Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:04 PM
LiberalArkie (2,257 posts)
NASA to deploy water-seeking robot on Moon in 2017, manned lunar base could be next
This is a good article. Brings hope for a new scientific renaissance.
50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy told the United States that man would go to the moon. Soon, another American president may announce that the same celestial body will serve as a waypoint for manned space exploration. The Verge has learned that NASA intends to deploy a robotic lunar rover on the Moon in 2017 to search for water and other resources necessary for space travel, and that NASA may have secured support from the White House for an actual manned outpost — a space station — floating above the far side of the moon.
Rumors of such a deep-space outpost surfaced as early as February of this year, when a leaked memo from a NASA administrator detailed an idea to build a "human-tended waypoint" at Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 (EML-2): a point in space where balanced gravitational forces allow an object to remain in stationary orbit relative to both the Earth and the Moon. From there, NASA could launch missions deeper into space — say, to Mars, or a near-Earth asteroid — using the base as a stepping stone.
2 replies, 403 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
NASA to deploy water-seeking robot on Moon in 2017, manned lunar base could be next (Original post)
Response to LiberalArkie (Original post)
Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:37 PM
HopeHoops (47,675 posts)
1. The biggest challenge on the moon isn't finding water - it's dealing with radiation.
The moon has zilch for an atmosphere. Water or not, that's a major factor. It's a similar problem on Mars (which is more likely to have water). You can't hide from radiation. The only reasonable "base" is a space station with starships. There's still the escape velocity even on the moon. I really don't see much hope for moon colonies. Mars still has the radiation and extreme cold and weather to deal with, not to mention the nearly oxygen-free atmosphere, but it's far better suited for life than the moon. Terraforming is actually a serious possibility on Mars. You can't do that to the moon (which is basically just a big rock).