[ExI] China to Own the Moon by 2027

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Apr 4 06:29:39 UTC 2012

On Wed, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:09:58AM +0200, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> It is not the moon end where force is relevant, it is in near Earth
> orbit and launch/reentry. A moonbase is nothing if it cannot get
> supplies or deliver whatever valuable is there down to Earth. Things in

The first resource will be polar cryotrap volatiles for fuel, the
second mined material to be launched into the Earth-Moon system
initially to produce power, but also routing/computing/storage
facilities (where the cloud was supposed to be all along: over
our heads). 

At self-rep closure over unity the new player no longer needs
the Earth, anyway. Arguably, at that stage you have solid-state
beings, so the Earth is no longer relevant, anyway.

> the stratosphere and low orbit can be hit (as demonstrated by the
> Chinese, and implicit in the ABM system). The problem is that defense is

If you have launching facilities you can retaliate by a hail of
tungsten at high Mach. 

And since having the Moon means having access to the entire
Solar system you could go out, and divert something bigger.
Like few km boulders, precision-guided, or even a 10 or 100 km

> hard while offense is easy: armor is not feasible when you have to
> struggle against the rocket equation or re-entry aerodynamics, and
> anything at orbital velocity is already nearly a railgun bullet.
> My guess is that any attempt at owning the moon requires having *all*
> powers able to wreck your expensive space infrastructure agree that it
> is OK.

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