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How Can You Laugh at a Time Like This?

Gypsy and Willy

No. 461

To the moon, Alice!

August 24, 2011

The shuttle is retired. All "big" projects are on hold. It looks like we...the people of planet Earth...are not going to Mars. Maybe, we will go back to the moon, if China stays on course with its space program. But maybe not. Money is short. Vision is even shorter.

But wait. We already have our moon ship and it's already in orbit. Getting it to the moon and back may be easier than we think. Consider...

The international space station is up there, already manned with people from all over the world...a proven habitat that can hold fully functioning and able human beings for months at a time. Why not outfit it for longer journeys?

Presumedly, the biggest problem with moving the station any great distance is that it is not now outfitted for acceleration. Boosting it with rockets of any large size might break it into pieces. Now all that is routinely accomplished is small orbital corrections. Consider...

Suppose we were to construct a titanium exoskeleton to brace the various chunks of the station from collapsing under acceleration. Once in place, the heavy lifters already in use in Russia and soon to be operational in the U.S. could then transfer and attach boosters, fuel, moon landers and other gear to the station. Then...

Send it to the moon, into lunar orbit. Since it has already been established that there is probably water at one or both of moon's poles, next, using landers and bots, explore these two areas with the intention of setting up permanent base camps at one or both of them. At either pole, a tower with solar panels could receive sunlight 24/7 to produce electricity and small nuclear reactors could also produce electricity as well as extract oxygen from the water that is there. Satellites could be placed into orbit around the moon to maintain constant communication with Earth, perhaps even connecting Luna to the Internet!

The space "mother ship"...could transfer back and forth from moon orbit to Earth orbit to receive and carry supplies and personnel to the moon station(s). Nations from all over the world could be enlisted both to help fund the project and to provide astronauts for it. All this could certainly be done cheaper and better than fighting endless wars or participating in mindless…and expensive…national competitions of other sorts. World peace? Another likely dividend.

A few years experience on our own sister planet and who knows...Mars?...the moons of Jupiter? they say, the sky's the limit...

We don't know about you, but we are thoroughly sick of reading and hearing nothing in the news but endless problems on our own fragile planet. Furthermore, instead of cooperating to solve these problems...much less getting together to do something as far reaching as stepping off our planet...we are just marking time until the “big” catastrophe of one sort or another hits us.. Here we long last...a project to catch the imagination of everyone on Earth, to show that we can get along and do great things together. And it's already half finished. Let's think about going all the way...

Talk to you later...

To contact Gypsy or Willy and comment on what they have written...or anything else...write to (Willy Chaplin).or (Gypsy)


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