[ExI] Colonizing Space was Perception of time

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Jan 25 09:52:36 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 12:43:53AM -0800, The Avantguardian wrote:

> > Machines can be people, too. Canned monkeys will never amount
> > to much in space.
> With the right preservatives, canned monkeys will be fine.

No, because ~100 kg buys you a slowtime bag of water, and carries
according burden of many tons of life support. In machine-phase,
a single kg goes a long way. Loss of volaties is no problem since
there are no volatiles to start with. Tell that to lyophilized
space monkey jerky after explosive decompression.
> >> 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.

Are you familiar with the logistics required to
support a tiny polar settlement on Earth? How many tons/person
freight for life support? Now add need to carry volatiles and 
necessity to use vaccuum suits (deep sea diving has nothing
on this) or teleoperation in a *really* hostile environment, 
and look at costs/kg.

> >> 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 ISS (-29.6 MJ/kg, LEO is -17 MJ/kg, Moon -0.5 MJ/kg specific
orbital energy)) is not Afghanistan, and of course LEO gives you
the advantage of being able to use electric propulsion.
> > 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. 

Any orbital constellation provides complete coverage
with few platforms. 

> 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. 

To be able to drop a rock you have to be able to put
up a rock first.

I suggest low-albedo nuke. You don't see them coming.

> 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.

If you can see it, you can blind it or shoot it down
(using the entire resources of the Earth, if required).
It works both ways. Being stationary makes it easier.
> >> 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.

Gentlement. I give you some staging area: the surface of the Moon.
> >> 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. 

Moon rocks have zero intrinsic value.

> 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.

There is plenty of titanium on the Moon but even if
the Moon was made from pure titanium or had gold ingots
laying around it would be currently not cost effective 
to transport it.

We need to get rid of the squirrel mentality.
Space squirrels set up shop where there's plenty
of space nuts -- not trying to carry everything

Space squirrels are optimally adapted to their
habitats. Let's face it, we make pretty terrible space squirrels.

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