know that it may seem stupid to transport them 230,000 miles just to end up 100 miles away from their goal but consider the expense of getting them down (and back up) from the surface.

      1) a landing/ascent vehicle will have to be designed, tested and built. Same thing with lunar spacesuits (primarily dustproof).
      2) all this gear will have to be shipped t

    • I'm also wondering how are they going to emulate 1/6G on Earth.
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      A few rounds in very lagged FPS games and will eventually adapt to shoot to something that is not there since 5 seconds ago.
    • I was thinking about how we may solve this problem and came up with prediction methods:

      So imagine you bend to pick up a rock. Instead of waiting for the video to come, you may predict what the video will look like after you bend...Then you may as well do corrections as the video stream comes in.

      Ofcourse there are still limitations, but I believe we can always do improvements until some point it will actually be feasible to control humanoids even on Mars. This is great!
    • by Stoutlimb (143245)

      Simple solution, administer enough alcohol to the scientists to synchronize the delay.

  • Seriously (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blakedev (1397081)
    What's the fun in that?
  • Obvious Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:30AM (#31295094) Homepage Journal

    Wow.. the Internet really is an echo chamber isn't it?

    This nonsense video has been floating around for months now. There's no confirmation from NASA.. no-one even knows who made it.

    If you RTFA you'll see the last paragraph reads:

    Whoever did this at NASA should put together an actual budget as soon as possible. And while you are at it, make it possible for regular people to use one, maybe at the Johnson Space Center or some selected museums through the world. That will definitely inspire people.

    Send an email to Jesus Diaz, the author of this post, at jesus@gizmodo.com.

    Hey Jesus Diaz, were you sick the day of journalism school when they taught chasing up sources? Maybe if you called JSC and heard the exasperated public relations officer explain, again, that no there is no Project M but thanks for your call, you could save yourself some embarrassment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by derGoldstein (1494129)

      Hey Jesus Diaz, were you sick the day of journalism school when they taught chasing up sources? Maybe if you called JSC and heard the exasperated public relations officer explain, again, that no there is no Project M but thanks for your call, you could save yourself some embarrassment.

      Gizmodo: "jour-nal-ism?..."

      It's also possible to blame /. for picking the story. But looking for journalism on Gizmodo or /. is unrealistic. I'm not mocking here, I'm regulating expectations -- expecting even the "established" blogs to look for multiple sources or contact a company for feedback prior to posting a story is setting the bar too high. It's up to the readers to be more discerning and critical, and most aren't.

      • Re:Obvious Hoax (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:59AM (#31295228) Homepage Journal

        If you're a subscriber to Slashdot you see stories like this hit the front page a half hour or so before they go live. There's a link that says "Any serious problems with this story? Drop our on duty editor a line." and there's an email link with prefilled subjected line etc. I sent basically what I wrote here as an email nearly an hour ago.. they chose to ignore me. I've done this before and they've pulled stories.. so it seems some editors are interested in stopping nonsense and some are not. So yes, I do blame Slashdot for being part of the echo chamber. There's no reason to post shit that is obviously fake.

        • Re:Obvious Hoax (Score:5, Insightful)

          by derGoldstein (1494129) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:37AM (#31295352) Homepage
          I tend to hold Slashdot to a higher standard too, which is why I'm here rather than Digg/Reddit (where anything that draws clicks is welcome, and any discussion is, well, you know...). However, occasionally Slashdot will post bait stories (not necessarily "flaimbait", just "plain bait"), especially when it comes to anything regarding MS/Apple/YRO where the main purpose is to let people vent. In such cases, I don't really see it as a mistake, or "wrong", partly because anyone with high karma doesn't see ads, so at most it's "pandering", rather than something used to boost page views. In the case of this particular story, I imagine that the editor thought it would make a good discussion piece in its field, and the source (and even validity) was irrelevant because just the theory/concept will produce an interesting discussion (as users discuss the viability of such an undertaking).

          I'd blame Gizmodo, if I visited the site directly, but I don't -- I let other filters point me there if they think there's anything interested posted. As for Slashdot, probably less so in this particular case. If they ignored the comment that you sent, then it changes the "judgment" somewhat, but it may still be arguable that the story was posted just for general interest, and the source/validity wasn't a factor. As you said, it's also (or primarily) up to individual editors, though I'd hope that they at least talk to one another and try to get minimal feedback prior to posting (I've no idea what their actual process is, of course).
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by westlake (615356)

            Slashdot will post bait stories especially when it comes to anything regarding MS/Apple/YRO where the main purpose is to let people vent. In such cases, I don't really see it as a mistake, or "wrong", partly because anyone with high karma doesn't see ads, so at most it's "pandering", rather than something used to boost page views.

            Pandering is pandering. The poster with his high Karma perks doesn't pay the bills. He's there to lend an air of respectability to the proceedings.

            • I have excellent karma, so I don't see ads, but I don't RTFA either. I see the stories /. posts more as a topic for a debate than a news item of real value. I came to this story because a discussion about the feasibility and benefits of operating in space via telepresence seemed interesting. So far, it has been. Whether the source for this is a NASA press release, a blogger's hoax, something timothy made up, or a science fiction story is completely irrelevant to me.

              This is why I block kdawson stories

            • Why do you assume that all high karma people switch of the ads? The ads are what pays for this sites, so why turn them of...?
              • by QuantumG (50515) *

                why are you misspelling "off"? can you honestly not spell a 3 letter word?

                • THe second after I hit the submit button, I noticed that I forgot the second 'f'. Or maybe my keyboard ate it.
                  So, for everyone who still needs to have this missing letter, I will post it here:


                  f


                  PS: This error is actually a very common one for non-native speakers. And probably for a lot of native ones too. Btu in my cas it was a sipmle typo. PPS: Yes, that last sentence was misspelled on pupose. PPPS: The 'r' in purpose was eaten by my keyboard.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter (624760) *
          "There's no reason to post shit that is obviously fake."

          On the contrary, it will attract a lot of comments, some from people who believe it and some from those who don't. Compared to other sites a disproportionately high number of those comments will be from people who actually know what they are talking about and have the evidence to back it up. Those comments demonstrate to readers the true meaning of skepticisim and even those who already practice the art can learn a great deal from them, just as I ha
        • by cgenman (325138)

          There's no reason to post shit that is obviously fake.

          Because some people seem to thrive on picking apart technical forgeries? Why do they post stories on arbitrary compression algorithm announcements and free energy generators?

    • Given that the best humanoid robots around today fall over while walking up a set of perfectly level stairs, and then can't get back up again without human intervention, I say "Project M" is definitely worth a go. After all, the robot might not fall over for ages if we're lucky.
      • If they fall, they will at least fall slower. Anyway, we don't have to send humanoid robots - we can send wheelchairoid ones.
    • Thanks for the info, I just gave the story a negative mod, hopefully others will too.

      When you think about it, it's really hard to see how what they have suggested is all that different than a rover.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ascari (1400977)
      Lunacy if you ask me...
    • by MrShaggy (683273)

      Ever see 'I am William Shatner, and this is how I changed the world'

      It was a 2 hour documentary about how Star Trek has influenced Science.''

      So something that people bicker about the time line issues go on to make flat-screens.

      Even dealing with warp-drive.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:33AM (#31295114)
    Title of TFA:

    NASA Project M Puts Scientists' Avatars On the Moon

    Call me when they are 3m tall, blue, w/tail.

    • Call me when they have any such model that's even remotely usable, on earth. This is fiction, almost as much as the 3m-tall smurfs with the indeterminate amount of digits on each hand.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pcolaman (1208838)

      Call me when they are 3m tall, blue, w/tits.

      There, fixed it for ya

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >Call me when they are 3m tall, blue, w/tail.

      Call me when they are 3 apples high, blue, w/tail and little white outfit.

  • by the_other_one (178565) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:45AM (#31295164) Homepage
    Rovers have already been effective on Mars. Use them on the moon first.
    • As Spirit has shown, a patch of ground that a person could stride over can lodge a rover in it permanently.

      Now, did we have just bad luck with the soft ground, or did we have exceptional luck the rest of the time?

      Plus, the moon is slightly less likely to have the dust devils that have been graciously dusting off the panels.

      • I cannot make any predictions on luck, however, I might suggest some sort of brush or wiper. You could probably borrow some technology from the auto industry. Hopefully they will have built a Canadian Tire on the moon by the time the rover is ready for a blade replacement.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tftp (111690)

          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

      • Most of the moon's surface is hard, and the gravity is low. You'd design for that terrain (I'm assuming tires?). As for the smoothness of the topology, you can pick a site with far better precision on the moon, so we wouldn't choose to land on a cliff. Another advantage, in this case, is the lack of an atmosphere -- wind won't get sand on the solar panels in the first place, and won't blow the rover on its side.

        Specifically about the panels -- program it to flip them over and shake vigorously once a week
      • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:38AM (#31295704) Journal
        "Plus, the moon is slightly less likely to have the dust devils that have been graciously dusting off the panels."

        It's also less likely to have dust suspended in a vacum above the ground, just design the moon rover so it doesn't kick sand in it's own face. Maybe something high tech like mud gaurds over the wheels
      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        They should send up Boston Dynamics' BigDog.

        Seriously. A guy kicked it and it just, like, carried on. 4 legs clearly > 2 legs which is totally > wheels.

        Also, I want one. Walking around the park would never be dull again.

    • by Eudial (590661)

      Uh. There already are rovers on the moon. The Russians put them on the moon in the early '70s [wikipedia.org]. Granted, with 1970s technology, they were less sophisticated than today's mars rovers. But they did essentially the same job, remarkably well I might add.

      It's more than likely that these lunar rovers inspired the mars rovers. So it's amusing that the mars rovers should inspire lunar rovers.

  • by urusan (1755332) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:01AM (#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 Animats (122034) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:12AM (#31295488) Homepage

      In addition to sending human-controlled robots to the moon, lets send along refineries and factories to produce solar panels.

      Yeah, right. Back around 1985, I went to a conference where some AI professors were mouthing off about putting self-replicating factories on the Moon within 20 years. I asked "How soon can you do it in Arizona?" They didn't like that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by urusan (1755332)

        In addition to sending human-controlled robots to the moon, lets send along refineries and factories to produce solar panels.

        Yeah, right. Back around 1985, I went to a conference where some AI professors were mouthing off about putting self-replicating factories on the Moon within 20 years. I asked "How soon can you do it in Arizona?" They didn't like that.

        This idea does not require AI or self-replication. The intelligence could be provided by humans remotely controlling the robots on the moon.

        While self-replication would be nice because it would allow the project to grow without bound at a very low cost, it is not needed as long as we can lift enough robots, bases, and other materials that can't be created on-site to the moon. Self-replication might even be realistically achievable with something like a fab lab staffed by remote controlled robots.

        I think a t

      • by khallow (566160)

        I asked "How soon can you do it in Arizona?"

        You're about 10,000 to 20,000 years too late for that. That's when a new group of evolved Von Neumann machines settled in North America (including presumably Arizona). Their manufactured products were rather simple at first, stone and wood tools, but leading to significant towns of adobe dwellings at later stages. Later more advanced Von Neumann machines of the same design, brought metal working and other much more advanced manufacturing facilities to Arizona. If for some reason, you aren't interested in hu

        • by Herkum01 (592704)

          The difference between Arizona and building a machine shop with charcoal for heating and the moon is that the moon does not have enough oxygen to support any of this stuff.

          Realistically at least at this point, they can only mechanically sort your resources. Anything like refining on earth would require some sort of power plant and come up with a process not only for heating but cooling as well(any problem that can occur with the lack of atmosphere.

          • by khallow (566160)

            The difference between Arizona and building a machine shop with charcoal for heating and the moon is that the moon does not have enough oxygen to support any of this stuff.

            I wrote

            (a lunar equivalent would probably be a solar or electric furnace capable of melting iron, steel, or aluminum)

            No charcoal or oxygen is required.

            Realistically at least at this point, they can only mechanically sort your resources. Anything like refining on earth would require some sort of power plant and come up with a process not only for heating but cooling as well(any problem that can occur with the lack of atmosphere

            If they're speaking of factories on the Moon, then they'll have progressed beyond the mechanical sorting stage. And solar power either via solar cells or solar thermal would be adequate as a power source. Cooling could be achieved by either heat radiated to space or transferred to the ground.

    • The next hacker into NASA systems will now have a new shiny toy to play with. I don't know if you know this, but there are SCADA controllers that can be nuked with one SINGLE packet (yes, one), leaving it in an undetermined state, and a reboot or reset won't cure it, it needs reprogramming.

      There is no way I would want that aimed at my back garden, thanks.

  • It's really not a bad idea at all even with the time lag. But I suspect that it doesn't waste enough money or risk enough lives unnecessarily to appeal to the space cadets who make funding decisions.

  • Science? (Score:4, Funny)

    by piemcfly (1232770) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:14AM (#31295284)
    Science?! Screw science! You mean sports!

    Become Lunar Boxing Heavy Weight Champion by punching an opponent into orbit!

    Epic!
  • "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."

    Why so fast? "Because we can" is not sufficient for budgetary planning.

    Why so many? About the only reason I can foresee is construction. A good reason, but needs specified. All of them? Might there not be other worthy proje

    • I still need to fly all over the world just to go to meetings. A couple of years ago we did some tests of diagnosing accelerator hardware remotely - it took 8 hours to fix a problem that would have taken 10 minutes in person. Until we have effective tele-presence technology on earth I think using it on the moon is a bit optimistic.

      Also the time delay will make a avatar-like experience impossible - you couldn't even stand without falling with that long a delay between senses and muscles. Might as well use ma

  • Two Ukrainians talking:

    • Have you heard? Russians went to the Moon...
    • Oh, dear Lord, we can't be so lucky, all of them?!
  • 25 minutes of moon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by srussia (884021) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:11AM (#31295482)
    If "being" on the moon means controlling a humanoid avatar by motion-capture suit, and assuming 2 such avatars. Each scientist in the US (around 1.25 million) could get 25 minutes of "moon time" over a period of 30 years.
  • How about we send the politicians instead, only not by proxy?
  • And Boney M could send them on a Nightflight to Venus [youtube.com]... segue to Rasputin.

  • At first I thought this was going to be about giving scientists LSD, playing some Pink Floyd, and making them watch visualizations [sourceforge.net] until they think they're flying through space...

  • Seriously, lets send some robotics around to locate a new base, and then send these to set up the site and put in BA units. That would allow us to get ppl up there ASAP.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

Working...