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DarthDooku

Space Station on the Moon

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I just read in Astronomy magazine, which is a great magazine by the way, that by the year 2012, NASA wants to have a space station on the moon that will be for the purpose of sending manned missions to Mars by the year 2020. I was really amazed to read this. In ten years, we could be taking the first steps to manned missions outside of our solar system. Sure that would be looking way into the future, but you have to start somewhere.

 

Imagine that in 100 years that the space station on the moon is ancient history. So is the space station on Mars. Then the space station on Pluto will be ancient history. Pluto is the last planet in our solar system. The next step is to build a space station outside of our solar system. Imagine a space station that is large enough to construct spaceships. This is where it would get interesting. We would now have a space station outside of our solar system with the ability to launch spaceships directly from space, with no atmosphere to contend with. Just imagine how far, a burst from an earth-launched spaceshuttle, would carry a shuttle that was already in space. And after that, they would obviously make a shuttle that was more suitable for launch in space. The ships wouldnt need all that extra fuel to burn through the atmosphere, so they would be designed more like an economy class car. Ok, im going to stop now because i think im getting to close to Captain Kirk.

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The main trouble with extrasolar stations is that there's a distinct lack of natural resources, especially metals.

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I'm not entirely sure what the best source for metals would be to an extrasolar station.

 

Even if you found a big pile of iron on Pluto, it'd be far out of reach for most of the time.

 

Hmmm.

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The asteroid belt is the best bet for most things.

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I assume you mean the inner belt.

 

What about the objects in the Kuiper belt? Mostly rock and ice (iirc)?

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Rock is good, but it all depends on WHAT rock, and where it's at.

 

There isn't that much of a benefit of having something extrasolar in any case, if you're lacking resources it makes it doubly pointless.

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We're talking 100's of years into the future. Spaceships will be better and we will probably have landed on all planets where its even possible. Extracting raw materials from any planet or close asteroids probably wont be a problem. And they can always make a huge cargo ship, launched from earth, that will be stuffed with raw material and permanently docked at the station until its resources are delpeted, and it will just go back to earth and get more. Its feasible, if you consider that technology will be far more advanced in 200-300 years.

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It'd almost certainly be more efficient to mine it in situ. If you possibly can, always situate what you're doing near the required natural conditions for it to be done. Things like putting nuclear power stations next to rivers.

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DarthDooku said in post # :

What is situ?

 

Basically, he means onsite.

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It's a latin word, from which we get things like 'situate'. It's to do with location, obviously.

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