http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/prelim_water_results....

With the discovery that the eternal shade of lunar polar craters act as stores of water ice (no - not sno-cones) the doability of a moonbase has, definitely increased. Water provides, well, water plus - with solar generated electricity - hydrogen and oxygen. This means that with the resources available on the moon itself, life-support and vehicle fuel can be manufactured. This is without including the potential for mining metals and other usable solid compounds such as silicates for production of ceramics.

If we can truly 'set up shop' on the moon, with full cycle industry - from raw materials and native energy resources to finished building materials, life-support resources; combined with highly efficient use and re-use systems, we can not only imagine a self-sustaining moon base, but a space craft manufacturing center.

Since payloads of only some of the materials necessary for the construction of  spacecraft would, therefore, have to be shipped out of the Earth's gravity well and the ships themselves would not have to achieve Terran escape velocity (and the incumbent structural strains involved), less material would be needed for the structure of the ships and less fuel would be needed to cross interplanetary distances. 

Views: 36

Replies to This Discussion

ion/plasma engines
Howard you got more G2 than me about this subject, so what do you think of Lorens suggestion specifically? Sounds doable to me?
What about Helium-3 as a power source? Could it be used to power a space craft from the Moon? I guess I always had high hopes for that since it's so abundant on the Moon and it produces less nuclear waste than a regular hydrogen fusion reaction, which means it's more likely to be contained. But I'm hearing more negative things about getting deuterium to fuse with He-3. I guess it needs ridiculously high temperatures? =/ Still... I found the following video in case anyone is interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2xChmfLlMo

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