• Feb. 26, 2019, 12:51 a.m.

    I really enjoyed the 1st moon industrialization video and feel it really makes the point of why we should industrialize the moon. I would really enjoy an epon how we get to that point.
    Some example points:
    How would you get started?
    What type of equipment do we need to ship to get started?
    At what point does it become more cost efficient to start making the mining/manufacturing equipment on the moon?
    Or do we just need a small robot that can start making specialized equipment/ robots right away?
    Potential hazards/setbacks for doing it remotely via robots.
    At what point would we want or need actual human presence?
    What tech / tests do we need to do before we can commit to sending humans to stay long term?

  • Feb. 26, 2019, 12:56 a.m.

    This was meant as an episode suggestion

  • March 2, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

    There must be something I am missing about the whole thing as well because it seems like the best way to make the moon colonizing work economically is to make it an outpost that is capable of servicing satellites. I know the startup cost is huge, but the satellite market is just huge and growing all the time. It feels like if you want to think on ways that the moon could be valuable to us, that one may have a faster rate of return than anything.
    I know that the problem lies in just how complicated these satellites are. You need a LOT of industry just to get to the point of manufacturing one. But once you can, getting them into the orbits you want from the moon is really easy. Also launching missions to service them is far easier as well.
    And wouldn't we want any effort to clean orbital debris to be moon based?
    It's odd to me that this industry never gets mentioned when people talk about why we want to go to the moon. Satellites for communications, military, and research really seem to be an industry with high demand right now that a moon base would be a great advantage for...
    I have to be missing something... Maybe it is mentioned and I'm just missing it?

  • bookmark_border

    Thread has been pinned locally.

  • March 6, 2019, 7:27 p.m.

    I think previous videos about this subject, understood in a more general sense that would include not only moon industrialization but orbital infrastructure, asteroid mining, space ports and even the whole of the upward bound serie, they strongly convey the message that launch costs are so high that a basic step towards kickstarting space industry, space exploration and basically generalizing the access to space is to develop the ability to build and manufacture things in space, and to do it with space resources, meaning not from earth and thus not having to be brought up all the way from earth below with the cost that implies to overcome earths gravity well.
    It would then only seem common sense to think that our first efforts should probably be addressed towards starting a mining and refining industry to start producing the elements that we deem would constitute the bulk (in volume and weight) of whatever it is we actually want to build out there. Metals, and other building materials along with fuel and gasses like oxigen needed for keeping people alive would seem an obvious thing to think about, maybe also insulation and radiation protective materials, we should prioritize heavy or bulky things that we are going to need up there in big numbers and that can be produced with limited levels of development, on the other hand things that we would not mind as much to bring up from earth would be light and dense things that require a high level of sophistication, such as electronics and other highly specialized elements (which are a ton in fact, its going to be a tough one... XD ) I canĀ“t think of anything more attractive economically as being able to build infrastructure in orbit without having to bring absolutely everything up from earth.
    What do you guys think? do you agree? And if you do, how should we go about starting something like this? Designing lunar gravity mining and refining equipment along with most of the metallurgic industry? Yeah, piece of cake... XD

  • Moderator
    March 7, 2019, 1:31 a.m.

    To be honest, I feel as though the existing Moon industrialization video, in addition to those in the Upwards Bound series, cover the issues of the subject quite well.

    My opinion is that asteroid mining would probably be more effective AT FIRST then Moon mining just due to our problems with escaping gravity wells, and the required man-power. Asteroid mining would certainly bolster the effectivness of Moon mining (and vice versa) because of the rich resources that then can be used.

    Asteroid mining would be mostly automated, and at first moon mining as well. Non-manned operations are just a lot cheaper and safer for everyone involved, whilst also maximizing profit. Until we have better automatous assembly systems, efficient launch costs and more infrastructure in space, most of the heavy-lifting will be by robots shuttled around on ion-driven space craft. Manned mining missions might be possible sometime in the mid to late 21st century.

  • March 7, 2019, 2:22 p.m.

    I think we will revisit the moon this year, though I don't usually do 'part 2s', and Battle for the Moon is basically IndMoon's sequel, but I'd like to take a second look at Mars and Venus first.

  • March 7, 2019, 8:43 p.m.

    You have gone over key concepts and technologies for us to handle just about any planet we could imagine and many we couldn't. Not that I am opposed to revisting, just curious to what your thinking. I know your concept of think big is still several orders of magnitude larger than mine, so when you say take a second look my mind jumps from something the size of the death star to something the size of star killer base

  • March 15, 2019, 12:39 p.m.

    I think it would be advantageous to start with the idea of building lunar orbital rings. Sure beuilding moon bases is cool but that just perpetuates the national competition for territory that we already have on Earth. Such territorial competition increases potential of war, which I definitely want to decrease.

    Focusing on construction of 1 to 3 Lunar Orbital Rings means we could divide up the moon along 3 circumferences, allocate definite lots to each country, create a standard for how to construct automated ground station establishment drones by holding a Prize challenge, and then itterate on their development until we have a few hundred or a few thousand ground stations mining and refining ore all around the moon.

    From there I imagine that we could lift batches of material into space where they are 3D printed, then build sky elevators that make it easier to get more material into space so the print speed increases exponentially. Once we have one orbital ring functioning we can use it as a launch and catch transit system for the rest of the inner solar system as well as a secondary gravity environment for aclimatisation. 3 Orbital rings = more launch trajectories, more gravity environments, more power generation, more habitats, more research etc.

    What do you think? It has definitely got more benefits than starting with an Earth orbital ring.
    Start with lunar orbital rings, then build and Earth orbital ring because we will be masters at it after building 3, plus I reckon that it would be cheaper, safer and faster to build 3 lunar rings first and then build an Earth orbital ring, rather than to only build 1 Earth orbital ring straight off the bat. Love to learn your thoughts.

  • March 15, 2019, 12:55 p.m.

    Mid to late 21st century is way to slow! ha ha, I hope I can build your confidence in a faster trajectory in 2 paragraphs.

    The law of accelerating returns will hopefully mean we begin to do a lot of these things within the next 10 years. There are already people speaking about new banks created on the potential value of asteroids and harvesting resources, as well as there is growing interest in getting rid of money altogether, replacing it with responsible abundance that can potentially be harnessed in best case scenarios of Artificial Super Intelligence. ASI is also where the design phase will be shortened massively. But say ASI takes 20 year, it won't but say it does.

    Remember we also have 3 to 4 billion more people on the planet who are gaining access to smartphones and Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices on 5G networks over the next 2 to 5 years. Learning curves are decreasing while access to the frontier of human research is increasing. The way I see it, the key to it all is identifying projects that unite humanity into a common goal and utilize competition in such a way that it creates enjoyment and responsible abundance as opposed to competing for territory or domination.

    Did I convince you that a shorter timeline is more likely? ;)

  • Moderator
    March 16, 2019, 8:32 a.m.

    I'm afraid you have failed to boost my optimism for an early 21st century manned mission for mining. Good try though :D.

    As you explored in your own post above, harvesting the Moon's resources would be a vastly accelerated project if we could manufacture a orbital ring around it. We do not yet have the technology to do such a feat, nor do I think at our current technological pace of development we will anytime soon. Without space infrastructure, a future mining consortium would struggle to efficiently mine and retrieve any useful materials from the Moon, even with the reduced launch costs we can expect in the near-term. Harvested resources are only as valuable as the profit they bring to Earth, and most of that profit will be wasted if we struggle to get out of our planet's gravity well, only to dump ourselves into another one (the Moon's) and try to escape out of that one as well (which, granted, would be easier). This issue is especially compounded if we want to send astronaut miners on these missions as well.

    So, in order to efficiently mine the Moon, first we need more space-stations, space-ports and other infrastructure in orbit that will reduce launch and mission maintenance costs to compensatory levels that offset the money loss caused by mission take-off and operation. How could we amass the needed resources for constructing this infrastructure without destituting entire countries? Unmanned asteroid mining could be a solution.

    Unmanned missions can prospect for likely mining sites in the asteroid belt and NEOs, and then return with more advanced robotics to harvest these sites and allow the economy back home adjust to the sudden inflow of useful materials. Even if we launched the first mining probe today, this entire process could take decades.

    Once enough wealth and manpower has been accumulated by any interested parties from these ventures, we can then think about wasting a ton of effort going to the Moon to mine and construct bases, hoping that those operations there will pay off in the long run. Such missions would be something of an investment. In the meanwhile, more savvy companies would focus on building orbital infrastructure, and capitalize on handling the outgoing and incoming cargo.

    As for my predicted timelines of mid to late 21st century, I was simply trying to be realistic and in tone with the pace of modern space exploration, such as it is.

    However, it goes without saying that I do believe we will have another manned mission to the Moon soon, and perhaps it can scout for likely mining sites.