[ExI] Colonizing Space was Perception of time

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 25 08:43:53 UTC 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
> To: The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Cc: 
> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Colonizing Space was Perception of time
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 06:24:00PM -0800, The Avantguardian wrote:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com>
>> > As a member of a species that seems to find it infeasible to even 
> colonise a 
>> > single moon 1/4 of a million miles away, I'd like to see that 
> paper!
> Machines can be people, too. Canned monkeys will never amount
> to much in space.

With the right preservatives, canned monkeys will be fine.

>> It is most certainly feasible. You just need to build a logistical 
> The Moon is not Antarctica.

How is this relevant? It's not Dubai either.
>> supply chain one small step at a time. You guys are really good at 
>> this. Think about it terms of warfare. You guys can get supplies to 
>> your troops on the other side of this planet. That is pi*earth's 
>> radius away. The moon is 60 earth radii away. The supply chain to 
> Distance is not relevant, potential energy is
> http://xkcd.com/681_large/ 

This just helps my argument. The ISS is about 4% of the trip to the moon potential-wise. GEO is over 86%.

>> the Afghanistan war is over 5% the distance to the moon. Now 
>> leverage your existing assetts. You have a space station in low earth 
>> orbit. Use it as a base camp to build a station in earth-moon 
>> L1 Langrange point. Now you have conquered what amounts to a hill 
> Absolutely not, because there are no resources there. 
> An orbit is an absence of material resources, so you 
> can't even utilize the abundant radiant energy.

In warfare, *position* is a resource.
>> between the gravity wells of the earth and the moon. I suggest 
>> this be an international venture because the Earth-Moon L1 is of 
>> inestimable strategic value with regards to both the earth and 

> Strategic value? Which? Other than a passing point for 
> your lunar elevator or an observatory, maybe.

High ground is a strategic advantage. The earth-moon L-1 is the highest ground in the neighborhood. From L1, a hostile would have a window to drop a rock anywhere along the ecliptic (celestial equator) relative to earth's or moon's surface with a minimum of effort. Depending on the time of day, that could be anywhere except for the north or south poles. Plus the hostile would laser line of sight to any satellite orbiting the earth or the moon for most of the satellite's orbital period.  That is *huge* strategic advantage.

>> the moon allowing easy access to both. In any case, conquer lunar L1 and 
> the moon is yours.
> As soon as you're out of Earth gravity well and don't have to
> get down another one or build up delta v everything is easy.

That's my point. Set up a staging area up there so that you can assemble a serious space mission, one small payload at a time.

>> Maybe we should lobby congress into declaring war on space 
>> in retaliation for the death of brave astronauts from Apollo 1 to 
> Challenger. 
> Even if the Moon was pure platinum, mining it would be barely
> cost-effective. The most utility of it is where it is, in situ.

Moon rocks are incredibly valuable. In 1993, three small fragments from Luna 16, weighing 0.2 g, were sold for US $442,500. Now obviously, they will drop in value as the supply is increased but nonetheless, I believe you could fund an entire moon mission by selling the rocks you bring back on Ebay. Also there is some titanium on the moon. Not much but some.

Stuart LaForge

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