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File: 1651618165794.jpg (23.5 KB, 800x600, 4:3, Full-Moon-Image.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

This is not ideological, political, social, religious, philosophical, or anything of the sort, but it's a serious topic so this is the place to bring it up probably.

Recent news came out about the head of NASA, Bill Nelson, asking the U.S. government for an investment of $26 billion for the fiscal year 2023.

What are the goals? Main thing appears to be the NASA Artemis III mission, which aims for a scheduled 2025 moon landing. Other important advances are coming.

Is this a good idea? I'm personally not sure if establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon is a good investment of time, money, and resources? What else should be happening? Thoughts?

< https://www.clickorlando.com/news/space-news/2022/05/03/watch-live-at-10-am-bill-nelson-testifies-about-26-billion-nasa-budget/ >


More money for NASA is good, but how they use it is... uncertain. We're gonna need a means of defense against asteroids sooner or later.


Yeah, I don't know if we can say that the additional money will be spent properly.


File: 1651667618531.jpg (50.08 KB, 842x632, 421:316, old_asteroid_deflected.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

>What are the goals?
My general impression is NASA is doing more, cheaper missions.  Which means robotic stuff and fewer projects that grab headlines.  A habitat on the moon would be an exception.

>a good idea
Probably.  It's an analog of the South Pole, where decades after the first man reached the point in a battle that had more to do with national pride than science, a research outpost was constructed.

The ideas that I would find exciting, like using the sun as a gravitational telescope, or sending a microprobe to another star, are a bit too aspirational.

And before getting someone to Mars, we have to solve the radiation dose problem.

>need a means of defense against asteroids sooner or later
Probably so.  I don't know what you'd do as a starting move.  Perhaps fire projectiles at asteroids and test the effect.


I'm not entirely sure if the investment of a lunar presence is worth it in terms of what would actually come about from the action. What's there to be gained? Feels too uncertain?


Well, there's no capitalist argument to put people in space or launch anything that leaves the gravity well of Earth.


I dunno, they say the first person to figure out asteroid mining will be the richest person in history.


I think the cost per gram of material we're taken from space -- moon rocks, for example -- is greater than the value of mined precious materials.


Could you rephrase that?


"NASA assessed the value of the [moon rocks] at around $50,800 per gram in 1973 dollars, based on the total cost of retrieving the samples. That works to just a hair over $300,000 a gram in today's currency."

I mean, what substance is worth more than $300,000 a gram that would be economical to mine from space?


That's just considering each one-time trip. If there were some kind of semi-automated mining base continually sending shipments, it would pay for itself over time. Huge 'if' obviously, but remember that getting stuff from space is dozens of times easier than getting stuff to space.


I don't know.  It might be true less rocket fuel would be required to blast a payload from the Moon to Earth, but that fuel is more expensive given it has to come from Earth.  And if the particular orbit of some other source may take more fuel than travel from the moon to Earth.  We're generally trying to argue for a certain return on investment.


Is that value based in anything but the novelty? Because if it's based in novelty, the value will plummet once it becomes an automated system and it becomes the norm. Plus, we want the moon where it is and how it is. Don't want to fuck up the oceans and ruin eclipses and stuff.


That's the transit costs in relation to how much they brought back.
They didn't bring much to begin with, and besides that, they weren't in a dedicated cargo hauler.
Real prices will be significantly lesser


Especially if there aren't humans aboard.


Research and development from NASA in recent years has been in expanding horizons and furthering understanding of the solar system.
The Mars rover yielded a multitude of excavation finds, but nothing really broadening horizons.
The initial Moon landing was an achievement fueled by research but also the race.
The technological advancement since then is tremendous, so it makes sense to want to revisit a landing. Competition is a substantial driving force.
I think investment in such a project would yield more opportunity for future expansion beyond mining and excavation.
If NASA doesn't set up Moon base, somebody else will.

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