Lunar Bases vs. Asteroid Bases

From Spaceflight Now:

Some of the most influential leaders of the space community are quietly working to offer the next U.S. president an alternative to President Bush’s “vision for space exploration”–one that would delete a lunar base and move instead toward manned missions to asteroids along with a renewed emphasis on Earth environmental spacecraft.

Top U.S. planetary scientists, several astronauts and former NASA division directors will meet privately at Stanford University on Feb. 12-13 to define these sweeping changes to the NASA/Bush administration Vision for Space Exploration (VSE).

Abandoning the Bush lunar base concept in favor of manned asteroid landings could also lead to much earlier manned flights to Mars orbit, where astronauts could land on the moons Phobos or Deimos.

Now, if you have been reading my posts for the past couple of days, the reasons for going back to the Moon would be obvious, i.e., the gathering of more advanced technology that was left there by an ancient space-faring civilization. One would say that Bu$hco, China, Japan and India know that this stuff is there and that we were in competition to get more of it.

But according to Richard C. Hoagland, NASA has been keeping this a big secret for thirty years because our current civilization “…couldn’t handle the truth…” (to quote Jack Nicholson) and dissolve into further religious wars and genocide. So it might beg the question of why go back to the Moon at all if the goal is Mars?

Of course Mars has its own tinfoil theories concerning an ancient civilization also, so why go to Mars if it might cause the same issues with our culture the way it is now?

Going to the Asteroid Belt and Near Earth Objects offer an alternative solution to put out into the mainstream in order to draw the attention away from the Moon and Mars. According to the article, the benefits would pay off quickly because we can learn the different compositions of different NEOs/asteroids/comets in order to find proper ways of diverting them away from Earth’s orbit. Different rocks have different structures. One method of diversion wouldn’t work on another since one could be made of solid iron and another could be made of porous volitiles around a solid core. Poof or kapow! A couple of big pieces vs. a couple of hundred between us and sure extinction.

I’m not sure if this is a diversionary tactic or a purely economic one. I have posted about Near Earth Object missions instead of manned planetary ones myself utilizing private industry as the prime mover. It is far easier working in micro-gravity than a gravity “hole” as Larry Niven’s Belters used to say. Prime conditions for fabricating the next generation of super construction materials.

Besides, as I have mentioned before, the next selected leader of the US will probably defund NASA claiming we can’t afford to go back to the Moon anyway. Also lack of public support will drive it back further.

So why not asteroid missions? Our “second” military space program has the Moon and Mars covered anyway.

Original article

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5 responses

  1. Why don’t they give up this highly exotic moonbase now asteroid based nonsense and simply construct a big-assed space station above the earth like we used to see in artists renditions many years ago.

    Remember the huge wheel, donut shaped space station with the outer rim like a tire and massive cyclindrical spokes going from the rim to the hub. They created artificial gravity by having have the station slowly spin causing objects to migrate away from the hub to the rim. In space there is no up or down, so people would be walking around the rim of the space station with their heads towards the central hub. Everything would seem normal to them from the inside. They’d have a comfortable, synthetic gravitational environment within which to work. The could do zero-g or micro-gravity experiments in external pods attached to the structure that were decoupled from the spin with isolation schemes.

    Now I’m talking about a large space station at least 300-500 feet in diameter. They could have manufacturing facilites, research and anything they could imagine and live comfortably while doing so. This large, permanent station would be ideal for them moving onto the moon, Mars etc. without our current, endless, mickey mouse launches to the ISS.

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Actually, it would be cheaper going to the near earth objects because some of them are pretty close.

    The big space station was a grand idea, but the cost of launches and the material required grew out of sight.

    Besides, it looks like private industry is going to do this instead of our government anyway, as a commentor on Aviation Week noted, a change in administration means a change in policy, etc., ad nauseum.

    They’ll just throw money at the NASA bureacracy and collect their huge salaries.

  3. Hi dad2059…

    “The big space station was a grand idea, but the cost of launches and the material required grew out of sight.”

    How much do you think the “luny” idea (not a pun) of building moonbased facilities will cost.?!

    The moon is nominally 250,000 miles away from the earth. The environment is quite hostile, no different than an orbiting station; ie., the extended immersion in radiation from the sun and space is something to contend with. So the moonbase will have to be built in the shadow/terminator zone to mitigate irradiation from space, solar flares and other such tissue damaging rays. These issues have to be contended with even an an orbiting device, but realizing nothing goes smoothly it’s muchy easier and lest costly to address materiel problems with an orbiting stationl, much closer to our earth than having to transport materiel 250,000 miles each time, much less the need for return missions.s What a waste of resources and taxpayer money. Space “jocks” love it, but I as a taxpayer don’t and think it’s nothing but a “ship of testosterone driven fools” runing programs such as this.

    I’m not going to fret over this “Fantasy Island” bullsh*t because it isn’t going to happen. We are flat, dead broke as a nation. The world is headed for a hardcore downdraft; ie., recession/depression and the entire inflated paradigm seemingly is going to die like a slug in the noonday sun. : )

    Hell, you just posted the Hoagland article which is an expose’ of NASA’s ongoing ripoff of U.S. taxslaves!

    “By the light, by the light of the silvery moon…you and I, you and I… etc. Thats’s what the moons is best suited for; ie., cozied up to a lithe, hot woman on a moonlit night, holding each other closely and simply looking at the face of the “man in the moon”…no?! 😀

    Carl Nemo**==

  4. Unfortunately Carl, that’s probably how it’s going to play out. Posters like myself have seen this coming for months, given all of the trillions of dollars that have been thrown at Iraq and stolen by various contractors, war lords and government officials like Paul Bremer.

    Our future was sold down the river by Bu$hco and his NWO handlers. Space is going to belong to others.

  5. hello what is an red giant

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