3 comments on “Space Colonisation- P1 out of the Well

  1. Awesome post! A very clear view on ideas and impeding factors on how to allow us to escape our cradle. I eagerly anticipate you future posts on this subject. As you have pointed out the moon is a viable source of He3 but obviously could also be used as a platform for a vast solar array to help power any orbital ring platform. But then landing rockets on the moon or any heavy industry would kick up dust and would create a haze which would impede moon based telescopes and generally destroy the moons present environment. It also gives the morale dilemma of how much do we sacrifice to expand beyond the earth. The next space race will be run by corporations so there will have to be a return on their investments but as we are aware faceless corporations sometimes turn a blind eye to things like safety if it gets in the way of a good profit. Keep up the good work.

    • Yes and No.
      The Moon makes a superb mining and production center early in interplanetary colonisation, but it’s unlikely to ever be a centre of observation or power earth.
      Telescopes would already perform far better in true space rather than on the lunar surface, they might be mined on the moon, they might even be built there, but the moon is a relatively bad location for deep space observation, it’s in constant orbit around the earth and as you stated moon dust might get in the way.
      No deep space observatories would be located at Earth-Solar Lagrange point 2, which is in constant shadow of the earth and as such doesn’t have to deal with problems from the sun’s radiation. IT’s where NASA’s sending their latest space telescope in a few years.
      As for the dust, probably not as much as you might think. There’s no atmosphere to keep dust “in the air” as such, only the initial force that creates the dust and the contant force of lunar gravity. Dust storms probably won’t a problem on the moon.
      As for power… well why put it on the moon? sure the materials might come from the moon, but if you want an orbital solar array, build it in earth orbit. much more efficient that way. The moon would still need a power source of it’s own, probably solar arrays with auxiliary fusion reactors.
      As for the corporations.. I grant that they’ll have a massive part, but probably not in the colonisation of the moon. Earthside governments aren’t going to let corporations have complete control in something that close to earth, and the moon will probably fall under UN mandate or something similar. However the jovian moons or the belt might have a much larger corporate presence once the moon has been proved as a success. Although google, being google they’re looking into space elevator construction and this kinda thing.
      As for space ethics… the moon is the least of our problems here unfortunately. How are we meant to confront “the mars question” on terraforming. For that matter Venus? But that’s next post.

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