[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Dec 28 19:00:48 UTC 2010

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 10:00:52AM -0800, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > 
> > It is quite obvious that once terrestrial photovoltaics
> > deployment will run into high 10% there *will* be SPS
> > constellations (built in situ from lunar material), 
> > and soon also telecommunication, computing,
> > storage, quite literally becoming the cloud of nodes in
> > Earth-Moon system (most of us should be able to see
> > the beginning of this), and soon elsewhere.
> That is not at all obvious.  

If we don't do that, we won't amount
to more than a footnote in universe's

> The reason is that we don't have the robotics 

I don't think it's a hard problem these days.
There have been a number of past bootstrap
plans, see http://www.molecularassembler.com/KSRM.htm

> or huge (and expendable) human astronaut population 

Space suits don't really work, so why not use
teleoperation? Even NASA has wisened up meanwhile

And of course there's not much point in teleoperating
the robot from nearby pressurized vessel, if you could
leave the human at home. The Moon is close enough
for teleoperation, and there's already the incentive
to augment remote control with (faster) local
reflexes. The degree of autonomy will only
increase from there.

> to assemble and maintain such vast structures in space.

The nodes themselves aren't particularly big.
About the biggest part is electromagnetic launchers,
which are strictly modular.
> Until and unless we have major space robotics 

Major space robotics starts with decent
Earth-side robotics. We have had some really
nice progress in the last couple decades.

> this will not remotely happen.  I am very concerned 
> in my focus with how exactly we get from the nitty 
> gritty "here" to any sort of of interesting and fun 
> to fantasize about "there".   Show me the path, especially 

See http://www.molecularassembler.com/KSRM.htm
and the NASA ISRU (in situ resource utilization)

At this point, it's largely a question of budget.
There's a second Moon race of sorts on, Japan,
India and China (and Europe) being the main participants.

> how you are going to create the ability to mine, 
> process, assemble and maintain all this infrastructure 
> and in what steps.

The basic idea of ISRU is to reduce mass transfer.
It's pretty obvious that you don't need to fabricate
control logic locally, and for e.g. PV panel production
the silicon (or other materials) can initially be
transported from Earth. We know there's a lot of
volatiles at the pole(s), which is incidentally 
one of the few places in the Solar system where 
ancient crater cryotraps sit right next to the 
peak of eternal sunlight.

So that looks like the best place to start.

The bootstrap won't be completely scripted,
since there will be always surprises, improvisations
and optimisations.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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