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#101 2007-02-18 18:41:51

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Lunar economics etc

Why yes, all terrorists or rouge states have to do is build a gigantic multi-gigawatt, multi-beam laser with a hyper-accurate fuel pellet arrangement, and then sneak this massive facility into a target city.

Nobody can make "cataylized" fusion reach ignition point with these methods either anyway, and isn't likely to for a very long time. I use the term "ignition" carefully: the exact definition requires the energy output to reach a "feedback" or chain-reaction point where additional energy speeds reaction which releases more energy and speeds reaction etc etc etc... without blowing up the reactor until a "WMD level" amount of energy is released. We are light-years away from doing this outside of bombs, we will probably never be able to do this without a fission primary.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#102 2007-03-09 14:04:56

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 349

Re: Lunar economics etc

I agree with GCNR. Building factories on the moon is not a good idea. The only reason to even consider the moon is because you can build a space elevator out of reasonable materials, but still, the lack of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen is going to make it uneconomical to actually assemble anything there. Just get that AL, Si, and basalt off there and build whatever you're making in space. Then you can get you light elements from near earth objects and provide a full g of gravity for your workers.

Well the latest part of the vision involves selling us the Moon as a testbed for manned Mars missions

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#103 2007-03-09 17:32:39

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.  Life and all that you know.

Coal produces ~10kW/kg and cost $50/MT so ~$200/kW.

0.005 $/KW ?

10 kW/kg * 1000kg/MT * 1MT/$50 = ~$200kW

Another way to look at it, 1 MT of coal ~ 10 MW of electricity (Assuming 10kW/kg)
10 MW He3 ~ 1 kg He3, but a 100 ppm, you have to excavate 10MT of Lunar soil to get it!

Again the primary advantage nuclear fuels have over conventional ones is that they are cheap.  Practically free in fact.  He3 can never achieve this, it's cost are comparable to coals.

---

I also think the concurs about Tritium being used for nuclear devices are a bit silly.  No one has managed to create a pure-fusion nuclear device.  Not for lack of trying for sure, a lot of money has been dumped down that path (heck the Nazis were trying it back in WWII).  Conventional nuclear materials are still needed to produce nuclear weapons.  But if somehow someone did develop a method to develop a pure-fusion weapon, what makes you think they could not also apply it to He3 or Deuterium?


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#104 2007-03-09 18:19:31

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Lunar economics etc

"Conventional nuclear fuel" = kilogram quantities of Uranium-235 or Plutonium-239, reasonably free of fission inhibitors, enriched to a degree 20-30 times better than plain old reactor fuel. This cannot be done outside of a national weapons lab type operation.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#105 2007-03-09 20:57:51

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

Wait a minute now, I am utterly baffled. I think you missed some steps.

If 1 kg of coal gives 10 kw, then 1000 kg of coal give 10,000 kw of electricity. I should add that 1 kg of coal can't give "1 kw" of electricity, but 1 kw/hr of electricity. "1 kw" without a time period specified is a constant "push" equal to 1 kilowatt of force; it can light a 1 kw lightbulb. But for how long? I think you are saying that 1 kg of coal will produce 10kw for an hour. Intuitively, that sounds right to me.

1 tonne of coal, you say, costs $50 (which sounds roughly right to me). So $50 (= 5000 cents) produces 10,000 kw/hr. That means each kw/hr costs half a cent. That is probably about right. Elecricity costs for about 10 cents per kw/hr, but the calculation hasn't included the cost of the boiler, generator, transmission system, the electrical company's webmaster and custodian, etc.

Now, you also say 1 kg of He3 produces 10,000 kw of electricity. I suspect there are some missing zeros, here. An exploding hydrogen bomb releases a lot more energy than that and probably converts only a kilo or so of hydrogen to helium.

Your calculation for He3 in the lunar regolith works out correctly, assuming He3 is 100 parts per million in the lunar soil. 1 tonne of soil is 1,000,000 grams, so you are saying that 10 tonnes has 1,000 grams.

                     -- RobS

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#106 2007-03-09 22:21:05

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Lunar economics etc

Wait a minute now, I am utterly baffled. I think you missed some steps.

If 1 kg of coal gives 10 kw, then 1000 kg of coal give 10,000 kw of electricity. I should add that 1 kg of coal can't give "1 kw" of electricity, but 1 kw/hr of electricity. "1 kw" without a time period specified is a constant "push" equal to 1 kilowatt of force; it can light a 1 kw lightbulb. But for how long? I think you are saying that 1 kg of coal will produce 10kw for an hour. Intuitively, that sounds right to me.

1 tonne of coal, you say, costs $50 (which sounds roughly right to me). So $50 (= 5000 cents) produces 10,000 kw/hr. That means each kw/hr costs half a cent. That is probably about right. Elecricity costs for about 10 cents per kw/hr, but the calculation hasn't included the cost of the boiler, generator, transmission system, the electrical company's webmaster and custodian, etc.

Now, you also say 1 kg of He3 produces 10,000 kw of electricity. I suspect there are some missing zeros, here. An exploding hydrogen bomb releases a lot more energy than that and probably converts only a kilo or so of hydrogen to helium.

Your calculation for He3 in the lunar regolith works out correctly, assuming He3 is 100 parts per million in the lunar soil. 1 tonne of soil is 1,000,000 grams, so you are saying that 10 tonnes has 1,000 grams.

                     -- RobS

And all this is entirely academic, as the saying goes. Ultimately the point is that you have to dig up an awful lot of Lunar dust to get at the He3, and the operation required to do that cannot possibly compete with any other means of power generation. The He3 is deposited evenly in minute quantities over vast areas, and is entirely unlike PGM ores which will conveniently be concentrated at meteor impact sites.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#107 2007-04-10 10:13:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

While we think we can do business on the moon others say we can not since you need to own the land and this Nevada, entrepreneur Dennis Hope thinks he can still in Making a mint out of the Moon .

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#108 2007-12-04 12:57:47

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

What about H-D Fusion?  It doesn't seem to have been researched much and there are no neutrons let off.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  But Surely H-1 and H-2 would be so much cheaper to get?  About that tritium storage issue, there is a magical compount that can store 2 tritiums per molecule.  It only contaits tritium and a very common element.  It can be stored in a closed aluminum can with no losses.  Some call it dihydrogen monoxide.  I call it water. big_smile


-Josh

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#109 2007-12-05 07:24:25

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,049
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

If that would work we could get energy from burning the Tritium as well.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#110 2007-12-05 10:47:30

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Lunar economics etc

If that would work we could get energy from burning the Tritium as well.

Tritium when burned produces heavy water, the energy released from this reaction isn't any greater than burning protonic hydrogen.

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#111 2007-12-05 14:45:10

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

Not to mention that fusing Hydrogen (protium) and Deuterium (Hydrogen 2) yeilds Helium 3

which, by the way, would get us right back to the off topic state of this topic (using Helium 3 in fusion)


-Josh

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#112 2019-01-01 16:03:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

We will want a strong lunar economy to be able to do more than just a toehold on the moons surface. Even after a seed start of using 3 Falcon 9 heavies to get us going.

We know that a strong insitu resource mining program is a must but what after that is established is needed to pay the way for more trips to the moon?

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#113 2019-01-01 16:55:10

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,637

Re: Lunar economics etc

We can already see that there is great scope for lunar tourism and lunar art projects.

I think tourism is the way to go with the Moon. 

I don't see any great need for mining or developing industrial infrastructure on the Moon. The Moon is only 4 days away max - so shipping everything tourists require there is not a big deal.  The lunar tourists will be generating huge profits but if companies were to develop infrastructure that would simply eat into those profits.

The lunar environment will of course be perfect for adventurous couples wishing to get married.

The Apollo landing sites will prove huge tourist attractions.

On the other hand the 14 days of light/night and 0.12 G  are an impediment to developing a full infrastructure with permanent colonies.

It's an entirely different scenario to Mars where tourism can't be developed in the early stages but conditions for longer term tourism are much better.



SpaceNut wrote:

We will want a strong lunar economy to be able to do more than just a toehold on the moons surface. Even after a seed start of using 3 Falcon 9 heavies to get us going.

We know that a strong insitu resource mining program is a must but what after that is established is needed to pay the way for more trips to the moon?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#114 2019-01-01 17:08:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

Ya tourism for sure will be an industry of the future and a big one will be the hoak debunking via the apollo 11 landing site for sure.

They probably would be in a rail car to go from the poles to the site after construction is done. The Musk boring company will be in high demand as well to make it all possible.

It may be found to be therapeutic for those suffering on back pain.

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#115 2019-01-01 17:58:00

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,637

Re: Lunar economics etc

louis wrote:

We can already see that there is great scope for lunar tourism and lunar art projects.

I think tourism is the way to go with the Moon. 

I don't see any great need for mining or developing industrial infrastructure on the Moon. The Moon is only 4 days away max - so shipping everything tourists require there is not a big deal.  The lunar tourists will be generating huge profits but if companies were to develop infrastructure that would simply eat into those profits.

The lunar environment will of course be perfect for adventurous couples wishing to get married.

The Apollo landing sites will prove huge tourist attractions.

On the other hand the 14 days of light/night and 0.12 G  are an impediment to developing a full infrastructure with permanent colonies.

It's an entirely different scenario to Mars where tourism can't be developed in the early stages but conditions for longer term colonisation (not tourism as I put originally) are much better.



SpaceNut wrote:

We will want a strong lunar economy to be able to do more than just a toehold on the moons surface. Even after a seed start of using 3 Falcon 9 heavies to get us going.

We know that a strong insitu resource mining program is a must but what after that is established is needed to pay the way for more trips to the moon?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#116 2019-01-03 16:11:39

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,637

Re: Lunar economics etc

The Moon is a stepping stone not the prime goal...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn7qR2MpYgM

The Moon is perfect (or as good as it gets) for testing Mars Mission technologies.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#117 2019-01-03 18:33:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

But if you are going to step we might as well learn how to stay...and not waste the money as we will never go again....

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#118 2019-01-03 19:06:01

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,637

Re: Lunar economics etc

I think that there will be permanent settlement of the Moon starting within 5 years led by Space X. It will be focussed on tourism.

SpaceNut wrote:

But if you are going to step we might as well learn how to stay...and not waste the money as we will never go again....


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#119 2019-01-24 18:19:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

We are going to need a detection system as the moon just got wacked during the eclispe.
Watch a Meteor Smack the Blood Moon in This Lunar Eclipse Video!

The meteor strike takes place in the region darkened by Earth's shadow, as you can see in videos of the eclipse.

There's no reason to worry. The moon regularly suffers impacts; the collisions are how the lunar surface acquires an average of 140 new craters a year — and that tally only includes those more than 32.8 feet (10 meters) across. [Amazing Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon!]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7dtYsoUlnc

The moon's surface offers a detailed historical record of impacts, since there aren't nearly as many forces there as on Earth that wipe away craters — no rain, no plate tectonics. And unlike Earth, the moon doesn't carry a thick protective atmosphere that burns up smaller pieces of debris. That means the lunar surface can act as a stand-in for scientists who want to understand how many impacts have hit Earth over the eons.

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#120 2019-01-25 10:25:21

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,049
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

The Lunar surface also doesn't get recycled. There'll be impactors there from billions of years ago. I think when we start looking for 'ores' (asteroid impactors) on Luna, we'll find an abundance of valuable metal waiting for us to mine.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#121 2019-01-25 13:23:31

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,087

Re: Lunar economics etc

Some of the recycling processes on earth are responsible for concentrating ore deposits such as those of copper and gold. Without them we may find fairly low concentrations of the desired minerals. Heating and cooling, pressurising and depressurising  of water and movement of the resulting solutions within the crust have been essential in the formation of many ore bodies.
The Sudbury impact crater is a major source of nickel, but that is exceptional.

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#122 2019-01-25 15:46:34

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,049
Website

Re: Lunar economics etc

I don't think those will be exceptional on Luna. The same process that occurred at Sudbury will have occurred countless times on Luna. There might not be much Copper, but Nickel should be found in abundance (and it's more valuable than Copper, anyway).


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#123 2019-01-25 19:12:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

Possible the platinum group elements will be found for electrolysis devices to be made with.

Not much has been made of any remnant magnetic fields so not sure there will be any but then again it could have been over looked.

The moon creation theory of earth impact being the accepted means that the inner layers may hold water but until we drill and search we will not know.

Musk's boring machine comes to mind for living inside the moon with minimal surface changes.

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#124 2019-01-25 20:35:08

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lunar economics etc

I think the Moon lets us "Play it by ear".  Poking and probing around eventually it should be apparent what does and does not make sense for further Moon utilization.  I remember a Sci Fi, where a branch of people got fed up and just dug into the Moon, out of reach and used the thermal flux to power their existence.  Sci Fi of course, but good for the imagination.

But maybe you guys did not see this yet.  I think it is a way to have "A mission to planet Earth"!

I always got really mad when powerful people proposed a mission to planet Earth.  Yes I know we want our Earth science, and it is valuable, but it always seemed to be that they were ratting out the dream of an interplanetary humanity capability.

Well here it is, perhaps it has not appeared on this site before.
https://www.space.com/43118-earth-oldes … lo-14.html
Quote:

Apollo Astronauts May Have Found the Oldest Earth Rock We Know On the Moon

One of Earth's oldest rocks may have been dug up on the moon.
A chunk of material brought back from the lunar surface by Apollo astronauts in 1971 harbors a tiny piece of Earth, a new study suggests. The Earth fragment was likely blasted off our planet by a powerful impact about 4 billion years ago, according to the new research.
"It is an extraordinary find that helps paint a better picture of early Earth and the bombardment that modified our planet during the dawn of life," study co-author David Kring, a Universities Space Research Association (USRA) scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, said in a statement. (Biologists generally believe that life got a foothold on Earth between 4.1 billion and 3.8 billion years ago.) [How the Moon Formed: 5 Wild Theories]
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The research team — led by Jeremy Bellucci, of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and Alexander Nemchin, of the Swedish Museum and Curtin University in Australia — analyzed lunar samples collected by members of the Apollo 14 mission, which explored the lunar surface for a few days in early February 1971.
The scientists found that one rock contained a 0.08-ounce (2 grams) fragment composed of quartz, feldspar and zircon, all of which are rare on the moon but common here on Earth. Chemical analyses indicated that the fragment crystallized in an oxidized environment, at temperatures consistent with those found in the near subsurface of the early Earth, study team members said.

An artist's illustration of the Hadean Earth, when the rock fragment was formed. Impact craters, some flooded by shallow seas, cover large swaths of the Earth's surface. The excavation of those craters ejected rocky debris, some of which hit the moon.
Credit: Simone Marchi
The available evidence suggests that the fragment crystallized 4.1 billion to 4 billion years ago about 12 miles (20 kilometers) beneath Earth's surface, then was launched into space by a powerful impact shortly thereafter.
The voyaging Earth rock soon made its way to the moon, which was then about three times closer to our planet than it is today. (The moon is still retreating from us, at a rate of about 1.5 inches, or 3.8 centimeters, per year.) The fragment endured further trauma on the lunar surface. It was partially melted, and probably buried, by an impact about 3.9 billion years ago, then excavated by yet another impact 26 million years ago, the researchers said.

This photo by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Apollo 14 landing site and nearby Cone Crater. The trail followed by the Apollo 14 astronauts can be seen. Image width is 1 mile (1.6 kilometers).
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
This latest collision created the 1,115-foot-wide (340 meters) Cone Crater, whose environs Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell explored and sampled 47 years ago. (The third Apollo 14 crewmember, Stuart Roosa, stayed in lunar orbit aboard the mission's command module.)
An Earth origin for the ancient fragment isn't a slam dunk, study team members stressed. However, it is the simplest explanation; a lunar birth would require a rethink of the conditions present in the moon's interior long ago, the researchers said.
The new study was published online Thursday (Jan. 24) in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally published on Space.com.


So Ha Ha! maybe we can do a Mission to Planet Earth by going to the Moon.

And by the way Phobos and Demos may have long preserved rocks that come from ancient Mars.  Science probably thinks that would be worth a look.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2019-01-25 20:40:41)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#125 2019-01-25 20:42:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,619

Re: Lunar economics etc

I remember Space 1999 where the moon is blown out of orbit via a nuclear waste explosion..so who knows.

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