Saturday, January 2, 2010

Why?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/space/01/01/moon.lava.hole/index.html

Can anybody tell me Why we would want to live on the moon, or any other space rock?

Some people talk about space exploration as though it's like someone coming from the Old World to North America for the first time. I think there are some pretty obvious differences. One of them being, absolutely nothing that humans need to survive exists on rocks other than earth. Like, it doesn't cost enough to buy Kiwis from, from, well from wherever Kiwis come from. Let's ship them to the moon?

But maybe I'm the one missing something obvious. So, could someone tell me exactly why we might want to move there or Mars or anywhere?

9 comments:

Hugo said...

Why concerning what? The use of a colony of using the hole for it?

Thanks for posting that anyway, but you need to stop being lazy and make links, it's not our job to copy/paste :P

EXAMPLE

< a href="http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/space/01/01/moon.lava.hole/index.html" > EXAMPLE < /a >

Makarios said...

"Why concerning what?"

Are you having a stroke or some other blood supply problem above the shoulders, Hugo?

Why we would want to live on the moon, or any other space rock?

How is that not clear?
============

"you need to stop being lazy and make links"

This is not a link?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/space/01/01/moon.lava.hole/index.html

WTF Hugo?

Hugo said...

No in your post it was not a link... and it is still not a link here either! I can click on it if it's an email, because gmail is smart enough to convert it to a real link, but on the blog it's not the case.

Anyway, why don't' you answer my question instead? I did not care about the link that much you know, lol

Hugo said...

Correction:
I can click on it if it's IN an email
(like in the follow-up that we can receive)

Makarios said...

why don't' you answer my question instead?"

what question? Now I'm starting to feel dizzy!

Ginx said...

The moon has the least to offer us, but it is likely a necessary testing ground. If we can't make a moon station work, it's going to be a stretch to do anything with Mars.

It comes down to a few factors:

- Resources: This is particularly interesting because until now, we are limited by the resources of Earth. Being able to leave Earth would open up a whole new avenue for resource gathering. Is there anything on the moon we need? If so, can we get it from the moon cheaper than we can from Earth? [I think the answer is no, but I could be wrong.]

- Research: There is still a lot to be learned about the moon, so the research that can be conducted in a permament moon installation would probably be cheaper than sending up ships from time to time. Remember, the moon was part of the Earth at one time, so studying our moon is one way we can learn about the distant past.

- Industry: The low gravity of the moon can actually make it ideal for certain industrial processes. In addition, the production of large spaceships would need to be done in space, not on the Earth (where the energy required to launch it would be huge/unsafe).

- Technology: Since none of these reasons probably appeal to you, think of all the nice things you have thanks to the space program... computers, aluminum foil, the thousand and one uses of satellites, Tang (not really, but people like to think Tang was developed by NASA) etc. Technology developed for exploration has a way of trickling down and improving our lives. Knowledge is one of our most solid investments.

Makarios said...

It’s not that it doesn’t “appeal” to me. I’m just not sure it's - well - You know the saying, “I moved to avoid all the problems here but the trouble is, I came along”? I think it would be nice to get our act together down here before we go destroying some other place. And we WILL destroy where ever it is we plan on going. We’ve already polluted lower space to the point that it dangerous to try to fly through all the junk.

Personally? I think it’s an “almost” useless distraction so we don’t have to pay attention to how we’re screwing up our relationships at home and around the world.

Like you say, however, there have been some helpful things to come out of that area of science, so, I give you permission to carry on.

Be on your way and make some improvements on that Tang thing.

Ginx said...

I imagine all things are just a distraction as we wait to die... if that's how one chooses to look at it. But if its between space travel and malls, materialism, 500 TV channels, etc... I'll take space travel.

The moon is a barren, lifeless wasteland. If we make it worse, I will officially lose faith in humanity.

I understand the, "We have bigger problems" argument. By the same rational, we shouldn't spend money on animal abuse prevention because there are people who need help more, or we might drop all research on rare disease cures in favor of only common illnesses. However, somehow there ends up being enough time and effort at the end of the day to get these things done, yet there's no one lining up to take care of other problems (like water shortage, as you've pointed out in the past).

What if, and this is pure speculation, but what if our travel to the moon endows us with the technology to handle our water shortage? Afterall, we'll need water on the moon, and we'll need to figure out a way to be efficient with it. There is a fusion between scientific development and increasing our ability to better handle our inherent needs.

Of all the things to "waste" our money on (and I'm curious how you would better spend the money, time, and effort), learning more is the least wasteful.

Elise said...

In NASA's view, a moon base would allow a better chance to get to Mars, because there's no gravity to deal with.

However, the monumental cost of this is, to me, simply madness, especially when there are still millions of people in this world who do not have the basic resources to live.

In addition, NASA and our Congress who funds them continue to ignore the very real danger to Earth from large meteors. I read a very scary article about this in a recent issue of The New Yorker (but I'm too lazy to link it, wink wink).