posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 02:09 PM
reply to post by rocksolidbrain
NASA has to find a mission that takes advantage of its unique combination of new technology development, and systems testing. NASA is really good at
basic research. It is not very effective at doing what is most important for our long term remaining in space; the ability to build, launch, and
maintain the capacity to put equipment and people into orbit in a regular and inexpensive way. I see private space launch and industrial companies as
the bread-and-butter future. NASA needs to serve as a tecnological "clearing house" to aid private companies where and when needed. Industry also
needs to get to the moon and beyond. NASA can help. But let private industry under safety supervision do what it does best; make money.
The whole point in going into space is to harness raw materials, which include the sun. Raw materials from the moon and near by asteroids can be used
to build space stations and a moon base of mind boggling proportions. The concept of a station (more correctly a colony) at a gravitationely stable
point between the Earth and the moon, what we would call an L-1,L-2,L-3, depending on location point. These "LaGrange" point stations would be at a
gravitational point where the Earths-and-Moons gravity cancel each other out. This idea goes back to the 1970's, and is possible now. The key is
getting back up there and staying there permenently. Industry plans for many years, the government the next fiscal year. Also consider political
winds, and a change of the Executive. There is no question NASA will remain for the most part with the capacity to augment our military space critical
to our national security.
It makes me sick that with Bush we spent at least $1 trillion dollars in Iraq, yet NASA has to get on it's needs for the most basic funding. Having
NASA, with hefty contracts as the reward sponsor the needed incremental steps to get back there, and offer the potential of space-resources as quite a
carrot is one way. We currently have a couple dozen private launch companies that are drooling at the possibilities. They need the initial push.
The latest and very, very interesting propullsion system from NASA is the radio frquenced pumped (boosted) plasma arc rocket. This can generate the
level of heat seen at the center of the sun. Heat means lots of energy that can be translated into kinetic energy. You can use such propullsion for
among other things Earth-to-Mars in only 39 days, but also Earth-to-Moon and in its proximity. Limiting exposure to space limits cosmic ray exposure,
always a good idea. As for the size of the "L" colony (complete with very heavy shielding) how does a mile across grab you for starters? This
concept is 1970's technology. We should do better. Also, bigger colony the more resistant it is to cosmic rays, as well as heavy impacts. You can, I
would, incorporate an asteroid deflection technology.
The goal at first would to use bases of operation that "collect" lunar material, you use a magnetic accelerator to send it to the colony. You then
use the material to build geosync, Earth orbital solar satalites that would transmit the electric power 24 hours a day via diffuse microwaves to
Earths surface> The Pentagon and Japanese are running tests on this technology as we speak. This is the time when we have a perfect economic
opportunity. This original project would establish us as a space faring race permenently. We can not afford to be second in this. The "high ground"
is still as important now as thousands of years ago.