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Moon The Military Science

Does the Moon Have Military Value? 332

MarkWhittington writes "Despite the fact that under President Barack Obama's space policy, Americans will not be going back to the moon any time soon, discussions are occurring about what, if any, military value the Earth's nearest neighbor has. Opinions, as can be expected, vary on the subject."
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Does the Moon Have Military Value?

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  • by ron_ivi (607351) <sdotno&cheapcomplexdevices,com> on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:20AM (#35005390)

    If they have a self-sufficient moon base, the whole "mutually assured destruction" (MAD) theory of avoiding nuclear war with the soviets go away.

    As they described it to us -- since both the commies and the US had enough nukes to kill everyone, noone would be crazy enough to launch.

    However if one country has a colony on the moon; the whole MAD equation changes. Suddenly instead of "everyone dies", the result is "hey, if everyone on earth dies; I and my 144000 other colonists on this base will own everything!!!!"

  • by bds1986 (1268378) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:21AM (#35005396)

    If anyone did militarize space, it would be nasty. It would either curtail all space exploration, or cause some pretty nasty wars.

    It's highly unlikely militarisation of space would curtail exploration any more than militarisation of the sea curtailed exploration here on earth. As for the wars, perhaps.

    On the flip side, the military has been the driving force behind many of the great technologies humanity has developed. Aeronautics, explosives, rocketry, computing, long-distance communications, the internet, optics, nuclear power, emergency medicine, navigation, and composites, too name a few, were all either invented or rapidly matured in response to military needs. Most of these technologies then furthered peaceful means. If there's no short-term profit in developing a technology, the military is the next best bet, provided it can somehow be adapted to make killing people easier.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:30AM (#35005452) Homepage

    As for rare earth minerals, they're not that rare. Even the most expensive minerals only cost about $100k/kilo, meaning a $100 million dollar expedition - not even a Mars Rover - would have to bring back a ton in 100% pure form. And that needs to cover a full excavation, processing and launch system plus operating costs of such.

    Something like gold is only $3k/kilo, so more like 300+ tons. It's doubtful you could turn a profit even if there were 24 carat gold bars lying on the moon surface waiting to be picked up. Maybe someday in the future we will become far more desperate for this, but most likely it's cheaper to exploit every vein, dig up every land fill and recycle every last gram rather than try getting it from space.

  • Re:Hells yea... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:34AM (#35005478)

    That's a dumb quote. Both of them were using fiction to communicate their ideas.

  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @05:39AM (#35006240) Homepage

    "NASA's funding keeps getting cut, and yet we're spending trillions on war like it's nothing"
    "War, eh? We can do that in space, sure."

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @07:43AM (#35006842)

    Most of these technologies then furthered peaceful means. If there's no short-term profit in developing a technology, the military is the next best bet, provided it can somehow be adapted to make killing people easier.

    Happens so only for the last 70-100 years and, again, not exclusively so: nano-technologies, genetics and Large Hadron Collider were not.

    Steam engine (the reason for being out from feudalism and stepped into industrialization) was not invented for military purposes. Printed press wasn't either.

    Even if it would be so, does it mean that we should bet always on military? Even worse, perhaps creating the needs the army need to react?

  • Re:Hells yea... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <corbettwNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @09:08AM (#35007396) Journal

    Yes, because great philosophical insights have never been hidden inside works of fiction.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettwNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @09:13AM (#35007450) Journal

    Everyone has biases, including reporters. The myth of objective journalism is just that, a myth. And your focus on Mr. Whittington's political leanings is nothing short of an ad hominem. Either his article and ideas have merit, or they do not. Attacking (which includes criticizing as well as simply "pointing them out") his politics is a distraction and waste of time.

  • by inthealpine (1337881) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @09:39AM (#35007662)
    Oh no not a Republican, I guess we can ignore everything he says then. Even though you point out he uses facts and draws conclusions from those facts we can't consider his point of view because he has an imaginary R at the end of his name. If you disagree with TFA then disagree with it, don't just not like someones politics and therefore dismiss TFA out of hand.

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