POLL: Nuclear-Powered Moon Bases?

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Should Moon Bases Be Nuclear-Powered?

  • Duh! It's the cheapest, most effective way to go.

    Votes: 65 83.3%
  • One word: solar (plus two more words: no clouds!).

    Votes: 11 14.1%
  • This is nuts! We must not export such dangerous and dirty technology to another world.

    Votes: 2 2.6%

  • Total voters
    78
Status
Not open for further replies.
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TC_sc

Guest
rogrushton":20orvmta said:
I am not a tree hugger by any stretch but we already have the technology to put solar on the ISS so why not use the same thing on the moon.You scruntch them down into the canisters like the ISS and shoot them to the moon on Aries and you unroll them as big as you want. Plus you have to store the radioactive waste somewhere and transport it and handle it and if there is a spill the whole moon is just a rock and not viable for any resources at all. And if or when we leave the moon you take the same solar cells with you. I for one would not want to be the astro or cosmonaut that has to handle that stuff in 1/6th g.
For a permanent base on the moon, or anywhere, weight is critical. We need take as little there as possible. Already we are replacing batteries on ISS. How many times have we replaced batteries on Hubble? Imagine how many batteries you will need just to run the outpost. Every five years we will have to boost tons of batteries to the lunar surface. Then so we bury the old toxic batteries on the moon, or do we return them to Earth? What happens if there is a launch failure and toxic chemicals from those batteries are scattered all over the landscape?

Some solar for redundancy might not be a bad idea, but not for total power. Also, on the moon those huge solar panels are going to be targets for micrometers. I'm not sure about this, but wouldn't the mass of the moon make them more susceptible to meteors than the smaller ISS?

These are some good question for the tree huggers that think only nuclear energy is toxic.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Booban: The Apollo astronauts brought back both lunar rocks and regolith.

Most of the minerals that were found to exist on the moon were in the same kind of mineral formations that exist on the Earth.

This means that just about 45% of the easily obtained regolith (mining would consist of a skip loader type of vehicle just scooping up the loose regolith) was oxygen, the basis for rocket oxidizer.

The minerals themselves are available in usable quantities. The main minerals are not that valuable in themselves, but already being on the moon with only 1/6th the gravity of the Earth, and no atmosphere, once mining equipment and operations have actually been delivered to the moon these minerals would be FAR cheaper to use to make space aged equipment than it would be to bring such materials up from the deep gravity well of the Earth!

Such minerals as: iron, aluminum, titanium, silicon (for glass and microchips), magnesium, calcium, manganese, chromium, and a host of others that are in smaller but still useful quantities!

Get the picture?

There are processes and methodologies that could also get water even out of the dry regolith itself (NASA has even developed a small machine demonstrator to do this).

Then there are moon orbiting satellites that have found hydrogen signatures coming from the poles of the moon, where there are deep craters. Craters that have never seen the light of the sun. So there is a very real possibility of there already being usable quantities of water ice from comets and comet like small asteroids hitting the moon.

This water could in itself be used in industrial processes and developed for rocket propellant, as well as supplying water to bases at the poles of the moon.

This is why it is actually far more important to go back to the moon first before even trying to go further out into the solar system. At least if you truly want to develop an actual space faring industrial civilization!!

PS: It is far more problematic, but if helium 3 fusion reactors can actually be made practical, then the helium 3 that could make this relatively unlimited source of energy ONLY lies on the moonin usable quantities! This might just be very important in the far future, but for now the materials that I have already pointed out would be easily important enough to go to the moon to mine!!

Understand?
 
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hoser

Guest
Hey, forget solar power. Let's put up wind turbines on the Moon, yeah! I'm sure you can get the California Energy Commission to back that loony plan too!!

And isn't Henry Waxman from California? Don't worry Henry, if you don't get your Cap-and-Trade bill signed into law, you can always move back home and watch California's economy self-destruct with it own AB32 carbon dioxide emission limits. I know you and you friends are working hard to emasculate the entire nation's economy, but maybe you can settle for California. Isn't wrecking what used to be the world's 6th largest economy good enough for you?

And to neutrino78x: The reason you want nuclear power is the compact nature of the power source. You are not limited by selenography (lunar 'geography'). Imagine the weight of the solar panels you would need and the area you would have to cover to equal the power you could get from a nuclear reactor on the Moon. With concentrated and reliable power, you can do many things you otherwise couldn't. That's why we need MORE power here in the US, not less. That's how we will grow our economy here. And that's how the Moon can grow its own economy there. Once being in space can pay its own way, we will live there forever.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Hoser, why don't we make just the smallest bit of an effort to stay on the subject of THIS thread here?

If you want to make your ultra conservative rants, why not go over to the free space forum? There you will find a whole lot of kindred spirits! :x
 
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hoser

Guest
Frodo1008,

Maybe you didn't consider that the state of the economy has perhaps a little to do with the NASA budget? And if we keep the goofballs in power we have now, you can be sure all our dreams of a Trek-like future will be dumped in favor of a Little House on the Prairie future. Which one do you want to live in?

If you merely want to watch movies and play with Star Wars toys, and be an armchair von Braun, go ahead. There is actually real work to be done shaping opinion that will let you turn your dreams into reality. Do you really think the greenies want you spoiling the Moon?

Too bad you don't like me in your sandbox. It isn't yours.

PS You might find my post here -> viewtopic.php?t=19277 interesting. You seem to repeat at least some of what I said there.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Just what did your sarcasm in your previous post have to do with the NASA budget anyway?

And most of the older posters here would tell you that there is nobody here that supports an increase in NASA's budget more than I do!

I was one of the some 400,000 workers that originally put men on the moon with the Apollo project back when NASA had a real budget!

That was before the incredible stupidity of war took it all away from my dreaming generation!

Hope the same thing does not happen to yours!

Do you have any actual experience in any aerospace area?

And it is NOT mine nor your sandbox, it belongs to space.com, and they want us to stay on the subject of the threads as they are put forth in the titles and first OP posts of each thread!

Or didn't you bother to read that in the TOS?
 
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frodo1008

Guest
In fact, just to set a reasonable example of getting back to the thread.

The first landings on the moon for this century will not be powered by either nuclear nor solar power, the initial lunar landers will be powered by tried and true fuel cell technology.

The same will be true of any lunar rovers also.

This would quite probably hold true for even any starting permanent type of base.

Eventually however, this will prove to be inadequate for a moon base. There is a new solar cell technology in commercial development at this time that would prove to be more than adequate for that task. This technology generally eliminates almost all of the structure of past solar cell assemblies. This would in turn eliminate most of the weight of such systems for use on the moon. Solar cells will come in rolls of a sticky back type of material that could be then stuck to any structure that faced the sun.

And at the poles of the moon the sun not only shines all the time, it also shines with some six times the power output of the most sunny deserts on the Earth! Remember, there is no atmosphere to filter out such sunlight on the moon. Truly vast amounts of power could then be generated in relatively small areas. In fact, like on the Earth where solar cells of this nature will eventually be placed on most buildings (either residential, or commercial, or industrial), such cells would be easily placed on the roofs of buildings at a moon base in places that would not be needed for any other purpose!

Also, if it ever became necessary to really develop power for such purposes of manufacturing and smelting the materials of the lunar regolith, solar power could be generated in the same manner that it is being generated in tall towers on the Earth. With heliostats aimed at a tower, and power generated with actual generators from the heat of the sun so magnified. In fact, with only 0.16 g for gravity, there is almost no limit to how tall (and therefore just how much power could be generated) such towers could be to generate teh vast amonts of power needed for large industries on the moon!.

In fact, this might even be one of the first infrastructural items made from materials, mined. smelted, and fabricated on the moon itself.

This would enable NASA initially, and private for profit industry to eventually, be able to avoid the controversy of even using nuclear power at all for the power generation of bases on the moon.

It would even be quite possible to microwave (such a power transfer methodology would even be more efficient on the moon without an atmosphere than here on the Earth, where it has already been demonstrated that it can be done) such power where it is initially generated by microwaves to any point on the moon, even in those areas where there is no sunlight for 14 days!

I say all this, and I am NOT against using nuclear power in space, at the very l;east eventually for propulsion using such systems as VASIMIR!

I am not even against using such power on the surfaces of planets and moons. But I do think it will remain impossible to be able to send completely powered up nuclear power reactors already assembled by even relatively reliable rockets into LEO from the surface of the Earth. The first accident where radiation was spread over even a relatively small area, and the resulting lawsuits alone would probably kill the exploration of space by humanity for at least the rest of this century!

However, if NASA can educate and train at least some of its astronauts in assembling and bringing safely up to power such reactors, where the fuels and rods of such a reactors were sent into space on separate rockets, so an accident would not result in ANY radioactivity at all, under any circumstances, then it might just be possible to do so in the future!

But, I do NOT see NASA doing that in the near future at all! Sorry about that, I just don't!

Ever thought about that? ;)
 
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Booban

Guest
Even though it is expensive to rocket things up from Earth, I have a difficult time imagining that building and maintaining a whole industrial process on the moon for mining, refining and manufacturing can be cheaper. And then you miss the point of a moon industry contributing to the economy down here.

A layperson would say that it was a waste for NASA to develop such technology to squeeze water out of moon regolith, we got plenty of it down here. Everything done up there, must contribute to life down here.

Something like Helium 3 would contribute to the economy down here, therefore motivating further investment in space exploration. Or those huge solar towers that can beam back energy to earth. If anything like this was feasible, that is pretty much a gold rush for space exploration. Put a tax on space energy and there is your funding to go to Mars, Venus, Titan, wherever.
 
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TC_sc

Guest
First I want to make it clear I am not against solar. I just want to point out that it's not always the best choice.

frodo1008":2cuvc9sw said:
Eventually however, this will prove to be inadequate for a moon base. There is a new solar cell technology in commercial development at this time that would prove to be more than adequate for that task. This technology generally eliminates almost all of the structure of past solar cell assemblies. This would in turn eliminate most of the weight of such systems for use on the moon. Solar cells will come in rolls of a sticky back type of material that could be then stuck to any structure that faced the sun.
I am guessing you mean thin film technology. That is surely bringing the price down, but there is one huge drawback. Thin film produces less power per square foot than silicon Photo Voltaic . Any PV panel will still have to be hardened against radiation and and ultraviolet radiation.


frodo1008":2cuvc9sw said:
I say all this, and I am NOT against using nuclear power in space, at the very l;east eventually for propulsion using such systems as VASIMIR!

I am not even against using such power on the surfaces of planets and moons. But I do think it will remain impossible to be able to send completely powered up nuclear power reactors already assembled by even relatively reliable rockets into LEO from the surface of the Earth. The first accident where radiation was spread over even a relatively small area, and the resulting lawsuits alone would probably kill the exploration of space by humanity for at least the rest of this century!

However, if NASA can educate and train at least some of its astronauts in assembling and bringing safely up to power such reactors, where the fuels and rods of such a reactors were sent into space on separate rockets, so an accident would not result in ANY radioactivity at all, under any circumstances, then it might just be possible to do so in the future!
No operating reactor would ever be set atop a missile and shot into space. From all I have read, no nuclear engine or reactor would be put into operation until well outside of Earth orbit. It's going to take a lot of nuclear material to not burn up upon reentry into the atmosphere if there is an accident. I feel confident we can launch fissionable materials without fear of it raining down onto some unsuspecting neighborhood.

One final note about PVs that people don't think much about. The efficiency of them degrade over time. You have to allow for that degradation in the design. Of course you have the same problem with nuclear. At some point you will likely have to replace the PVs

The best solution to power on the moon is if there is water. We can then use solar and store the excess energy in the form of hydrogen.
 
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TC_sc

Guest
HiGh_GuY":1nuvfq9o said:
[

Give me one reason you think is valid why the moon is a better choice than mars and i'll tell you why the that reason isn't valid. A moon mission being safer/quicker than a MARS mission isn't a valid reason either. Doing something harder will teach us more and we will bennefit from it more.
The valid reason is that we don't, at this point, have the technology to go, reasonably safe, to Mars . At this point it would just be to say we did it. We learn by building an infrastructure on the moon. The moon is the perfect testbed. Trust me, if we don't put an outpost on the moon, someone else will. Why not make it an international effort?
 
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steve_the_deev

Guest
Geez folks, the Moon is bombarded by Nuclear energy from the Sun and the Cosmic energies in Massive amounts from every portion of the Universe. Even if the small reactor failed it wouldn't mean anything to the "Nuclear World" of the Moon's non-environment and no it wouldn't creat a Nuclear Explosion, sorry.
This is a good argument to discuss but takes us back to the ignorant days of the 60's and early 70's. We now have a full handle on piddly Fission, the scare about Fission is a mute point now with even the Technology of the 80's and 90's. The Russians deployed Nuclear Reactors to the Moon in the 60's (their Moon Rover/Tank). It is still on the Moon to this Day, dead but still decaying radioactively. What about that? Nuclear Power is a safe, reliable, energy plan. Nuclear Subs and Aircraft Carriers prove this point hands down. Solar hasn't made the grade as far as Energy Density vs cost for a plant on the Moon. Folks this is the safest way to power a base on the Moon/Mars and the most cost effective. It is the safest and longest lasting option until we get an efficient Solar Plant or get a handle on Fusion (75 years still) built by robots on the Moon or Mars. If we don't get this process going we will never survive long term as a species. These reactors are safer than an Oil refinery, that's a proven Fact. Yes, power up the Moon soon.
 
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tricksterson

Guest
I voted for solar but think that relying on just one power source is a mistake. You should bring both, use one for the main and the other for backup.
 
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orbit_er

Guest
I'm not sure a moon base accomplishes much. Nuclear power for a base there is a given. Mars is the current target, and nuclear there is absolutely necessary. Small nuclear plants need to be evolved for use on earth. I expect someday we'll have small nuclear devices powering trucks and trains. Nuclear is eleganlt scalable. Remember Voyager I and II. They still function on mere ounces of fuel.
 
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hoser

Guest
Frodo1008, calm down, dude. You started the personal negative attack.

How is my post not related to the NASA budget? Let's see, if you want to go the Moon, you need the support of the people and Congress. You need money and technology. You need officials to make good decisions, and with the crazy leadership in CA and Washington, there is a good chance that good decisions won't get made. These days, decisions are being made based on bad science for political purposes. The fact is, science has been turned into a political tool, and bad things have happened as a result. Scientists are selling out for grant money, because of political pressure.

For example, some have argued that Columbia was lost because of green policy. They say the foam used on the external tank was changed to make it more eco-friendly, and since that change, the insulating foam has been subject to failure and now peels off in large chunks.

The point is, the idea of whether to use a nuclear power plant or solar power on the Moon has a huge political component, and isn't merely a technical exercise as it should be. That's one reason why it's here on the site as a poll, and not just a story.

When you want to bat around credentials, be careful. I have a PhD in biophysics, and I am an elected official. Hence, I have technical and political interests that go beyond your narrow focus. I love getting feedback for ideas here and elsewhere anonymously. It's one of the most valuable places you can go for test-marketing. And I don't believe for one second that you aren't trying to sell your ideas here (I'm using 'sell' in the abstract sense, not an exchange of dollars).

Obviously, you have some passion for what you are doing in this forum. That's great. I have passion too, and I appreciate your technical insight. I also see other aspects of the mission. Maybe we have a common interest that would be served better by cooperation in contrast to having a schoolyard spat.

As our Governor says, I'll be back.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Hoser, if you are really as educated and anywhere near as good a politician as you say you are, then stop making sarcastic and uneducated remarks like the following:

"Hey, forget solar power. Let's put up wind turbines on the Moon, yeah! I'm sure you can get the California Energy Commission to back that loony plan too!!"

We get enough of that over on free space!

This space is for we narrow minded space program supporters that wish to debate scientific and engineering issues without such nonsense!

Do that, and you will have no problems with me at all!

It is indeed not only your privilege here to have your own opinion, even (and perhaps even because) it disagrees with my own, that is more than fine with me!

I am more than willing to debate any issue (well, any issue related to ths forum and this thread that is) in a civil, reasonable, and intelligent manner, please feel free to do so also!

But these are serious threads here (humor is indeed appreciated on occasion, but is not required).

Now, do you have a serious comment on the subject of this particular thread? I am very happy to listen!!
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
MOD HAT ON***

hoser, lets try and cut back on the rhetoric a little bit here. While politics is an inevitible part of the NASA funding process, it is NOT the focus of the thread. Please stick to the topic, and take any political discussions to Free Space.

MOD Hat OFF***

Meteor Wayne
 
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stealtheagle

Guest
a nuclear reactor is far more energy dense than any solar array around today. Granted, sometime in the future it may be cheaper to send rolls of solar cells to the moon, but then there's the problem of the lunar regolith, or if your on Mars, the martian dust. The arrays would have to be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of dust on their surfaces that would otherwise reduce the output of the cells. Also, the moon has nights that last for weeks, so unless you want to haul both the heavy solar panels and the even heavier batteries, a solar power plant on the moon isn't the best option.

A nuke, while heavy and potentially dangerous, can generate a lot more power while taking up less room. Once on the ground, the astronauts could dig a deep hole away from the moonbase and use a robot to place the reactor, rather than expose themselves. The reactors could last for several years, and when they do eventually run down, they could simply be left under the surface and another reactor placed elsewhere. And while they would need to be constantly monitored, they can be perfect sources of electricity.
 
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hoser

Guest
Wow, you all seem so sensitive. Lighten up. The first line of my first post was originally going to be just that, a one liner.

Bottom line: I want to see permanent settlements on the Moon. We need to try to make it happen, and academic arguments aren't going to get the job done. We need popular support. If there is some divergence from the main focus, try to determine whether it's important or not.

I agree that talking this much about what's OK to say is taking up too much space. If you want to have 10 people constantly talking shop here, it will get boring fast, except for those 10 people and a small audience. If you want to allow divergence, you may find that you'll have more participation.

Look at the other post I linked to regarding the future goals of NASA. My main focus is getting the science right, mainly from a systems point of view, including the biology. When the science is right, then policy should follow. Public opinion should be shaped to support good policy based upon correct science. I'm very disappointed in the current crop of political leaders who have been warping science to justify bad policy and using fake experts to shape public opinion.

On the practical experience side, I've worked with plenty of physicists and engineers who seem to think biology is a 'soft' science. It isn't, and that's especially true when your life depends on it. Biology is a lot harder than most people realize.

To illustrate, when you look at chromosomes fragmented by radiation, and study DNA damage and repair mechanisms, you will see the horrible mess cells can become as a result. There are factors involved like water-radical chemistry, multiple DNA repair enzyme systems, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, etc. This is only one area of biological science in which I have worked. As a result, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the impact of the radiation hazard out there. That's a big reason I support a Moon base first, as opposed to going directly to Mars. I believe successful bases for permanent habitation on the Moon and Mars will be built at least partially underground for shielding purposes. The real radiation hazard is the sun, not a nuclear reactor.

A reactor for a Moon base can be brought in pieces and assembled. The fuel can be brought in multiple smaller shipments with different parts of the reactor. The fuel should be uranium rather than plutonium to avoid a contamination problem if there is a launch failure. Uranium is common in rocks of the Earth anyway. If we use a heavy water reactor, we can avoid enrichment (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressurise ... er_reactor). If we also are capable of reprocessing spent rods on the moon, we can get more far more energy out of the uranium we send to the moon. If we find good uranium ore on the moon (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... -moon.html), we can keep the reactor going for a long time.

The waste from spent fuel rods is not a terrible problem. First of all, if you use the radioactivity of the uranium as the benchmark, it becomes clear the waste problem is resolved after less than 1000 years. I've done the calculations confirming that assertion based on the known fission isotope yields and corresponding half-life values. When the waste decays to the level of the original ore, you're done. These numbers are based on the typical 3% burn. In my opinion, the 10,000 year containment standard for Yucca Mountain is not necessary. Since the Moon's surface has been pretty stable for 4 billion years, we can bury the leftovers from reprocessing and pretty much forget it. I've held a uranium brick in my hand. Not a big deal.

So the reactor seems to be the best option, really a necessity. The solar option seems to be driven more by current green politics to begin with, hence the political slant of the first post.
 
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CodmanCambry

Guest
Nuclear is the only viable option. Anybody who has researched the subject of active solar panel production can tell you two things...so...
#1-Active solar panel production is about as polluting a process as there exists on the plant. The result is that you have extremely toxic waste and get very little return (proportionately) for the produced watts needed.
#2:- Active solar panel production rates right up there with King Crab fishing in terms of risk to health and safety.
So the result is this, you need massive solar panels on the moon, which means boosting them there piecemeal. That will take years. Thgen they will encounter the risks of meteoreite strikes, and the subsequent risks of moon dust contamination. The ISS is only just ten years old and and can bearly support the power needs of that station. Large as it is, a moon base would need to be far larger to support a human mission. Mind you I am not going to go on about the troubles the solar panels the ISS is already experiencing. (metal shard contamination from wear in the guiding mechanicals).
Nuclear gives more power, is more stable, durable and predictable. Radiation on the moon is not an issue, it is under constant bombardment from every sun in the verse, and the wee bit the humans bring with them will be spit in a storm. That said, the added benefit of nuclear waste disposal on the moon is easy. Pick a spot. There are plenty, and there will be very few people there to stumble upon such a stockpile.
 
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neutrino78x

Guest
hoser":2czg0tv1 said:
And to neutrino78x: The reason you want nuclear power is the compact nature of the power source. You are not limited by selenography (lunar 'geography'). Imagine the weight of the solar panels you would need and the area you would have to cover to equal the power you could get from a nuclear reactor on the Moon.
I do not agree with that; unlike Earth, the Moon gets sunlight continuously for 14 days at a time. And as I said, during the 14 day night, you can simply used stored power. I think in this particular case, you're advocating nuclear because it sounds anti-Greenpeace. I'm anti-extremist also, but I'm anti extremist in all cases, not just one. Too far to the left, I am opposed; too far to the right, I am also opposed.

That's why we need MORE power here in the US, not less.
As long as the added power is not coming from fossil fuel sources, and priority is for "green power" (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc.), I agree. Long term policy should be for all new homes to have solar power on the roof. Modern solar is more than sufficient for this. Just recently I was renting a room in someone's house, and their house was powered by solar, it worked great. They got like 6 kW, 4 kW on cloudy days. This was a two story, 4 bedroom house. The only thing that completely stopped solar (except obviously nighttime) was fog.

Once being in space can pay its own way, we will live there forever.
I agree.

I don't think the Moon is a place for colonization though; Mars is the place to do that (and asteroids, gas giant moons, etc.). The Moon is a satellite of Earth, and thus should remain under the control of the people who live on Earth. Mars can and should have independent nations there eventually. I would suggest nuclear power on Mars eventually, for heavy industry. But I see the Moon as being more of a tourist destination than a place for an independent nation. That's probably the main reason I don't support a nuclear reactor there.

btw I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor here, both times. I support the Republicans in the California legislature (though I don't often agree with their policies on the federal government). I am registered Democrat.

--Brian
 
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geofbrewer

Guest
I didn't vote because I didn't like the options. Nuclear means no need for solar panels. Solar means no need for waste disposal. Where would we bury the spent fuel rods? Nuclear means we hide where the sun don't shine, read solar wind avoidance. Do they make a sunblock with that high an SPF? Solar panels means location, location, location. What about maintenance costs? There are some high energy particles flying around out there. What's the MTBF of our current solar arrays not to mention output for making a human outpost more than a token presence?
It's a hostile environment out there. We should be out there testing what the best option or options are! We can sit around here discussing it until the sun goes nova, or we can do something! I vote for action.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
hoser, now THAT was a truly, truly excellent and intelligent post!!! :D
There you actually sounded like the educated person that you claim to be, please keep it up!

Now, you posted:

"This is only one area of biological science in which I have worked. As a result, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the impact of the radiation hazard out there. That's a big reason I support a Moon base first, as opposed to going directly to Mars. I believe successful bases for permanent habitation on the Moon and Mars will be built at least partially underground for shielding purposes. The real radiation hazard is the sun, not a nuclear reactor."

Fantastic, I could not agree more! Some people here seem to think the a human mission to Mars is some kind of a hop, skip, and jump. Obviously you, like myself understand what the truth really is! Voyaging out as far as Mars is going to be the most challenging voyage mankind has made since the voyages of Columbus, and quite probably even far more challenging! It is NOT going to be the walk in the park that some of the Mars first types on here evidently think it is going to be. No way!! So I thank you for a truly excellent position!

While I greatly respect (and have in my possession his books, and have even read several times) Dr, Robert Zubrin, I almost totally disagree with his rush to get to Mars first. The problems of getting to Mars are far greater (and therefore the cost is going to be far greater) than he thinks it is going to be!

In fact, I am of the opinion that without going to the moon to exploit the resources of the moon, we might not even ever get to Mars, at least in this century! The very necessary materials to develop a true Type II space faring civilization are on the moon, and possibly near by NEO's, not Mars! Mars is just too far away to be practical in the beginning.

And as I said, for at least the first few years of the new exploration of the moon, the power is going to be supplied by the same source that supplied the power for the Apollo missions, compact and efficient fuel cells. After that, I am more than willing to bet that a combination of both solar power, coupled with nuclear power, will power the industries of the moon. After all, we do have to develop such power for going out much further into the solar system anyway, as the further you go the less viable solar power becomes. We WILL need both sources of power to power a true space faring civilization and the space based industries that such a civilization will require!

Unfortunately, that choice was not among those presented! Perhaps that could be rectified with the provision that the votes could also be changed?

hoser also stated:

"The waste from spent fuel rods is not a terrible problem. First of all, if you use the radioactivity of the uranium as the benchmark, it becomes clear the waste problem is resolved after less than 1000 years. I've done the calculations confirming that assertion based on the known fission isotope yields and corresponding half-life values. When the waste decays to the level of the original ore, you're done. These numbers are based on the typical 3% burn. In my opinion, the 10,000 year containment standard for Yucca Mountain is not necessary. Since the Moon's surface has been pretty stable for 4 billion years, we can bury the leftovers from reprocessing and pretty much forget it. I've held a uranium brick in my hand. Not a big deal."

Once again, a perfectly valid and true statement!

However, (at least on the moon) there might even be a possibly better way. As the moon's gravity is only 0.16 g, and there is no atmosphere, it should be relatively easy to rocket spent radioactive materials from power reactors into a low moon orbit (or even throw such materials off the moon with some sort of mass driver, from G. K. O'Neill's ideas). There those materials would be gathered together, a small solid rocket motor placed on a loose structure, and the materials rocketed into the sun. Thus getting rid of them forever!

I know, I know there will probably be extreme ecological types that would then say, "But you might be polluting the sun!" :lol: :lol: :lol:

Of course, not realizing the simple fact that you could drop the entire solar system into the sun without polluting it at all!

Thank you very much hoser, now you have made very good and valid contributions to this thread!!

And have A very Great Day!! :D
 
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scottb50

Guest
spase_rase":11jajed4 said:
2 week day/night cycle makes solar problematic (except at the poles). Nuclear power is required.

Sad that so many people whom know so little about nuclear power have been conditioned (brain washed) by liberals to believe that nuclear power is unconditionally bad.

Facts:
1. A nuclear reactor can NOT cause a nuclear explosion.
2. Nuclear power is safe. (As long as Soviet engineers didn't design the reactor!)
3. Nuclear power is the BEST option for green house gas free energy production. All other options can only deliver only a fraction of the power and at many times the cost.
4. Those who fight against nuclear power are responsible for MILLIONS of TONS of unnecessary green house gas production every year.
I fully agree with your points, when they pertain to providing power here on Earth. The problem I see is the up-mass required to use Nuclear on the moon. At the launch costs existing today and the fact nothing is on the horizon to lower them, a Nuclear plant would cost exponentially more then the people or living quarters just to put in place.

I lean more to solar power and fuel cell generation then I do Nuclear simply because it would require a lot less mass and it would serve more then one function. The same would hold true for Martian or asteroid missions, you have to have water, for people, and they generate waste that has to be dealt with.
 
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