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Posted: 5/21/2002 11:30:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 11:36:02 AM EDT by rainman]
Will the United States allow China to build a lunar base? What would be the result of such a thing happening? Does China really believe they can accomplish this in the next 15 or so years? Do we have any plans in the near future for a continually manned lunar base? What would be the potential military threat of a base on the moon? Read the story on Drudge.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 11:47:01 AM EDT
Hey, China should put it in a letter and mail it to 1969 when someone might give a damn! They lost the space race by over 30 years!
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 11:54:00 AM EDT
Will we allow it? LOL they DONT care if we allow it or not! I really dont tihnk they have the technology for it anytime soon anyhow.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 11:57:07 AM EDT
Good then, we will have egg foo young and kung pao chicken when we get there.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 11:59:49 AM EDT
Will the man in the moon be a chi-com?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:01:51 PM EDT
If the Chinese get a big enough head start, the question will be whether or not they'll allow [i]us[/i] to build a moon base. They've seen where the high ground is going to be and they've decided to grab it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:11:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 12:12:46 PM EDT by Nick]
Yes I think is possible. They have stolen technology from the US and the western world. They have the funding (let the people starve, and tax the hell out of foreign investor) They don't care for human life. (They will keep trying until they get a living body on the moon, if he freezes to death they will send another one.) They work with a bigger margin of error. Threat to US? Definitely!! First think how the US will look if China establish a base on the moon (even if its no larger than your cubical)
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:34:33 PM EDT
Thats what I was thinking Nick. Something small. Just big enough for a cot and a shitter. Call it a lunar base. Jesus, the ramifications of that happening.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:58:55 PM EDT
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. sprinted ahead and had a huge head start on everyone else. Then the U.S.S.R. dropped out. Then the U.S. dropped out. While we've been wasting the last decade putting up an "International Space Station" which was really a cover story for giving out foreign aid, the Chinese have been developing their own manned space program. They launched and recovered a test capsule a month or so ago. Now the Chinese can win, if they want. Putting a base on the Moon has never been that hard; it's a matter of desire and money. NASA and the feds frittered away both.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:16:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 1:17:16 PM EDT by satcong]
[img]http://www.animus-web.demon.co.uk/eagle/1999sea1.jpg[/img] [b]Martin Landau is already there![/b]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:31:33 PM EDT
The question should be how much help are they going to get from the US, both technically and financially? And how much of your pay check are they going to take to make it happen? If they ever tried, you can bet your ass companies like Wally World will lobby Congress in their favor to no end. Anything to insure those cheap Chinese imports keep on flowing in.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:27:04 PM EDT
I can't imagine anything they could mine that would be worth the money of setting up a moon base. Prices for commodities like minerals have been steadily dropping for decades.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:33:20 PM EDT
Its hard to imagine that the have the capabilities, they just learned how to do mid-air refueling. mattja you make some very good points. Something we should keep an eye on.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:33:29 PM EDT
The future is "Out There" and the Chinese understand that. Their system of government allows them to spend money on whatevert the hell they want, and their culture reveres education. (How many U.S. doctoral candidates are mainland Chinese?) I think they're serious, and I think they can do it. And we can't stop them. And we lack the will to challenge them by getting there at all, much less first.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:43:45 PM EDT
The Red China will build a moon base, then a death ray gun pointing at Earth, and demand a ransom of [red][size=4]10 MILLION DOLLARS[/size=4][/red] When you convert that to Chinese currency, it is a lot of money.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:46:49 PM EDT
I forgot, who owns the moon?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:00:54 PM EDT
WE own the moon. We were there first, at least in modern times anyway. Don't our Navy/Coastguard ships stop other ships in "international" waters?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:13:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 4:14:21 PM EDT by SigBlueStar]
Quick everyone chip in and lets buy the whole moon before they get there !!! Then we can charge for rent [:d] [url]http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/space/11/20/lunar.land/[/url]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:19:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rainman: WE own the moon. We were there first, at least in modern times anyway. Don't our Navy/Coastguard ships stop other ships in "international" waters?
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Do [i]we[/i] own Mars?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:21:30 PM EDT
if its chinese, it will break and they will call for us to rescue them. nothing unusuall. then when we have a shuttle emergancy and land at they base on the moon. they will be P.O. at us. its the circle affect.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:21:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SigBlueStar: Quick everyone chip in and lets buy the whole moon before they get there !!!
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According to Rainman "WE" already own it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:22:50 PM EDT
I dont think so but its for sale. Lets buy it before china gets there hands on it ! [url] http://www.moonestates.com/cat_Mars.asp [/url]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:33:28 PM EDT
If the Chinese want to pour billions of dollars worth of their resources into that hole - great! That's just less that they can spend down here (where it counts) on things to make life difficult for us.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:42:21 PM EDT
And there's no way to harden a base anyway. A thousand inch-sized ball bearings coming in from orbit would completely destroy anything they could put up. Let 'em waste the resources.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 12:34:46 AM EDT
I don't think it has anything to do with mining or minerals or anything mundane like that. It's PR, pure and simple. LOOK AT US, WE HAVE COME OF AGE! (and thanks for helping, WallyWorld shoppers).
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 12:40:17 AM EDT
Technology to get there?? They'll just do a human pyramid. They'll be bummed once they get there....... I assume the want all the cheese. PSSST it's not made out of cheese.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:44:57 AM EDT
Well, they've already taken over the U.S. -- just try to find a retail item that wasn't made in China. Next logical step is the moon.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:57:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: And there's no way to harden a base anyway.
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Sure there is...build it underground.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:08:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By DScott: And there's no way to harden a base anyway.
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Sure there is...build it underground.
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It'd just take bigger rocks hurled from space, wouldn't you think? Imagine, no atmosphere, decent gravity, kinetic energy, and a basic understanding of orbital mechanics = one very large crater. Am I missing something here, physics-wise? That, or just take out the moon-based return vehicles, and let nature take it's course. POf course, a space launched cruise missile would be more spectular. I think the point is that any lunar base is extremely fragile and tenuous in it's existence.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:17:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: I forgot, who owns the moon?
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Actually, as the dominant lifeform in this solar system, we can lay claim to the entire thing collectively as humanity. As of this minute, it would be pretty hard to enforce that claim due to our bloated, inefficient, misdirected space program, but no one seems to be contesting space with us {humans} at this moment. As for which [i]country[/i] owns any piece of orbital rock, it should be pointed out that greed and stupidity should be abandoned once you leave the atmosphere.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:26:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR_Rifle: Good then, we will have egg foo young and kung pao chicken when we get there.
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[:D][:D][:D]
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:35:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 7:24:50 AM EDT by ron97ws6]
Originally Posted By DScott: Am I missing something here, physics-wise?
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I wouldn’t say you are missing any specific physics concept, but Earth-bound humans tend to forget about the advantage of position in orbital mechanics. Form the view of energy and momentum, the moon is in a distinct advantage of being at the “top” of Earth’s gravity well. That is to say that it is easier to “drop” something from the moon to the Earth than to throw something from the bottom of Earth’s gravity well to the moon. The moon’s escape velocity is considerably smaller that the earth’s. Meaning that a moon base could menace the Earth with a simple linear accelerator and some rocks. {Read Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”} All your rocks need is to be banded with some pig iron for the magnetic fields to grab and accelerate, several small attitude jets and a cheap computer, radio receiver. All 80's technology. The explosive force is provided by the exchange of potential energy from the greater height of the moon converted to kinetic energy due to velocity. [b]BOOM![/b] [i]Very Big Boom![/i] The moon naturally uses it’s position of great potential energy to impart a huge incoming velocity on the rocks which become very hard to stop at earth’s atmosphere. The Earther’s have to resort to using nukes in near orbit to destroy the rocks. Meanwhile, every rock that they miss enters the Earth’s atmosphere with kinetic energy equal to a nuclear blast. The Earth however, has to loft [i]missiles[/i] out of their gravity well and achieve a much greater escape velocity to make terminal velocity, where then they would have a long coast to the moon. That gives the “moonies” a much longer time to plan an intercept. It’s all a game of position, and whoever takes the moon and fortifies it as a base has achieved the ultimate “high ground!” As for hardening the moon base, three things work in the moonies favor. (1) They have to dig deep anyway, to avoid deadly long-term exposure to solar radiation, so the base is already hardened. (2) Construction material is cheap! and (3) Remember, they have a looong time to plan the intercept of Earth’s relatively fragile incoming rockets.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:41:21 AM EDT
What about dropping things on them from moon orbit? That's more what I had in mind... How deep would you have to dig to avoid the negative effects of ambient radiation, and how deep would an orbit-launched kinetic weapon go? You'd still have surface based structures, or at least openings to underground, that would also be vulnerable. [?]
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:54:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 6:57:51 AM EDT by ron97ws6]
Originally Posted By DScott: What about dropping things on them from moon orbit? That's more what I had in mind... How deep would you have to dig to avoid the negative effects of ambient radiation, and how deep would an orbit-launched kinetic weapon go? You'd still have surface based structures, or at least openings to underground, that would also be vulnerable. [?]
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The cost of lofting a mass from the Earth is too great to use kinetic energy weapons. Think of it this way. You are throwing a rock to hit a bully on the first floor landing of a building. Sure, you have a good arm, and you can throw higher than he is standing. Maybe five feet higher. But you’ve already expended enough energy to throw your rock 20 feet while the energy it delivers is only equivalent to a drop of 5 feet!! So Earth can’t use kinetic energy weapons on the moonies due to the diminishing returns. So it stands to reason that they will have to use nukes. Now once again, look at the cost of lofting a missile out of Earth orbit. You can’t effectively harden the warhead w/o occurring a cost penalty on the payload. However, the moonies can set up phalanx guns and megawatt lasers that don’t have to fire through an attenuating atmosphere to reach your payload, and they can see it coming a long way off. They can play a laser beam on your capsule for hours to melt it to slag. Or, throw up a bunch of pebbles to hit it again using the moon's greater orbital advantage. It gets real expensive to fight the war for the Earthers. The moon can drop a lot of rocks cheap.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:02:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: What about dropping things on them from moon orbit? That's more what I had in mind... How deep would you have to dig to avoid the negative effects of ambient radiation, and how deep would an orbit-launched kinetic weapon go? You'd still have surface based structures, or at least openings to underground, that would also be vulnerable. [?]
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Sure you could do this, but you have to get to lunar orbit first, and it is a Loooong way to go to get there, which gives the Loonies (or Lunatics) plenty of time to intercept what ever you send to lunar orbit to drop your rocks, fire your missiles, etc. Linear accelerators on the moons surface could launch rocks all the way to the earth.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:07:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 7:14:01 AM EDT by ron97ws6]
Remember that the moonies can make multi-megawatts of electrical power cheap! They can spread flimsy solar panels all over the landscape. They can operate unshielded nuclear reactors on the surface! Megawatt communications lasers can make wicked defensive weapons You can make an [b]awesome[/b] [red]pumped x-ray laser[/red] that would fire from orbit by using a thermonuclear bomb and some laser bundles with guidance computers. The laser bundles are pumped by the bomb and as they vaporize, the release an invisible coherent x-ray beam like a sword blade thousands of miles long that can melt advanced alloys to slag and fry electronics with unerring accuracy. REMEMBER! The moonies have no surface ecology to worry about! BTW: is anyone getting frightened yet? You should be getting concerned!
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:08:56 AM EDT
Earthers. Don't know if I like the sound of that. Earthians. Mmmmmmm Earthinis. Naw.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:17:37 AM EDT
I highly recommend everyone read Robert Heinlein's [i][u]The Moon is a Harsh Mistress[/i][/u]. It's the story of what happens when the moon is used as a penal colony to grow hydroponic grain for use on Earth. Actually, it's about how they revolt and make war on Earth for their independence. And they throw rocks down the gravity well as weapons. Excellent story.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:19:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 7:26:49 AM EDT by ron97ws6]
Originally Posted By rainman: Earthers. Don't know if I like the sound of that.
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How 'bout Flatlanders, or Downers? What other nice word will the spacefaring ppl have for the teaming masses that fight over dwindling resources at the bottom of the third planet's gravity well?
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:00:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:06:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker: I highly recommend everyone read Robert Heinlein's [i][u]The Moon is a Harsh Mistress[/i][/u]. It's the story of what happens when the moon is used as a penal colony to grow hydroponic grain for use on Earth. Actually, it's about how they revolt and make war on Earth for their independence. And they throw rocks down the gravity well as weapons. Excellent story.
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Heinlein aside, I tend to think that any rocks they will be able to prepare for launching towards the Earth won't be large enough to do a lot of damage. By the time they ablate in the atmosphere, how much is left?
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:16:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker: I highly recommend everyone read Robert Heinlein's [i][u]The Moon is a Harsh Mistress[/i][/u]. It's the story of what happens when the moon is used as a penal colony to grow hydroponic grain for use on Earth. Actually, it's about how they revolt and make war on Earth for their independence. And they throw rocks down the gravity well as weapons. Excellent story.
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The Kinsman Saga by Bova is also a good story on this topic.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:26:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By KBaker: I highly recommend everyone read Robert Heinlein's [i][u]The Moon is a Harsh Mistress[/i][/u]. It's the story of what happens when the moon is used as a penal colony to grow hydroponic grain for use on Earth. Actually, it's about how they revolt and make war on Earth for their independence. And they throw rocks down the gravity well as weapons. Excellent story.
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Heinlein aside, I tend to think that any rocks they will be able to prepare for launching towards the Earth won't be large enough to do a lot of damage. By the time they ablate in the atmosphere, how much is left?
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I wouldn't bet money against them having enough mass to blast the crap out of us. If they loft one ton and half of it makes it thru, how much energy does 1000 lbs have at 5 miles per second? As much as an airliner?
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 4:54:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Bretshooter: If they loft one ton and half of it makes it thru, how much energy does 1000 lbs have at 5 miles per second? As much as an airliner?
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Considerably more. I don't have any exact data, but I can point to the theories surrounding project Thor. In 1964 Dr. Jerry Pournelle described a potential kinetic weapon system concept named Thor, consisting of a guided orbiting element with terminal guidance. In 1975 he published a new and more complete description of the system that could have been deployed in the mid-1980's. Thor was to consist of orbiting steel rods perhaps 20 feet long by one foot in diameter. They would contain minimal terminal guidance capability, and a means of locating themselves and their targets through GPS. They could attain velocities greater than 12,000 feet per second. If a one pound object moving at just orbital velocity ran into a stationary Earth target, the energy released in the impact will be the equivalent of exploding almost ten pounds of TNT. Each Thor element was going to weigh 20 pounds! Few elements of military power are invulnerable to bombardment by kinetic energy weapons from space. And remember, Thor was just dropping objects from orbital velocity. Incoming objects from the moon's orbit would be traveling [i]much[/i] faster.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:52:49 PM EDT
The moon is a road to nowhere.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:57:25 PM EDT
HAHAHA, where are they going to get funding from? I distinctly recall that it was only in the early 90s that the Chinese space program was partly funded from selling refrigerators and other home appliances manufactured in rocket factories. And that was for simple orbital delivery systems. They might have a shot at the moon assuming that the government doesn't get overthrown first and have the country plunge into chaos. Considering current unemployment is somewhere near 30%, if they want to maintain stability in the country, they had better spend money on social welfare before anything else. If you were to assume that 1/10 of the population are workers and 1/3 of that are unemployed, that means 1.2 billion x 1/9 = 40 million people. If they don't overhaul the financial and the economic system fast, anyone that can leave the country will.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:22:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By imposter: The moon is a road to nowhere.
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No flame intended here, but it's just exactly this type of attitude that keeps us Earthbound. It may be time for people to spend a little time researching info on near Earth asteroids. It only took one rock to end the age of the dinosaurs. It would only take one rock to extinguish all the higher life forms on Earth. As Robert A. Heinlein said, [i]"It's foolish to keep all our eggs in one basket."[/i] The moon is halfway to anywhere in the solar system. This solar system is awash in nearly free energy, and full of floating rocks rich in heavy minerals. Whoever takes advantage of infinite resources of the moon and space beyond will not only have the high ground, they will also direct the eventual future of mankind. Wanna leave that exclusively to the Chinese?
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:43:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: I forgot, who owns the moon?
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By treaty? "The people of the earth" (or some similar phrase crafted by our buddies at the UN). In reality? Whoever established control there.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:54:34 AM EDT
HAHAHA, where are they going to get funding from?
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In 1945, the Soviet Union was recovering from the destruction of WWII. Twelve years later, they put Sputnik into orbit. Don't underestimate the Chinese. They can use old technology (courtesy of Uncle Sam) and they won't let a few fatal accidents slow them down.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 8:34:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ron97ws6: The moon is halfway to anywhere in the solar system. This solar system is awash in nearly free energy, and full of floating rocks rich in heavy minerals. Whoever takes advantage of infinite resources of the moon and space beyond will not only have the high ground, they will also direct the eventual future of mankind.
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So Ronald, are you writing these bits with "The High Frontier" open on your knee? Been spending too much time wired on caffeine at a Cal-Tech coffeehouse? Or are you just a Pournelle/Dyson acolyte? Or all three? [:)]
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 9:08:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ron97ws6:
Originally Posted By imposter: The moon is a road to nowhere.
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No flame intended here, but it's just exactly this type of attitude that keeps us Earthbound. It may be time for people to spend a little time researching info on near Earth asteroids. It only took one rock to end the age of the dinosaurs. It would only take one rock to extinguish all the higher life forms on Earth. As Robert A. Heinlein said, [i]"It's foolish to keep all our eggs in one basket."[/i] The moon is halfway to anywhere in the solar system. This solar system is awash in nearly free energy, and full of floating rocks rich in heavy minerals. Whoever takes advantage of infinite resources of the moon and space beyond will not only have the high ground, they will also direct the eventual future of mankind. Wanna leave that exclusively to the Chinese?
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I think you misundestood my comment. I am all for stellar exploration and colonization. As you know, one of the largest problems we face with exploration is the fact that we live on a huge gravity well. It is extremely expensive to get anything into orbit. Once you get into orbit, travel is easy but slow. With no gravity, you just need to accelorate a little in the right direction and you will (eventually) get to your destination. It just makes no sense to use all of this tons of energy to get out our gravity well, just to land on another gravity well. The moon is not "halfway to anywhere in the solar system" - it is basically a road that goes back to where you came from. In fact, it is even worse because, unlike here, there are virtually no usable resources. IMHO, the moon is a "been there, done that" type thing. It was a good idea to see if anything was there, but there wasn't. We need to set our sights on other places now, and a stop-over on the moon is just a waste of resources. Let the Chinese have it, while we check out Mars.
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