Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The new race back to the moon - why now?

The moon is suddenly back in fashion - every country now plans a manned mission back there after 40 years of nothing - but why all the fuss just now? I mean whats so valuable up there that countries from Iran to China world would spend billions on their own manned mission the moon?...
Is its no co-incidence that NASA is bombing the lunar surface in the coming months?

Lunar Planet Re-Colorized
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Anonymous said...

Come on guys, stop with the conspiracy theory's and do a bit of research. There are 3 reasons that I can think of off the top of my head.
1. Credibility, this is the reason the US went there in the firt place. It was to gain the respect of the world. India and china both need the kind of reputation that this would bring.
2. Isn't it about time we stopped messing around on this planet and started exploring a little further afield? The moon provides a convienient place to practise going a bit further. Rather than having many months worth of travelling its a few days. This means if it all goes tits up, its easier to try again, fix things, get new supplies etc. Practise makes perfect.
3. The moon is covered in Helium-3 an isotope that there isn't much of on earth. It can be very useful when generating power. One space shuttle full could power the United states for an entire year. http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/gallery/pdf/space_com063000.pdf

I recommend rather than dismissing the scientific process, you embrace it. That way you will be able to sort the crap form the promising leads. just my tuppence worth.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous above.

1. It's (was) not about credibility, it was the continuation of the weapons-race.

2. you think you will be exploring there? guess again, only a handful of humans will be able to do so. That's not progress.

3. Ah yes, the perfect substitute for oil and gas... Helium-3, so the big oil companies can carry their monopolies into the vast distant future with He-3.

Instead, we should have had Zero Point Energy generators since the '60s.

I recommend rather than dismissing 'conspiracy theories' you AT LEAST study them.

Anonymous said...

Kudos, Anonymous! I couldn't agree more. Grasping at everything that comes down the pike just makes us all look bad. We certainly don't need any more of that!

Anonymous said...

To the Anaymous posted at 12:16 AM (assuming the post time isn't localised :-) )

1. It was totaly about credability, it was about trying to prove to the world that "capitalism is the way to go. After all we got to the moon before the commies" there for giving capitalism and America credibility.

2. You pretty much didn't say anything at all with your second post.
My point was that the moon is our best chance for a practise run or possibly a springboard to more distant places. One reason for having a base on the moon is for the potential to use it as a place to launch more distant missions. The escape velocity of the moon is much smaller than that of earth http://www06.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=moon+escape+velocity++vs+earth+escape+velocity
The kinetic energy of a body is proportional to the square of its velocity, so rather than needing only 1/4.71 (in other words 0.21) times the fuel to reach the escape velocity of the moon compared with earth. You would infact need 1/(4.71*4.71) or 0.045 times the fuel that you would to escape from earth.
This number gets even smaller when you take into account the additional weight of all the fuel that you would have to use to escape the earth compared to the moon (since that will need accelerating too).

3. Yeah someone will have to go fetch it. It will tide us over untill someone comes up with a better idea. It might even last long enough for you to develop a working zero point energy generator. If you don't understand enough about the physics related to Zero point energy to build this generator, then, I'm afraid you will probably have to read up on the physics behind it and do us all a favour. (You are free to do this, hostly. When you find a problem with our understanding of physics, you can publish your findings and change the world. Who knows they might even name a constant after you.)

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