Where on the Moon should Orion go?

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willpittenger

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I know that someone claimed (without references) that the first permanent lunar base would be in one of the craters at the Moon's south pole. However, where else would you want to go? For the first mission, a relatively safe landing location will be needed. (It would not need to be as safe as that used by Apollo 11, but you get the picture.) After that, a location where we can land habitats and supplies would help. Permanent bases would also need to be within reach of plenty of research locations. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">I know that someone claimed (without references) that the first permanent lunar base would be in one of the craters at the Moon's south pole.</font>/i><br /><br />Well, strictly speaking, Orion isn't going to land on the Moon since it is just the capsule and will remain in orbit. Having said that, NASA has been very clear that they are hoping to build a long-term presense on the rim of a crater on the south pole (lots of documentation available at NASA). The reason for this location is that it receives sunlight (nearly) continuously -- no 14 days of darkness -- so solar panels could be used to power a Lunar habitat. Potential access to water ice in the crater shadows might be valuable too.<br /><br />Short-term missions (less than 14 days) could go almost anywhere (at least as long as a safe landing spot is found), which is different than Apollo, which was mainly restricted to areas around the equator.<br /><br />Following orbiter missions by Japan (just launched the other day), India and the US (launching next year), we will have a much better idea of where we might want to go on the Moon. These new orbiter missions will continue to look for water ice, map the mineral composition in much greater resolution, map elevation information, and take incredibly detailed images of potential landing spots.<br /><br />With this additional information in hand, plus many proposals by scientists for doing some type of experiments on the Moon (from geological analysis to radio astronomy on the far-side of the Moon), NASA will probably identify a handful of high-priority landing spots.<br /><br />So by about 2010-2012 we will have a lot more information on where we might like to go.</i>
 
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kyle_baron

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I believe the moon program is called "Constellation". It's like saying Apollo from the 60's.<br /><br />I've seen several programs on the Science Channel, and the south pole is at the top of the list. Oxygen is the 1st priority, and can be mined from the regolith soil, and from the H20 ice in the craters. Oxygen is obviously used for breathing and rocket fuel. Also interesting, is that the moon has titanium deposits to make rocket parts. But these deposits are not located at the poles. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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<However, where else would you want to go?><br /><br />Far side of the moon. Maybe set up a radio-observatory.
 
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willpittenger

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How would you establish communications with Earth? Most of the initial medical emergency situations require the use of robotic surgery performed by doctors on Earth. The more relays you need, the longer the wait time you end up with. A minor nick during an operation, given a poor enough reaction time, could be fatal. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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qso1

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Just for the record, I picked the flat area west of the cone in the crater Langrenus for my graphic novels knowing full well that no matter where I pick, some other location will actually be selected based on whatever actual requirements emerge for the current lunar program. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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For one thing you are NEVER going to be able to reduce transmission time between the Earth and th moon to less than about 3 seconds (round trip). The velocity of electromagnetic transmission guarantees that.<br /><br />If you were on the hidden (not Dark as it is not necessarily dark at all) side of the moon you might just lay cable behind to the terminator sun lines, or the poles. This would actually be easier (outside of transportation costs to the moon itself of course) than doing the same thing on Earth because of the light gravity (0,16 g), and the lack of an atmosphere.<br /><br />And, if you think this is a problem, then how about Mars? The lag time is many minutes, not mere seconds!
 
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MeteorWayne

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JUst as a data point, current 1 way light time to Mars is 8 min 42.1 seconds, and it's approaching opposition. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Ok, will.....Orion will go to lunar orbit. (Classic mistake)<br /><br />I know you mean the Constellation program.<br /><br />But to go somewhere on the moon, I'd have to say Tyco. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Why Tycho? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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baktothemoon

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Cause we're six years late in finding that huge black monolith. lol
 
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drwayne

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Related to this question is whether a free return trajectory is a requirement for the flights, at least the initial ones.<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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holmec

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I just don't think our job is done at Tycho. We need to study rock there. And find out what the impactor was and if there is any relation to the 'tektites' found on earth. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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<How would you establish communications with Earth?><br /><br />One relay comsat in a halo orbit at EML-2. Or a constellation of three relay comsats in highly eccentric lunar orbits.
 
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jammers

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I'd like to see one of the original Apollo sites revisited, if only to see how Descent Module and other equipment has fared after (by the time Orion gets there) 50 years on the Lunar surface. If NASA wants to build base, they're going to need some data on how much structures on the Moon get hit by micro-meteorites etc. Sort of like how Apollo 12 visited Surveyor 3.<br />Also, the astronauts could carry out follow-on investigations based on the findings of the original mission.
 
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thereiwas

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The lightweight construction of the Apollo LM would make it a good meteorite detector, but the analysis would have to separate out the damage caused by the ascent-stage liftoff.<br /><br />Still the later missions left some data collection packages a good distance away so they could compare the degradation.
 
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