Monday, December 19, 2011

Moon Base Newt

A most interesting sparring point arose in the recent debate of Republican presidential hopefuls. 

When Mitt Romney was asked what the biggest difference was between him and Newt Gingrich, Romney replied, “We could start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon. I’m not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.”

So help me, the man is right.  In fact, George W. Bush ordered NASA to begin planning a Moon Base, gave them a timeline and a deadline, and then authorized the funding for it.  Obama trashed this entire plan, claiming that space exploration would best be left to the private sector from now on.  He might have a point.  Then again, so does Gingrich.  He is calling for the same corporatization of space and if businesses can get the job done, why not? 

The Moon has trillions of dollars worth of minerals just waiting to be mined.  I’m talking about ores such as gold, platinum, iron, and so forth.  Nuclear-powered robots could be sent to the lunar surface first, establishing the groundwork for a permanent habitat next to a crater that gets perpetual sunlight.  The Chinese have already located such an area on The Moon.  By the time astronauts arrive they would be able to walk into the beginnings of an actual lunar base.  Robots would then begin to tunnel into the surface of The Moon in order to mine minerals to send back to Earth.  As mining progresses, the Moon Base may progress into a full-on lunar colony, complete with solar power plants and inflatable domes for growing food. After this outpost is established, an ectype of the colony could then be placed on Mars.

Of course everyone usually whines about the cost at this point.  In doing so, they neglect the number of jobs such a venture would create and how much money could be made on the resources extracted from The Moon.  Since there no loner appears to be any kind of vision for space in the White House, perhaps we will one day see a corporation or another private firm display mondo amounts of guts and go forth with this enterprise. 

And if they don’t, it seems like the Chinese will be happy to do it for us.

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  1. I'm as gung ho about space exploration as the next guy, but mining the moon for minerals just seems silly. Suppose there's $10 trillion worth of stuff to be had right on the surface. There are about 45 trillion square yards of surface on the moon, so if you strip it all down a yard deep it's worth about 22 cents per cubic yard. Doesn't seem to be worth going after. Of course, valuable minerals are probably concentrated in various places, but figuring out where those places are can't possibly be cheaper or easier than doing the same thing on Earth.

  2. Well it's always going to cost, isn't it?
    I agree with you, the debt to earning ration might not be the greatest and when and if we ever got started mining the Moon it might be more expensive than it's worth. The biggest plus I can see is that there is no (discernible) ecosystem to spoil as there is here on Earth. The untapped veins of precious that I've read about are mostly under the Arctic ice cap or beneath the ocean. I think BP et. al. has done enough to our oceans for now.

  3. little does everyone know there is already a US moon bace. It is a very classified study on 10,000 people. They were all conceived in test tubes and kept in suspended animation until there 12th Earth birthday. They are never told of life on earth however they can still see it. Necessary supplies is sent to them via Russian rockets in kazakhstan. The test subjects are unaware of where the supplies comes from they just know where and when to get them. It is an experiment to actually see what humans will come up with as regards to language, behavior, and religion. There are many things the government dosent tell us. This is just one.

  4. Intriguing. Indeed, they don't tell us everything. Have links to any evidence that will back this up?


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