Nuke the Moon!

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hobie1dog

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still no oxygen, or food source, or shelter ( the big 3 things you need).
 

OverTheTop

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They don't clarify in the article but me thinks this is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) not a nuclear reactor which requires vast amounts of water.
No, fission. Uses sodium/potassium as fluid to move heat to Stirling cycle engines to generate power. I think these might be using helium for the Stirling cycle based on what I have read somewhere else. Quite a nice technological spin on an old idea.


I had to laugh at this comment in that article, from a marketing consultant:
"Shel Horowitz, a profitability and marketing consultant for green businesses said that putting a nuclear power plant on the moon would be a boondoggle and a wholly unnecessary one at that.

“With the rapidly falling cost of truly clean power from the sun, wind, and small-scale hydro, plus the growing efficiencies we’ve achieved through conservation, there is no reason to go through a lengthy, expensive, and fraught process,” he said. “We can meet our energy needs without this.”


Last I heard there was not flowing water on the moon, nor wind :(. I hope his consulting rates are cheap, based on that knowledge. Might make up for the long lunar nights in accommodation without solar power.

still no oxygen, or food source, or shelter ( the big 3 things you need).
Regarding oxygen:
 

hobie1dog

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We might want to think about others on this planet first, like making sure all our fellow humans have food, clothing, clean drinking water, and shelter.




after that is accomplished, then go back to the barren Moon
 

dhbarr

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We might want to think about others on this planet first, like making sure all our fellow humans have food, clothing, clean drinking water, and shelter.

after that is accomplished, then go back to the barren Moon
Yup, better not make any progress until we've fixed every more important problem. How do you propose we save countries from themselves?
 

Blast it Tom!

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@hobie1dog, I'll take exception to that last one - Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we will not. It has not as much to do with "the rich" as it does with corruption in the affected areas, strong men taking all the goods, misguided "development" programs... US International agriculture programs won't provide subsistence farmers with tractors because of climate change, crap like that. A friend of mine has researched this and some less-developed countries play the games with UN programs and then the money goes down the black hole and the next thing you know there's a new presidential palace. I have friends that do (charitable) water projects in Africa, only to have rival tribes destroy them. They have to try to pick the projects that are most needed but have the best shot at surviving. We are horribly sinful people all the way around.

I do note, however, that there is a disproportionate concentration of wealth (see Oxfam reports, et al); but again, it's not like Billy Gates (or others like him) is sitting on umpty-billions in cash - he has equity (stock) in his company, but he can't just willy-nilly sell it, give to the poor and what-not - and many folks like him are attempting to do some good with their wealth.
 

hobie1dog

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Yup, better not make any progress until we've fixed every more important problem. How do you propose we save countries from themselves?
.
It's all about educating the youngsters who will inherit our mess on how to quit polluting, eliminate the burning of fossil fuels and instead use solar, wind, geothermal ,current generators and tidal generators which will all provide more power than we could ever possibly need and provide zero pollution , and providing mandatory yearly classes through high school on social behavior. Treating each other with empathy, eliminate bullying, producing compassionate humans who see all other humans as one. This needs to be done Worldwide.
It won't happen though as humans are selfish and greedy, and the only thing corporate advertising does to maintain their insatiable appetite for profits is to daily brainwash the young people into believing that what they currently have is not good enough, and to constantly spend more money and buy more stuff for themselves. Corporations and bankers are the two things that are destroying the world more than anything else as the bankers have only one objective and that is to make every person that walks through their door a debtor to them making them nothing more than that slaves working at jobs they hate to buy more stuff that they don't need , and all it amounts to them is to make sure that they have all that interest money, lots of lots of Interest money. Perpetual debt is their only goal.

I'm tired now.
 

BABAR

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"Shel Horowitz, a profitability and marketing consultant for green businesses said that putting a nuclear power plant on the moon would be a boondoggle and a wholly unnecessary one at that.

“With the rapidly falling cost of truly clean power from the sun, wind, and small-scale hydro, plus the growing efficiencies we’ve achieved through conservation, there is no reason to go through a lengthy, expensive, and fraught process,” he said. “We can meet our energy needs without this.”

]
It's not like we're gonna create an environmental catastrophe on the moon. Nobody had problems when we scattered Beresheet on the moon, so I don't think a reactor is gonna make much difference, especially with all the unfiltered ionizing solar radiation hitting the surface.

It would be difficult to make the moon's surface MORE hostile than it already is to human life. Not impossible, just difficult.

Bringing earth fuels, nuclear or otherwise, to the moon seems backwards to me. If you really want something to be self sustaining, we need to find a power source accessible FROM the moon. Solar is going to be hyperefficient compared to Earth, but the problem is your days are two weeks long (nice), nights are also two weeks long (not so nice). I am not sure battery technology is both light enough to haul up there and has the capacity to run things during the dark fortnight.

not sure of the probability of finding uranium or thorium or other nuclear sources ON the moon, even if we did, not exactly gonna be easy to build a plant to refine them for use.

Something that MAY work would be if we could create giant greenhouses and grow biomass plants for energy. But pretty sure that burning them is gonna require oxygen that we don't yet have, and likely more oxygen than the plants would generate.

Curious if we could generate power from the differences in temperature on the moon, some spots must get pretty hot when in direct sunlight, while shadowed areas are cold. I did great in physics but it was a long time ago, seems like you ought to be able to generate power from a large heat differential, but I can't remember how it is done.
 

6inchmonster

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We might want to think about others on this planet first, like making sure all our fellow humans have food, clothing, clean drinking water, and shelter.


after that is accomplished, then go back to the barren Moon
or we could politicize the issue and pretend that we are not trashing this place..
 

RICHARD COLARCO

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https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/nasa-wants-put-nuclear-reactor-213309765.html

They don't clarify in the article but me thinks this is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) not a nuclear reactor which requires vast amounts of water.
NASA's baseline design for a reactor such as this is a liquid sodium reactor which requires no water. See NASA Mars Reference Architecture for an explanation. I am assuming NASA wants to use a liquid sodium reactor on the moon as a proof of concept for Mars.

There is no way a RTG would be able to put out these power levels.
 

Antares JS

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We might want to think about others on this planet first, like making sure all our fellow humans have food, clothing, clean drinking water, and shelter.




after that is accomplished, then go back to the barren Moon
There is nothing - NOTHING - more important to our future as a species than expanding into space. We can move out and thrive on the resources we can collect off of Earth - which would alleviate many of the environmental issues you cite - or we can stay on this single planet and slowly rot.

Poverty will never be solved, at least not by throwing money at the problem. It is a political issue as has already been said - try to help someone from a poor country and their neighbors come in to take it. This can only be solved by slow cultural changes, some of which are happening as Africa and other impoverished areas slowly develop.

Given your usual attitude, I suspect that you are going to respond something to the affect of “humanity deserves to rot.” I disagree, but you can stay and rot if you want. Some of us will keep looking upward, and we will be proven right when the first space solar stations or other similar power generation project come online and start beaming energy down to Earth.
 

6inchmonster

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There is nothing - NOTHING - more important to our future as a species than expanding into space. We can move out and thrive on the resources we can collect off of Earth - which would alleviate many of the environmental issues you cite - or we can stay on this single planet and slowly rot.
I understand your sentiment. But given the feasibility of leaving this planet at the moment and the pace at which we are destroying it, I am going to say that prolonging life here is number one. There is nothing to move to (fill in other planet) if it takes 25 years but we melt the ice caps in 5. Plus, it is a pretty good planet.. worth saving imo
 

Antares JS

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I understand your sentiment. But given the feasibility of leaving this planet at the moment and the pace at which we are destroying it, I am going to say that prolonging life here is number one. There is nothing to move to (fill in other planet) if it takes 25 years but we melt the ice caps in 5. Plus, it is a pretty good planet.. worth saving imo
No one is saying to expand into space at the expense of dealing with problems on Earth. Expanding into space is a big part of alleviating* problems on Earth, as I said in the paragraph you quoted.

However, people who demand we stop spending the tiny fraction of GDP that we spend on space because of problems on Earth can all go jump in a lake.

*I am hesitant to say "solving" as these problems will probably never be entirely solved.
 

Marc_G

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It's not like we're gonna create an environmental catastrophe on the moon. Nobody had problems when we scattered Beresheet on the moon, so I don't think a reactor is gonna make much difference, especially with all the unfiltered ionizing solar radiation hitting the surface.

It would be difficult to make the moon's surface MORE hostile than it already is to human life. Not impossible, just difficult.

Bringing earth fuels, nuclear or otherwise, to the moon seems backwards to me. If you really want something to be self sustaining, we need to find a power source accessible FROM the moon. Solar is going to be hyperefficient compared to Earth, but the problem is your days are two weeks long (nice), nights are also two weeks long (not so nice). I am not sure battery technology is both light enough to haul up there and has the capacity to run things during the dark fortnight.

not sure of the probability of finding uranium or thorium or other nuclear sources ON the moon, even if we did, not exactly gonna be easy to build a plant to refine them for use.

Something that MAY work would be if we could create giant greenhouses and grow biomass plants for energy. But pretty sure that burning them is gonna require oxygen that we don't yet have, and likely more oxygen than the plants would generate.

Curious if we could generate power from the differences in temperature on the moon, some spots must get pretty hot when in direct sunlight, while shadowed areas are cold. I did great in physics but it was a long time ago, seems like you ought to be able to generate power from a large heat differential, but I can't remember how it is done.
One neat strategy for lunar solar use, given that traditional batteries aren't yet up to the task, is to convert excess daytime solar power into chemical potential by hydrolyzing water. Store up the gasses, then during the long nights react them back to generate heat and electricity. Most of the loss in the generation of electricity from H2+O2 is heat, which is useful in its own right on the moon.

Still, I like the idea of trying out remote fission plants on the moon.
 

boomtube-mk2

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We may be able to build fusion plants on the moon. Helium 3 is abundant in lunar soil.
So far we haven't even been able to build a successful* fusion reactor that can fuse hydrogen into helium much less the far more difficult feat of fusing helium3.


*And by "Successful" I mean a commercial fusion reactor that can produce more energy than it uses . . . but it's just around the corner.
C.H.O.N. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. If you have access to those four elements you can theoretically "Build Food".
 

Blast it Tom!

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So far we haven't even been able to build a successful* fusion reactor that can fuse hydrogen into helium much less the far more difficult feat of fusing helium3.


*And by "Successful" I mean a commercial fusion reactor that can produce more energy than it uses . . . but it's just around the corner.
C.H.O.N. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. If you have access to those four elements you can theoretically "Build Food".
But we need pepper...
 

aerostadt

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Nuke Mars, too! A nuclear reactor using free hydrogen can convert the Martian atmosphere (95% CO2) into methane and oxygen to use as rocket propellants. Six tons of liquid hydrogen brought from earth can be converted into 108 tons of methane and oxygen. Read the book, "The Case for Mars", by Robert Zubrin. If there is water on Mars, we don't even need to bring the hydrogen.
 

MClark

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I remember reading a plan to put a reactor on the back side of the moon to create fuel for nuclear powered rocket motors.
Far less scary elements could be carried off earth and bumped up to something more energetic. If the rocket transporting off earth had a problem it would be less horrible.
 

MClark

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And another thing……..
People are always talking about making the chemical fuels on Mars or wherever
First let’s make it work here. Too much blue sky technology.
It’s going to take an incredible amount, weight, of equipment to do it in a reasonable amount of time.
Powering (an operation needing lots of energy) with solar sucks on earth and (I believe) 3x the array on Mars. More pounds to haul there.
 

Dotini

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Do we have a thread on even getting to the Moon? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current plan to get to the Moon is years (maybe many years) behind schedule, and a ridiculous amount of money over budget. And the situation keeps getting worse each year. I'm skeptical of the US returning people to the Moon until the 2030's at the earliest.
 

MClark

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Do we have a thread on even getting to the Moon? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current plan to get to the Moon is years (maybe many years) behind schedule, and a ridiculous amount of money over budget. And the situation keeps getting worse each year. I'm skeptical of the US returning people to the Moon until the 2030's at the earliest.
The Aliens told us not to go back to the moon.
That is why Apollo 18 was canceled.
 

rharshberger

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Do we have a thread on even getting to the Moon? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current plan to get to the Moon is years (maybe many years) behind schedule, and a ridiculous amount of money over budget. And the situation keeps getting worse each year. I'm skeptical of the US returning people to the Moon until the 2030's at the earliest.
Thats why SpaceX will do it first...
 

6inchmonster

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No one is saying to expand into space at the expense of dealing with problems on Earth. Expanding into space is a big part of alleviating* problems on Earth, as I said in the paragraph you quoted.

However, people who demand we stop spending the tiny fraction of GDP that we spend on space because of problems on Earth can all go jump in a lake.

*I am hesitant to say "solving" as these problems will probably never be entirely solved.
All projects come at the expense of focus and priority from other projects.
 

aerostadt

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We will always have the poor. It has been that way for thousands of years. Nothing has changed.
 

6inchmonster

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We will always have the poor. It has been that way for thousands of years. Nothing has changed.
I am less concerned about the poor. I am more concerned that the current crop of mega billionaires seem intent on finding a way off this planet instead of making life here sustainable (which is currently is not).

What will the rest of us do when the sky turns red with unbreathable vapor and the sea level rises 300 feet?
 

Blast it Tom!

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Well, to be honest Elon Musk thinks it is imperative that we colonize Mars ASAP so that we have people to repopulate Earth after we blow ourselves to smithereens - as in Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles".

I don't know if the seas could rise another 300 ft. According to scientists, during the last ice age, the sea level was 400 ft. below where is is now, ice was a mile deep over Boston and I live near the edge of the glaciated extent (can't turn a shovel full without half of it being pulverized sandstone). I haven't heard even the most worried say it could rise another 300 ft, or even 300 inches.

But if mankind survived without any technology back then, I think we can adapt to this challenge. We've made HUGE improvements since I was a kid. I worked in a steel mill on coke ovens, had to wear a respirator all the time (and didn't always, you know people...); yet years later, the air here is clear, there are game fish in the river where only carp and mudsuckers and catfish could survive before, and when I went to other countries for work, it was THEIR air pollution that was stinging my eyes! Yet somehow we're the problem. Kinda gets me. Yes, we have one planet; yes, we must care for it... How, is the question, and I question the motives and reasoning behind some of the political efforts in this area.
We will always have the poor. It has been that way for thousands of years. Nothing has changed.
I know of a fellow who said that once, about 2000 years ago...
 

BABAR

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So far we haven't even been able to build a successful* fusion reactor that can fuse hydrogen into helium much less the far more difficult feat of fusing helium3.


*And by "Successful" I mean a commercial fusion reactor that can produce more energy than it uses . . . but it's just around the corner.
C.H.O.N. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. If you have access to those four elements you can theoretically "Build Food".
Interesting article on where we are on fusion power.

last line quoted here

It is worth noting that the likely time frame roughly coincides with the period when many U.S. fission plants will be reaching the end of their license periods, as well as with the 2050 target date for net-zero carbon emissions that is the subject of significant attention worldwide. In such an environment, the advantages of fusion power could well be economically and socially compelling.
P

if and when fusion power becomes practically and cheaply available (likely 2050s doe the first,maybe another 50 years for the second, it becomes a game changer assuming we haven’t wrecked the planet by then.

but Until/unless we can solve the lightspeed speed limit AND find some nearby “Goldilocks‘ zone” planets (aka Star Trek M Class planets), or unless we can build habitable self powered completely self contained and self-sufficient satellites, our children’s’ childrens’ children (carry out as far as you want are in trouble if we can’t get world population under control voluntarily. Rest assured (although you will have nightmares)
the human population WILL eventually stop growing. The INVOLUNTARY route (which seems the most likely) will be ugly: war, disease, and/or famine (most likely a very unhealthy combination of all three) WILL eventually kick in barring divine intervention to thin the human herd. China has been gearing up for it for decades, and while the Chinese people individually seem nice enough, I don’t like their government, which unfortunately has read the tea leaves the U.S, has ignored and understands that control of the Dwindling supply of natural resources is key to survival, and is positioning itself to be ready when push comes to shove. I won’t be around to see it, but unfortunately my kids or grandkids might.
 
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