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Sigmetnow

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Exploring Our Moon
« on: October 26, 2021, 03:58:01 AM »
—- Several Small- to Medium-sized landers are due on the moon soon
NASA has contracted six Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions, each carrying multiple payloads, with targets as soon as Q1 2022. Four will launch on Falcon 9 rockets, and a fifth on a Falcon Heavy.  (Peregrine Mission One wants to launch on a Vulcan rocket in Q1 2022, but Vulcan is still awaiting its BE-4 engines from Blue Origin).

Commercial Lunar Payload Services - Wikipedia
Quote
Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) is a NASA program to contract transportation services able to send small robotic landers and rovers to the Moon's south polar region mostly with the goals of scouting for lunar resources, testing in situ resource utilization (ISRU) concepts, and performing lunar science to support the Artemis lunar program. CLPS is intended to buy end-to-end payload services between Earth and the lunar surface using fixed priced contracts.

NASA's Science Mission Directorate operates the CLPS program in conjunction with the Human Exploration and Operations and Space Technology Mission Directorates. NASA expects the contractors to provide all activities necessary to safely integrate, accommodate, transport, and operate NASA payloads, including launch vehicles, lunar lander spacecraft, lunar surface systems, Earth re-entry vehicles and associated resources. …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Lunar_Payload_Services

—- News:
Firefly completes design of Moon mission, aiming for 2023 launch
Eric Berger - 10/25/2021
Quote
Although Firefly Aerospace is only a few weeks removed from its first-ever launch attempt, the Texas-based space company is already making good progress toward its first mission to land on the Moon.

Firefly said Monday that it has completed the "critical design review" phase of its program to develop a lunar lander. This means the company can now proceed to build and order components for the "Blue Ghost" spacecraft and begin its assembly. Firefly aims to launch the spacecraft as the primary payload on a Falcon 9 rocket in the fall of 2023.

NASA is sponsoring the mission as part of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program, through which it pays private companies to deliver scientific experiments to the Moon. NASA is paying $93.3 million for this Blue Ghost mission, which will carry 10 payloads down to the Mare Crisium lunar basin in September 2023.

"We got through the critical design review process in eight months, which is a very fast pace for sending something to the surface of the Moon," William Coogan, Blue Ghost's chief engineer, told Ars.

The lander is sized like a large person, about 2 meters tall, and capable of carrying 155 kg of payload to the Moon's surface. From the time that NASA ordered the mission, Firefly will have had about 2.5 years to design and build the lander, Coogan said.

He is most excited about the spacecraft's potential to stream high-definition video from the surface of the Moon at 10 megabits per second. One camera, at the top of the spacecraft, will be set to track to Earth as it* moves over the Moon, and its** eclipse as it** sets over the horizon. Coogan said he is eager to share such a view of our home planet with the entire world. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/firefly-completes-design-of-moon-mission-aiming-for-2023-launch/
*the spacecraft
**the Earth

⬇️ Image below: Rendering of the Blue Ghost lander.
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Neven

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2021, 07:48:51 AM »
It's not our Moon. It's the Moon.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Aluminium

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2021, 12:03:57 PM »
62 years ago.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2021, 09:06:00 PM »
It's not our Moon. It's the Moon.

But there are so many moons! We’re exploring the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.  I think the nearest astronomical body, trapped in the gravity well caused by the planet we reside on, can rightfully be described as “our moon,” just as we refer to Earth as “our planet,” or, “our continent”, or “our region.”  It does not necessarily imply ownership, if that is your complaint.  Merely familiarity.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 09:14:13 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Neven

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2021, 10:16:01 PM »
My complaint is that you display a way of thinking (and doing it again with your second comment) that is rampant. And wrong.

But otherwise an interesting topic, exploring the Earth's Moon. Much better than the Mars exploration con that Elon Musk is fond of.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2021, 10:26:37 PM »
My complaint is that you display a way of thinking (and doing it again with your second comment) that is rampant. And wrong.

But otherwise an interesting topic, exploring the Earth's Moon. Much better than the Mars exploration con that Elon Musk is fond of.

Your belief that Musk’s Mars plans are a con is wrong. That’s your way of thinking.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2021, 03:14:42 AM »
—- NASA gives Artemis Moon landing update
NASA delays Moon landings, says Blue Origin legal tactics partly to blame
"We've lost nearly seven months in litigation."
Eric Berger - 11/9/2021, 7:34 PM
2024 no more —
Quote
Senior NASA officials on Tuesday provided an updated timeline for returning humans to the Moon under the agency's Artemis Program, and they discussed costs and other issues related to it. The biggest news came in the form of NASA's formal acknowledgement that a human landing on the Moon in 2024 is not possible, but there were plenty of other noteworthy tidbits.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson led the briefing with space reporters, which came five days after the US Court of Federal Claims ruled against Blue Origin's lawsuit against NASA for its selection of SpaceX to build a lunar lander for the Artemis Program. Previously, Nelson had promised to provide an update on the Artemis Program following the lawsuit, and on Tuesday he made good on that.

He came out guns blazing at Blue Origin. "We've lost nearly seven months in litigation and that likely has pushed the first human landing likely to no earlier than 2025," Nelson said, pinning the delay in NASA's return to the Moon firmly on Blue Origin and its lawyers. During the legal process, NASA was forbidden from working or even talking with SpaceX regarding the Human Landing System (HLS) program. The agency was also unable to provide milestone payments.

"I spoke last Friday with Gwynne Shotwell," Nelson said, referring to the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. "This is the first contact we've been able to have about the HLS program, and we both underscored the importance of returning to the Moon as quickly and safely as possible."


"Let me just point out right now there's only one rocket that's capable of doing this, and this is SLS and Orion on top," Nelson replied. "And that's stacked we speak, and it's going to launch next February. So we're going with what we got. And if anybody comes up with another alternative, we're glad to look at any other alternative."

The Space Launch System rocket is indeed finally stacked, and it probably will launch during the first half of 2022. But SpaceX is also finalizing its Starship launch system, and pending launch-site approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, it also will attempt an orbital test flight early in 2022.

The bottom line is that, for Artemis to be a success, Starship must now also be a success. And if Starship is a success, it will almost certainly be an exponentially more efficient launch vehicle than NASA's SLS rocket.
Nelson may be glad to look at "alternatives" when they come to pass, but will Congress?
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/nasa-delays-moon-landings-says-blue-origin-legal-tactics-partly-to-blame/


—- Who got there first? ;)
Quote
Elon Musk
Yup, even the moon
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1455800444505178112
⬇️ Vikings meme below.

< I think you'll find the Vikings in fact landed on Mars.
https://twitter.com/robxlynx/status/1455947413609353221
⬇️ Pic of NASA Viking Mars lander
 
Elon Musk
Haha true
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2021, 05:01:26 AM »
SpaceX: While we’re waiting for the first uncrewed Starships we launch to arrive on Mars, we’ll be landing other Starships on the Moon in the next few years.  Get cracking on that science experiment equipment (no need for them to be ultra-small or ultra-light, because Starship can carry tons of payload, to the moon and back) — and lobby Congress and NASA to provide quicker funding. 
Also, start rounding up people to be in the first astronaut groups!  They’ll live in Starships, until other habitats are built.

From the whitepaper:
Quote
Crewed Starships will have on the order of 1100 m3 forward space (most of which will be pressurized for human habitation), an 800 m3 liquid oxygen (LOX) tank, and a 600 m3 methane tank. Both tanks have a stainless-steel primary structure, and may be repurposed later as pressurized living space on the surface of the Moon or Mars.

The SpaceX Starship system fundamentally changes the paradigm for NASA science, technology development and testing, and human exploration of space. Starships flown to the Moon and Mars will provide opportunities to deliver massive cargos and large numbers of people to enable sustained and self-reliant human off-world presence. In addition, the return of many tons of samples from the Moon and Mars to Earth for scientific analysis will be enabled. The types of payloads that might be used to achieve SMD, HEOMD, and STMD objectives could be much different than those designed for traditional NASA flight opportunities with their stringent mass and volume constraints. In addition, broader segments of the community (including international partners) will have the opportunity to participate in spaceflight opportunities (both human and robotic) since more flights with more payload will be flying to the Moon and Mars than ever before. NASA could actively expand the roster of flight mission PIs and team members to include more early career professionals as well as marginalized and underrepresented groups.

In order to take advantage of the impending Starship flights to the surface of the Moon and Mars, NASA will need to develop a new funding program consistent with the mission timelines for rapid flights planned by SpaceX. To be most effective, planning should begin immediately to prepare for payloads on the first uncrewed Starship flights, likely first to the Moon and then for Mars. Starship missions to the lunar surface can be an important stepping stone for reaching Mars both technically and programmatically. The Moon can be a testbed and demonstration platform for ISRU technologies as well as Starship operations.
The white paper (8 pages, pdf):
http://surveygizmoresponseuploads.s3.amazonaws.com/fileuploads/623127/5489366/111-381503be1c5764e533d2e1e923e21477_HeldmannJenniferL

SpaceX details plan to build Mars Base Alpha with reusable Starship rockets
By Eric Ralph November 18, 2021
Quote
…  Further, confirming what’s been assumed to be the plan for years, “humans will likely live on [Starships] for the first few years until additional habitats are constructed” and “the first wave of uncrewed Starships can also be relocated and/or repurposed as needed to support the humans on the surface,” serving as “valuable assets for storage, habitation, [scientific laboratories], and a source of refined metal structures and resources.” The paper also states that “SpaceX is aggressively developing Starship to…conduct initial test flights to Mars…as soon as 2022 [or 2024]” and even raises the possibility of SpaceX launching the first Starship(s) to Mars before the rocket’s first lunar mission but then launching a separate lunar mission and landing a different Starship on the Moon while the Marsbound ship or ships are still in transit.

The whitepaper marks the first time that SpaceX (or those familiar with the company’s plans) has properly fleshed out the basics of its first crewed and uncrewed Starship missions to Mars and confirms a great deal of well-informed speculation. Namely, SpaceX appears to intend to pack even the very first Mars-bound ships with supplies. But even if they don’t bring much, the first Martian immigrants – launched in batches of “10-20 people” alongside “100+ metric tons” (~220,000+ lb) of cargo – will reuse all surviving Starships as pre-emplaced habitats, storage tanks, and raw material feedstock. Early cargo will focus on power, water, and propellant production, as well as shelters, radiation shielding, and the construction of prepared landing pads. Unsurprisngly, early residents will likely make the Starships that carry them to Mars their first homes on the surface of the Red Planet, taking advantage of an ~1100m³ (~39,000ft³) pressurized volume already outfitted to keep dozens of people alive and healthy in deep space for months at a time.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-mars-base-alpha-construction-plan/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2021, 04:53:17 PM »
Quote
No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this. That's because the Earth's moon is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side. But thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has been composed
12/14/21 https://twitter.com/rainmaker1973/status/1470717705468604416
 
Rotating Moon from LRO
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2021, 03:31:59 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2022, 04:49:11 AM »
Chinese Rover Reaches Mysterious Moon Cube: It's a Rock
Quote
Last month, China’s Yutu-2 rover made a discovery on the far side of the Moon that captured the world’s imagination: a hazy cube-like object in the distance, which China National Space Administration-affiliated outreach blog Our Space playfully described as a “mystery hut.”



It was supposed to take months before Yutu-2 would reach the object and find out what it is. As outlined in a new blog from Our Space, Chinese scientists just couldn’t wait that long and developed new strategies for the rover to traverse the lunar surface faster and get to the “cube” ASAP. Now, Yutu-2 has gotten close enough to see what it is: a rock. Just a regular old Moon rock.

Even the scientists seemed disappointed. The cube appeared as tall as the Arc de Triomphe in the distance, the Our Space blog notes, but “turned out to be very short when approached, and the drivers couldn't help but feel a little disappointed.” Still, they gave it the nickname “Jade Rabbit,” and noted that the bits of rock around it look like the leftovers from a rabbit’s carrot feast. 

The discovery, while not as bombastic as discovering an alien complex, wasn’t entirely unexpected. When the “cube” was initially discovered, many speculated that it could be the rocky remnant of a meteor impact, because it appeared next to an impact crater. Now, the next step for Yutu-2 is to get in even closer to analyze the rock and its nearby crater.



The resolution of the mystery of the Moon cube isn’t a total wash, however, as the rover team developed some pretty innovative techniques to get the robot moving across the Moon’s surface faster. In fact, laying that process out makes up the bulk of Our Space’s blog. The blog refers to the new approach as “swaggering” and describes how drivers coaxed Yutu-2 into taking an extra precious step each day, and covering more ground with each movement while navigating tricky craters. The trip north to the rock took more than 30 days, six steps in total, covering nearly 60 meters of lunar surface.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvnvpv/chinese-rover-reaches-mysterious-moon-cube-its-a-rock
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2022, 09:01:38 PM »
Quote
Elon Musk
Back to the moon soon
1/18/22, 9:49 PM. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1483632730298621954

—- CLPS missions — NET Feb 2022
Quote
Intuitive Machines will join NASA’s new era of lunar exploration with a robotic landing on the Moon under a contract award announced by NASA CLPS (Commercial Moon Landing Services). The lander will fly as many as five payloads to Oceanus Procellarum, a scientifically intriguing dark spot on the Moon.

Payloads: 1  Trans Lunar Injection

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Nova C
NET February, 2022
LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/1915

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Lunar_Payload_Services

Quote
Intuitive Machines was one of nine contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018 to submit bids for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Nova-C is one of three lunar landers that will be built and launched under that program.

The first Nova-C lander is manifested on the IM-1 mission in early 2022, with a second lander on the IM-2 mission later that year. The IM-3 mission is scheduled to launch in early 2024. All three landers will launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Another selected lander is the Peregrine by Astrobotic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova-C

—-
Quote
Dr. Phil Metzger
Here’s my concern: When we tell ourselves that something is super hard, an epic quest, we have turned it into the limit of what we will try to do.
We need humans on the Moon, but we need to see that this is one of the *easier* parts of what we are capable of doing in space.
https://twitter.com/drphiltill/status/1481987619366092801
 
Eric Berger
Spot on. The Moon is really hard, but after LEO it’s the lowest hanging fruit for human spaceflight. It is not the limit, but the next step.
1/15/22 https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1482402901679030274
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2022, 03:00:24 AM »
Toyota Heading to Moon With Cruiser, Robotic Arms, Dreams
https://apnews.com/article/space-exploration-technology-science-business-robotics-43addff6ee72bc7cf3b2bfcf9f3ab570



TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is working with Japan’s space agency on a vehicle to explore the lunar surface, with ambitions to help people live on the moon by 2040 and then go live on Mars, company officials said Friday.

The vehicle being developed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is called Lunar Cruiser, whose name pays homage to the Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle. Its launch is set for the late 2020’s.

The vehicle is based on the idea that people eat, work, sleep and communicate with others safely in cars, and the same can be done in outer space, said Takao Sato, who heads the Lunar Cruiser project at Toyota Motor Corp.

“We see space as an area for our once-in-a-century transformation. By going to space, we may be able to develop telecommunications and other technology that will prove valuable to human life,” Sato told The Associated Press

Gitai Japan Inc., a venture contracted with Toyota, has developed a robotic arm for the Lunar Cruiser, designed to perform tasks such as inspection and maintenance. Its “grapple fixture” allows the arm’s end to be changed so it can work like different tools, scooping, lifting and sweeping.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2022, 07:53:05 PM by vox_mundi »
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etienne

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2022, 08:24:51 AM »
Sounds like a vehicle that can be used to assess the situation after an industrial or nuclear disaster. Maybe they needed something like that at Fukushima a few years ago.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2022, 05:07:28 PM »
—- Falcon 9 on the moon ~March 4
Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
For those asking: yes, an old Falcon 9 second stage left in high orbit in 2015 is going to hit the moon on March 4. It's interesting, but not a big deal.
1/25/22 https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1486057487027646466

Eric Berger
rude
Quote
The S-IVB hitting the moon was defiantly something, they left 30-40 meter diameter craters and Falcon will probably do the same
Image below is Apollo 17's S-IVB stage which created a 35 Meter diameter crater and triggered the seismometers left from previous Apollo missions
1/24/22  ➡️ https://twitter.com/matthew_cable12/status/1485809725749014530
2 images at the link.


—- Moon landers in the works
Quote
Japanese lunar lander startup ispace says its Mission 1 lander will enter final assembly and integration next month, with the mission's launch set for no earlier than the fourth quarter (Oct-Dec):
Mission 2 is delayed to 2024 from 2023.
1/25/22 ➡️ https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1486014949835128836
3 pics :o

Key Updates for HAKUTO-R Announced as Mission 1 Lander Prepares to Enter Final Stage of Integration
25 Jan, 2022
https://ispace-inc.com/news/?p=2168

——
Quote
Intuitive Machines
Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission launch is moving outside of Q1 2022 to later this year. We will provide updates as they become available.
1/26/22 https://twitter.com/int_machines/status/1486443848213610498
 
Eric Berger
Been thinking for awhile that NASA will be doing well to see one Commercial Lunar Payload Services mission to the Moon in 2022. It's down to IM… and Astrobotic (riding on Vulcan, which may or may not be ready).
   —
Such delays are not unexpected, especially with the relatively low cost NASA is paying to facilitate an entirely new means of delivering cargo and science experiments to the Moon. If these companies need a little more time to be confident in their landers, that seems reasonable.
1/27/22, 10:11 AM. https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1486718494590656526

 
——
Machine to melt Moon rocks and derive metals may launch in 2024
Eric Berger - 1/21/2022
Lunar Resources
Quote
In recent years, much has been said about mining water ice in shadowed craters at the Moon's South Pole for use as rocket propellant. Enthusiasm for this idea has led NASA to begin planning the first human missions of its Artemis Program to land near the South Pole instead of the mid-latitudes.

However, a Houston-based company says there is value in the gray, dusty regolith spread across the entire lunar surface. The firm, Lunar Resources, is developing technology to extract iron, aluminum, magnesium, and silicon from the Moon's regolith. These materials, in turn, would be used to manufacture goods on the Moon.


The technology to extract metals has its roots at NASA. It is called Molten Regolith Electrolysis, by which lunar regolith is heated to a temperature of 1,600 degrees Centigrade, melted, and then electrolyzed to produce oxygen and metals, such as iron and silicon. Although the composition varies by location, lunar soil is composed of about 40 to 45 percent oxygen, 20 percent silicon, and 10 percent aluminum, with smaller amounts of iron and titanium.

Longterm, the company's plan is to produce metals and use them to manufacture power systems on the Moon, Carol said. All the materials are there to produce silicon solar cells, transmission cables, power storage, and more to provide power to lunar settlements during the 14-day lunar night.

The company's initial reactor will measure about 1-meter in diameter and height and process scoops of lunar regolith delivered by a small rover. The goal is to process as much as 100 kilograms of lunar regolith during a 24-hour period. Lunar Resources is negotiating with NASA for a ride to the Moon on one of the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services missions, Carol said. This demonstrator would be a fairly large payload for such a mission, about one-half of a metric ton. "The challenge with demonstrating industrial technologies is that they're heavier than science payloads," Carol said.

In reality, proving out a technology like Molten Regolith Electrolysis in a laboratory is a very far cry from doing so in a vacuum on the harsh, dusty lunar surface, which has extreme fluctuations in temperatures. But no one said space is easy. And this is precisely the kind of experimental work that NASA's lunar payloads program should be supporting if the space agency is ever to find a pathway to sustainable deep space exploration.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/01/machine-to-melt-moon-rocks-and-derive-metals-may-launch-in-2024/
⬇️ Click to enhance.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2022, 02:27:53 AM »
Moon Shadow

Quote
Wow!
Cool, strange photo of the Earth and Moon.
China’s Longjiang-2 satellite caught the lunar farside with our Earth looking tiny in the background.
gizmodo.com/chinese-satell…
2/6/22 https://twitter.com/drfunkyspoon/status/1490488500273266688
⬇️ Photo below.

Quote
Cool satellite/mission, this. Here's an absolutely insane image of a total solar eclipse over South America taken by the same Longjiang-2 satellite in 2019 [Harbin Institute of Technology]
2/7/22 https://twitter.com/aj_fi/status/1490677388828676099
⬇️ Photo below.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2022, 12:18:22 AM »
GITAI lunar robotic rover R1



-------------------------------------------
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2022, 03:50:45 AM »
Descriptions of future national and commercial lunar missions, by country.
—- Fly Me to the Moon: Worldwide Cislunar and Lunar Missions
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Download this report (and others) here:
 https://www.csis.org/analysis/fly-me-moon-worldwide-cislunar-and-lunar-missions

Quote
The crowning achievement of the notorious Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union occurred in July 1969, when the first humans landed on the Moon. Prior to this, the United States and the Soviet Union sent several uncrewed missions to the lunar surface, culminating in an American crewed mission on the Moon. Now, over 50 years later, nations are looking toward the Moon as a goalpost of both national space capability and pride. To achieve these goals—and potentially go beyond the Moon to Mars—nations will need to build significant cislunar and lunar infrastructure. This open- source assessment aggregates and analyzes publicly available statements, documents, and sources describing these worldwide efforts in cislunar space.

This assessment begins with an evaluation of national and international definitions of cislunar space, as there is no commonly accepted definition across the international or technical community. It then evaluates national and commercial plans to send missions to cislunar space or the Moon. The analysis presents an overview of national civil, military, and commercial activity, as well as multinational activity, in or planned for cislunar space. Lunar missions are also included to showcase the demand signal of missions that will pass through cislunar space or be supported by satellites in cislunar orbits. The assessment concludes with key trends, possible future flashpoints, and recommendations for further analysis.

Many nations view lunar and cislunar investments as a means to advance their domestic space industrial capabilities and as the first step toward a greater presence in near-Earth space. The scientific and economic potential of a robust space presence and international partnerships in space drives many companies and countries to pursue lunar and cislunar missions. The opportunities lunar and cislunar missions present have caused nations to begin designing policies to regulate and promote celestial resource extraction and in situ resource utilization (ISRU)—or the production and manufacture of materials found on the Moon or other celestial bodies.

The rush to settle cislunar space or the Moon is motivated both by science and the important strategic value held by certain sites in cislunar space or on the lunar surface. For various sites, certain physical properties add value, such as stability on orbit or the prospect of water in the form of ice. For more detail on these high-value locations, see: Eyes on the Prize: The Strategic Implications of Cislunar Space and the Moon.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2022, 12:14:57 AM »
'We Want to Be the UPS or FedEx of the Moon': A Startup's Big Moonshot
https://phys.org/news/2022-03-ups-fedex-moon-startup-big.html

Aerospace firm Venturi Astrolab Inc., better known as Astrolab, based in Hawthorn, California, is building an all-purpose truck that is intended to construct lunar infrastructure and also ferry astronauts around, enabling work that would make long-term settlement on the moon possible.

Founded in 2019 by former employees of NASA, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and SpaceX, Astrolab is building a rover capable of completing tasks such as construction, transporting supplies to build a lunar base, science and exploration, as well as ferrying astronauts around the moon's surface. The 15-person company is currently testing a prototype vehicle.

Unlike other rovers, which are often designed around a specific purpose, Astrolab's Flexible Logistics and Exploration rover is intended to be more versatile, said Jaret Matthews, company founder and chief executive.



On Wednesday afternoon in Hawthorne, Matthews demonstrated how the rover is able to roll over rocks, maneuver sideways and spin around and pick up and carry loads. He said the rover can carry twice the capacity of a Ford F-150 truck bed. The company eventually wants to build a fleet of rovers.

... Matthews said Astrolab's rover is different from other rovers in development because astronaut transportation is only one part of its job. The company is aiming to get a rover onto the moon before astronauts even arrive so it could set up ahead of time.

"Astronaut time is the most precious time in the world," he said. "The more we can do robotically … the better."
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2022, 01:48:53 AM »
NASA to Fund Universities and Bechtel to Develop Robot Construction on the Moon
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/strg/lustr/NASA_Selects_Three_US_Universities_to_Develop_Lunar_Infrastructure_Tech

NASA selected proposals from Colorado School of Mines, Missouri Science & Technology and Auburn University, and will fund their technology development up to $2 million over two years. Bechtel will be the industrial partner to the construction teams.

The three research teams' charges incluce:

Autonomous Construction - Humans living on the Moon will need structures like habitats and landing pads, which can be made more efficiently if they're constructed autonomously by robots. Colorado School of Mines, led by principal investigator Christopher Dreyer, will develop tools and methods for autonomous landing pad construction on the Moon's surface.

Extracting Resources - Supplies for lunar astronauts could be created from what's already on the lunar surface, a process called in-situ resource utilization. Missouri S&T,  led by principal investigator Leslie Gertsch, will use magnetic and electrostatic technologies to more efficiently separate calcium- and aluminum-containing minerals from the Moon's soil, called regolith, to extract materials suitable for construction on the lunar surface.

Extremely Cold Electronics - Without an atmosphere, temperatures during the lunar night plummet to hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The Moon's rocky and cratered terrain also creates permanently shadowed regions that never see direct sunlight and continuously experience frigid temperatures that are too cold for conventional electronics. Auburn University, led by principal investigator Michael Hamilton, will take advantage of knowledge from recent lunar missions and other cold-temperature projects to create new electronics that are highly reliable and tolerant of low temperatures.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2022, 10:22:12 PM »
Meet the Lunar Gateway’s Robot Caretakers
https://spectrum.ieee.org/lunar-gateway-robots

An integral part of NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the Moon this decade is the Lunar Gateway, a space station that will be humanity’s first permanent outpost outside of low Earth orbit. Gateway, a partnership between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is intended to support operations on the lunar surface while also serving as a staging point for exploration to Mars.

... “The things that the crew does on the International Space Station will need to be handled by Gateway on its own,” explains Julia Badger, Gateway Autonomy System Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.



To make this happen, NASA is developing a Vehicle System Manager, or VSM, that will act like the omnipresent computer system found on virtually every science-fiction starship. The VSM will autonomously manage all of Gateway’s functionality, taking care of any problems that come up to the extent that they can be managed with clever software and occasional input from a distant human. “It's a new way of thinking compared to ISS,” explains Badger. “If something breaks on Gateway, we either have to be able to live with it for a certain amount of time, or we’ve got to have the ability to remotely or autonomously fix it.”

... there was some discussion about whether Gateway’s hatches should open and close on their own and NASA ultimately decided to leave the hatches manually operated. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Gateway won’t be able to open its hatches without human assistance: it just means that there will be a need for robotic hands rather than human ones.



"Open the Pod Bay Doors Please Hal"

“I hope eventually we have robots up there that can open the hatches,” Badger tells us. She explains that Gateway is being designed with potential intra-vehicular robots (IVR) in mind, including things like adding visual markers to important locations, placing convenient charging ports around the station interior, and designing the hatches such that the force required to open them is compatible with the capabilities of robotic limbs.

... One of the goals of Gateway is to operate itself completely autonomously for up to three weeks without any contact with Earth at all, mimicking the three week solar conjunction between Earth and Mars where the sun blocks any communications between the two planets.

... “If we really want Gateway to be able to take care of itself for 21 days, intra-vehicular robots (IVR) is going to be a very important part of that. And having a robot is absolutely something that I think is going to be necessary as we move on to Mars.”

—Julia Badger, NASA JSC




... Canadarm3’s autonomous tasks on Gateway will include external inspection, unloading logistics vehicles, deploying science payloads, and repairing Gateway by swapping damaged components with spares.

"With Canadarm3, we realize that if we want to get ready for Mars, more autonomy will be required."

—Daniel Rey, CSA
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 10:27:19 PM by vox_mundi »
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morganism

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2022, 12:58:05 AM »
Differences between the Moon’s near and far sides linked to colossal ancient impact

New research shows how the impact that created the Moon’s South Pole–Aitken basin is linked to the stark contrast in composition and appearance between the two sides of the Moon.

A new study published in the journal Science Advances shows that the impact that formed the Moon’s giant South Pole–Aitken (SPA) basin would have created a massive plume of heat that propagated through the lunar interior. That plume would have carried certain materials — a suite of rare-Earth and heat-producing elements — to the Moon’s nearside. That concentration of elements would have contributed to the volcanism that created the nearside volcanic plains.

“We know that big impacts like the one that formed SPA would create a lot of heat,” said Matt Jones, a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University and the study’s lead author. “The question is how that heat affects the Moon’s interior dynamics. What we show is that under any plausible conditions at the time that SPA formed, it ends up concentrating these heat-producing elements on the nearside. We expect that this contributed to the mantle melting that produced the lava flows we see on the surface.”

https://www.brown.edu/news/2022-04-08/moonfaces

A South Pole–Aitken impact origin of the lunar compositional asymmetry

The formation of the largest and most ancient lunar impact basin, South Pole–Aitken (SPA), was a defining event in the Moon’s evolution. Using numerical simulations, we show that widespread mantle heating from the SPA impact can catalyze the formation of the long-lived nearside-farside lunar asymmetry in incompatible elements and surface volcanic deposits, which has remained unexplained since its discovery in the Apollo era. The impact-induced heat drives hemisphere-scale mantle convection, which would sequester Th- and Ti-rich lunar magma ocean cumulates in the nearside hemisphere within a few hundred million years if they remain immediately beneath the lunar crust at the time of the SPA impact. A warm initial upper mantle facilitates generation of a pronounced compositional asymmetry consistent with the observed lunar asymmetry."

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm8475


edit: moved from astro thread

Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2022, 03:12:07 AM »
Meet the Lunar Gateway’s Robot Caretakers
https://spectrum.ieee.org/lunar-gateway-robots  …

Considering there will only be about one SLS/Artemis mission to the moon a year, with crew spending only a week or two there, the Gateway will require a lot of autonomous and remote upkeep.  During the time that part of the crew visits the moon’s surface, the crew-members remaining on station will likely find their days filled with maintenance activities that the robots couldn’t handle.  It will be tough to keep the Gateway habitable.
 
From the article:
Quote
The relatively small size of Gateway is possible because the station won’t be crewed most of the time—astronauts may pass through for a few weeks, but the expectation is that Gateway will spend about 11 months out of the year without anyone on board.

This presents some unique challenges for Gateway. On the ISS, astronauts spend a substantial amount of time on station upkeep, but Gateway will have to keep itself functional for extended periods without any direct human assistance. …
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2022, 06:58:56 PM »
NASA is supporting some seriously risky missions to the Moon—it’s about time
"The entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the core strengths of the United States."
Eric Berger - 4/20/2022
Risky business —
Quote
For more than three years, NASA has been intensely focused on the Artemis Moon program. This high-profile international effort, spearheaded by the US space agency at a cost of nearly $7.5 billion per year, seeks to return humans to the lunar surface in the mid-2020s and establish a sustainable presence in deep space.

But in recent years, NASA has been funding a second, much smaller-scale Moon program, at just 3 percent of the cost of Artemis. This is the "Commercial Lunar Payload Services" program, which seeks to use private companies to send small- and medium-size landers to the Moon's surface for primarily science-based missions. Its budget is about $250 million per year.

This program, known as CLPS, is showing some promising signs and will beat the Artemis program to the Moon by at least a couple of years. Moreover, it represents a bold new effort by NASA's Science division, which is seeking to leverage the emerging commercial space sector to radically increase scientific and exploration capabilities. If successful, the CLPS model of exploration could be extended to Mars and beyond.

But will it be successful? We're about to find out.


The VIPER pushback
It's one thing to take a chance with relatively modest scientific experiments; it's another thing to put major NASA missions on CLPS. But that's what Zurbuchen decided to do in June 2020 by awarding the VIPER mission to a CLPS provider, Astrobotic. The company received a $199.5 million contract to deliver VIPER—the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover—to the south pole as early as late 2023. It is scheduled to fly there on the company's still-in-development Griffin lander.

This is an important scientific mission tasked with searching for ice at the south pole and using a one-meter drill to prospect for subsurface samples. The total value of the mission is $660 million, and it matters to scientists and NASA's human exploration division, which hopes to send astronauts to the south pole in the 2020s.

Because there was so much riding on VIPER, Zurbuchen has received pressure from within and outside of NASA, from scientists and politicians alike, to move to a more "traditional" delivery for VIPER. For a typical NASA science mission, this would mean that NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory would design the lander and then contract out its construction to a traditional contractor, most commonly Lockheed Martin.

In response to concerns about VIPER, Zurbuchen asked for an independent assessment of the top risks for the delivery of VIPER to the Moon. Astrobotic willingly cooperated in this process, he said, because they welcomed the technical assistance with their program.

Zurbuchen then asked his team to consider other options for putting the rover safely in Nobile Crater at the south pole of the Moon. When the costs and timelines came in, he realized that bypassing CLPS for VIPER would effectively kill the entire commercial lunar program by eating up its funding—not just for VIPER but for the next several deliveries after that. "It was clear to me that if we went with a traditional delivery, we would be abandoning all of CLPS," Zurbuchen said.

He was not willing to accept this. And after receiving buy-in from NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, Zurbuchen made the decision to keep VIPER on Astrobotic's Griffin lander. As part of this move, Astrobotic agreed to subject Griffin's propulsion system to more rigorous testing. Additionally, NASA decided to build a second set of instruments as a backup plan.

"With the other CLPS missions, I’m perfectly fine with a 50-50 chance," Zurbuchen said. "But with VIPER, the cost is higher, and as a taxpayer, I would like the government to put more effort in to increase its chance of success." …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/04/nasas-other-moon-program-is-about-to-take-center-stage/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2022, 07:23:34 PM »
Quote
NASA
Good things come to those who wait.
Teams will begin tapping one of the last unopened Moon rock samples acquired during Apollo 17, around 50 years ago. The goal is to learn more about the lunar surface in anticipation of upcoming @NASAArtemis missions …
 
< Why wait so long?
NASA
Great question! Most lunar samples brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts have been opened and studied. But some samples collected on the Apollo 15, 16 & 17 missions were kept unopened and pristine, so they could be analyzed with more advanced technologies available today.
3/4/22 https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1499842380522045452

NASA Studies ‘New’ 50-Year-Old Lunar Sample to Prep for Return to Moon
Quote
Now, scientists are focusing attention on the sealed, lower segment of the core. The temperature at the bottom of the core was incredibly cold when it was collected, which means that volatiles (substances that evaporate at normal temperatures, like water ice and carbon dioxide) might have been present. They are particularly interested in the volatiles in these samples from the equatorial regions of the Moon, because they will allow future scientists studying the Artemis samples to better understand where and what volatiles might be present in those samples.  

The amount of gas expected to be present in this sealed Apollo sample is likely very low. If scientists can carefully extract these gases, they can be analyzed and identified using modern mass spectrometry technology. This technology, which has evolved to levels of extreme sensitivity in recent years, can precisely determine the mass of unknown molecules and use that data to precisely identify them. This not only makes for improved measurements, but also means the collected gas can be divided into smaller portions and shared with more researchers conducting different kinds of lunar science. …
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-studies-new-50-year-old-lunar-sample-to-prep-for-return-to-moon
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morganism

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2022, 10:41:37 PM »
 NASA’s astronauts aren’t ready for deep space

The space agency still hasn't developed the training or equipment — even the space suits — needed to live and work on the moon and beyond.

The space agency has yet to develop a specialized training program for the astronauts, lacks critical equipment such as new space suits to protect them against deadly levels of radiation, and is still pursuing a range of technologies to lay the groundwork for a more permanent human presence, according to NASA officials, former astronauts, internal studies and experts on space travel.

“This time you are going to need astronauts that are going to actually get out and start to live on the moon,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview. “We’re going to build habitats up there. So you’re going to need a new kind of astronaut.”

The goal, said Nelson, is more ambitious than ever: to “sustain human life for long periods of time in a hostile environment.”

Yet as NASA’s Artemis project approaches liftoff, it is becoming increasingly clear that even if the new rockets and spacecraft it is pursuing remain on schedule, the program’s lofty goals may have to be lowered by the harsh limits of human reality.

“The Astronaut Office is in the process of developing a framework for Artemis training, but this framework has not been formally chartered nor have any Artemis crews been announced,” NASA’s Inspector General said in a recent report. “As such, specific mission-focused training for the Artemis II mission — the first crewed Artemis flight — has not yet begun.”

Training will ultimately be needed for a host of tasks — including operating different spacecraft and withstanding the physical and psychological rigors of the lunar environment.

“We are going to have new training modules and new training protocols to accommodate lunar missions,” Philip McAlister, who oversees missions to the space station at NASA, said in an interview. “Those missions might be shorter in duration, longer in duration, you might have a couple different spacecraft.”

That means learning how to land on the moon itself, which NASA has not done since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

“The equipment [that will be used on the Artemis missions] is what we should be practicing on the space station,” he said. “You could get five years of operational experience with a carbon dioxide machine or with the exercise equipment. The exercise equipment we have on the space station is not going to go to the moon or Mars because it’s gigantic.”

And depending on how long astronauts will have to live on the moon, another wild card is the potential psychological toll.

“We don’t know what the long term effects of spaceflight are because they’ve never provided retired astronauts with health care,” he said. “We don’t know if they get broken bones more often or if they get common colds more often. Or if they get Alzheimer’s more often or if they get cancer more often.”

“That would be a good piece of data to have before we send guys off to the moon or Mars,” he added. The Russians have the data. NASA doesn’t.”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is in the midst of a detailed survey for NASA of biological and physical sciences, with a focus on human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit. Its recommendations are not due until sometime in 2023, just before the Artemis mission is set to blast off for its month-long moon orbit."

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/14/nasa-artemis-moon-explorer-astronauts-00025099

vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2022, 03:28:24 PM »
Plants Can Grow in Lunar Soil, But They Suck at It
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/335554-plants-can-grow-in-lunar-soil-but-they-suck-at-it

Lunar soil, or regolith, is a dusty byproduct of micrometeorites’ impact on the Moon’s surface. In samples obtained during the Apollo missions, the scientists planted seeds from Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant commonly used in biological experiments. The seeds sprouted within a week, but after that, confidence in their longevity waned.

“Our results show that growth is challenging,” reads the study, which was published in the journal Communications Biology this week. The plants grew slower and more erratically in the regolith than in a manufactured imitation soil referred to as JSC-1A; their leaves also took longer to unfurl. When the researchers removed most of the regolith seedlings from their containers, they found that the root systems were short, indicating stunted growth. This was not the case with the JSC-1A seedlings, whose root systems appeared generally healthy.

The plants grown in regolith also revealed their stress via genetic activity. Through transcriptome analysis, the researchers found that the regolith plants had activated genes related to nutrient metabolism, phosphate starvation, and aluminum toxicity.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-022-03334-8#Abs1

... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 03:46:09 PM by vox_mundi »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2022, 05:18:37 PM »
Quote
... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

Or just bring your own dirt.  Starship will be able to deliver tons of it to the surface of the Moon or Mars.  Growing plants in lunar regolith is an interesting experiment, but scientists are not thinking sufficiently forward.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2022, 05:41:22 PM »
Aeroponics would be a better bet in that situation.

An advanced form of hydroponics, aeroponics is the process of growing plants with only water and nutrients. This innovative method results in faster growth, healthier plants, and bigger yields — all while using fewer resources.

Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. Aeroponic culture differs from both conventional hydroponics, aquaponics, and in-vitro (plant tissue culture) growing. Unlike hydroponics, which uses a liquid nutrient solution as a growing medium and essential minerals to sustain plant growth, or aquaponics, which uses water and fish waste, aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroponics



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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2022, 06:24:18 PM »
Aeroponics would be a better bet in that situation. …

Yes.  Carefully applied water and fertilizer, with LED’s supplying the plants’ preferred light, should work well.

Starship could also deliver tons of water….
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2022, 06:34:05 PM »
NASA’s astronauts aren’t ready for deep space

If one looks solely at NASA’s Artemis program, this statement is quite true — as has been noted repeatedly in the SpaceX thread.  Though the effects of long-duration space flight continue to be studied — the most recent year-long ISS astronauts (NASA & Russian) returned to earth this March — questions remain about how the effects of living in the microgravity of space will differ from living under the reduced gravity of the Moon or Mars.

But the quoted article does not even mention SpaceX!  SpaceX is designing its own suits, without the cumbersome drag of government politics and budgets.  Beyond the Dragon’s safety suits, SpaceX is currently constructing EVA suits to allow the astronauts of the Polaris Dawn mission to experience the vacuum of space and venture outside of the Dragon capsule, a mission which will reach an orbit farther from Earth than any humans have reached since we went to the Moon 50 years ago. And it’s scheduled to launch later this year.  They are also working on suits for the Moon and Mars.

NASA knows the Artemis program will not lead to a sustainable presence on the Moon, let alone Mars, because it is currently stuck with the SLS rocket, which costs $4 billion dollars a launch and is thrown away after each use.  NASA now calls the Artemis moon missions merely “a stepping stone to Mars” because of the SLS’s many limitations. But NASA is also betting on SpaceX’s Human Landing System Starship  — without it, Artemis astronauts can’t get from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon.  And Starship, with its ~100x increase in volume and mass deliverability, and its ~1/100th cost due to being reusable, will completely change space exploration from what it has been up to now.

As to not knowing all the effects of space travel on astronauts… well, duh.  We won’t know until we do it.  There are explorers willing to take that risk today, and that’s how we learn, the same as any other new adventure.  Jared Isaacman (who led the Inspiration 4 mission aboard a Dragon spacecraft) is leading the next commercial Dragon flight.  He is working closely with SpaceX to design his Polaris Dawn mission and future ones (including the first crewed Starship mission), so he knows as much as anyone what the danger entails.  The two women astronauts on the Polaris Dawn mission are SpaceX astronaut mission trainers, who may be even more knowledgeable than Isaacman in some regards. 

It’s an exciting time for the future of spaceflight.  Fear, Uncertainly and Doubt are reduced by learning more.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 06:40:11 PM by Sigmetnow »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2022, 09:12:53 PM »
Quote
... just bring your own dirt.

Soil!

Not dirt!

Remember: there is a difference between soil and dirt. Dirt is what you get on your clothes and hands while working in the soil. Soil is made up of elements that have been decomposing since the earth was created.

Soil Is Living. Soil is alive with living organisms such as worms, fungi, insects, bacteria, and organic matter. ...

Dirt Is Dead. Dirt is made up of sand, silt, and clay, and it may be rocky.

-------------------------------------------------

... Here endeth the lesson.

- The Untouchables (1987)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2022, 03:38:22 AM »
Quote
... just bring your own dirt.

Soil!

Not dirt!


dirt
dûrt
noun
• Earth or soil.
• A filthy or soiling substance, such as mud or dust.
• Excrement.
 
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
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interstitial

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2022, 04:16:52 AM »
sometimes there is a difference between technical and general definitions of words. I suspect this is the case for dirt.

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2022, 01:44:43 PM »
sometimes there is a difference between technical and general definitions of words. I suspect this is the case for dirt.

Agreed.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

kassy

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Re: Exploring Our Moon
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2022, 05:48:41 PM »
Quote
... bring your own food or call Mark Watney

Or just bring your own dirt.  Starship will be able to deliver tons of it to the surface of the Moon or Mars.  Growing plants in lunar regolith is an interesting experiment, but scientists are not thinking sufficiently forward.

Summary:
Scientists have, for the first time, grown plants in soil from the Moon. They used soil collected during the Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions. In their experiment, the researchers wanted to know if plants would grow in lunar soil and, if so, how the plants would respond to the unfamiliar environment, even down to the level of gene expression.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220512121840.htm

They are thinking about practical things. You got to start somewhere.

PS: I think that in the end you need to build soil in some way just to have a nicer space to live in. Plus it helps if you want animals around. Hydroponics could start with that but you do need soil with the right critters in it to actually start cycling the nutrients. Some fast growing woods (to compose with the human waste). If you are into hauling freight figure out what is missing in the soil and how you can mix it in.

This would make an interesting space game.  :)

The Moon is a nice near lab so it would be interesting if we had a tiny lab there to check how things grow there in various mixes. Mars will be far away for a while.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.