Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NASA is proposing to build a space station in lunar orbit. This proposal is notable for requiring a large budget to create an object with no utility whatsoever.

Kinda like colonizing Mars, it sounds good in a general, gee whiz, kind of way, but offers few benefits.

In contrast, an actual Moon base situated on the satellite's surface would be quite useful scientifically speaking, especially if your ultimate goal is a base on Mars.

That is where the science is, that is where the shielding material is, and that is where the resources to make propellant and other useful things are to be found. The best place to build it would be at one of the poles, because there are spots at both of the Moon’s poles where sunlight is accessible all the time, as well as permanently shadowed craters where water ice has accumulated. Such ice could be electrolyzed to make hydrogen-oxygen rocket propellant, to fuel both Earth-return vehicles as well as ballistic hoppers that would provide the base’s crew with exploratory access to most of the rest of the Moon. Other places on the Moon might also work as the base’s location, because while there is no water in nonpolar latitudes, there is iron oxide. This can be reduced to produce iron and oxygen, with the latter composing 75 percent or more of the most advantageous propellant combinations. In contrast, there is nothing at all in lunar orbit: nothing to use, nothing to explore, nothing to do. It is true that one could teleoperate rovers on the lunar surface from orbit, but the argument that it is worth the expense of such a station in order to eliminate the two-second time delay involved in directly controlling them from Earth is patently absurd.

Putting scarce dollars to work intelligently is the goal.  Logic, sober thought and honest consideration of all alternatives are the methods to make that happen.


  1. Our home is on the northern edge of Goodstuff's lunar crater and we are claiming squatters rights. We are also claiming mineral and ice rights on the northern ridge and slopes of Goodstuff crater. Furthermore, we have the right of surface and space access to our home.

    Goodstuff's crater is located in the highlands close to the Lunar North Pole, near three large impact craters called Peary, Hermite and Byrd.

  2. I'm all in favor of establishing NASA on a space station in lunar orbit; that's the best place of all to conduct muslim outreach programs.

    All the NASA staff will be needed for the outreach, so let's get 'em up there ASAP.

    Meanwhile, private companies can explore the moon, Mars & the asteroid belt, and develop whatever resources they happen to find, for adventure and profit; all mankind will benefit!