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Inflatable Moon Base Prototype Heads to South Pole

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posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:15 PM
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Inflatable Moon Base Prototype Heads to South Pole


news.yahoo.com

Toups said the field demonstration will show that the structure can be "packaged in a small volume" but still "expand to a usable, habitable volume," even in an extreme environment. If NASA likes what it sees, a second or third generation inflatable habitat could deploy to the moon as early as 2020, with four-person crews making weeklong trips to get a lunar base operational.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:15 PM
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This sounds like a big step towards getting bases on the moon. I guess after a few of these get set up, they would have enough people to start constructing permanent bases on the moon, mars, etc.

They say that inflating these only takes about 10 minutes, and they are testing it in Antarctica. Wearing all that bulky cold weather gear will also help simulate the troubles faced by astronauts in their bulky spacesuits. Private space companies are looking into this design as well.

news.yahoo.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:21 PM
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Am I the only person here who thinks this is just a little strange? Why would you test a prototype in one of the most inaccessible areas of the planet when you can perform the same tests in the continental US?

I'm sure this is costing the American taxpayer a fortune.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:23 PM
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As early as 2020? I thought we had already been there. It should be easier to go now than 1969. I really like the inflatable habitat and believe it will have applications here as portable medical centers and survival housing.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by PrplHrt
 


Here's what the article says-


NASA and the National Science Foundation hope to learn how the habitat material behaves in a cold environment and how well the structure retains heat and atmosphere.


Isn't the moon extremely cold at night(-170 C) ? Seems logical they would want to test it in a similar environment. I don't know how they would simulate daytime temperatures on the moon though, I believe it can be as hot as 100 degrees celsius during the day.


[edit on 11/16/07 by AcesInTheHole]



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by AcesInTheHole
 

Right, I understand the need to test it in extreme environments. We have test facilities that simulate these conditions. I've read about them in other articles over the years.

It costs a fortune to transport anything to the SP. I'm sure it would be cheaper in a lab environment. Of course, I don't ever want to deprive anyone of an adventure due to the expense incurred by the people who pay for it.

Silly me.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by PrplHrt
reply to post by AcesInTheHole
 

Right, I understand the need to test it in extreme environments. We have test facilities that simulate these conditions. I've read about them in other articles over the years.


Links? The only lunar surface simulator I saw was on this site, and it sure isn't big enough to house 4 people...
www.grc.nasa.gov...


Features:
61-cm-diameter- by 76.2-cm-long cylindrical vacuum chamber.
10-6-torr base operating pressure.
Dust transported and dispersed in vacuum facility without danger to vacuum pumping.
Sufficient ports available for instrumentation, plumbing, LN2, and solar radiation source addition.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 04:57 PM
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I've only read about these facilities in old magazine articles. I believe the topic was testing metals at extreme temperatures.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by PrplHrt
 


Those are way too small to test on a living evironment made for 4 people. They want to test it's functionallity(how it holds heat, atmosphere), not if the materials will "hold up." I'm sure they know by now what materials they can and cannot use when building these.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by AcesInTheHole
 

The test facility I saw in the photo was the size of a hanger. That isn't big enough?



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by PrplHrt
 


This is ATS. Your just going to have to come up with more evidence instead of saying 'I done seen stuff like dat before...'

I really don't see your angle here other than trying to derail this thread.

[edit on 11/16/07 by AcesInTheHole]



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by AcesInTheHole
 

I can do without the sarcasm. I'm not trying to derail the thread. I read an article about testing metals in extreme temperatures. The photo accompanying the article was of a hanger-sized lab that can be made either extremely hot or extremely cold.

I'm sorry I don't have proof. In fact, I'm sorry I mentioned it at all.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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That's very cool AcesInTheHole, no pun intended. This seems like a good idea but I'm just wondering since there's so many craters on the moon that these inflatables would be popped like a balloon from just one piece of dust traveling at thousands of miles an hour. It did say something in the video about covering them with moon soil to protect from radiation, but would that really protect them? Seems with all the technologies of today that we could come up with something better to spray on the inflatables or make them out of material that is able to deflect radiation.

I mean you got galactic cosmic rays and solar particle events that would definetly go through one of those inflatables. But I'm sure or I hope the take into consideration for radiation exposure and come up with a solution. For me, I'd be afraid of being in one of those things on the moon, but I guess that's why I never became an astronaut.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by Solarskye
 


I'm not sure, the article doesn't talk about particulate breaking through, but it does talk about the solar rays, radiation, and temperatures. But according to this, a few of the modules are in earth orbit at the moment in hopes of setting up a new space station by 2012. Whether or not they are inflated at this moment is not mentioned though. These ones are owned by private companies.

[edit on 11/16/07 by AcesInTheHole]



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 07:56 PM
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I found this on Wikipedia. So maybe it can work.

Inflatable Habitat

Hey as long as we can dream it then we can do it. I'll keep updated on this for sure. Thanks for the info Ace.



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 08:41 PM
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Also, China has plans on a Moon base too but it appears, they're have some problems w/ that.


“[A] Moon landing needs a rocket with 3,000 to 4,000 tons of thrust,” Xinhua quoted him as saying. “But the most power thrust carrier rocket is at around 600 tons.”


www.space.com...
www.space.com...
blogs.nature.com...


[edit on 16-11-2007 by anhinga]



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