Activity Discussing a Moon Mine

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by taichitarot, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. taichitarot Registered Senior Member

    Recently I viewed material posted to SciForums stating that "there was no manned Moon Landing and what you saw was all a big hollywood photoshoot/hoax".

    Replies referred to an artical regarding plans to "mine the asteroids".
    But why not mine the moon?

    Refer to the following diagram I generated using Microsoft Paint
    entitled "Dangle My Long Rope to the Moon.jpg"

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    There would be some sort of equilibrium.
    A rope* could be anchored to the moon and the space station would dangle on the other end hanging towards earth. Just enough tension would necessary to allow the carting of minerals and elements mined from the surface of the moon to be carted up and down the rope between the Satellite and the moon.

    Mining Asteroids/ Mining the Moon?
    Cesspit please.
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  3. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    It looks like it might cause a serious global warming problem! Most of North America is under water!!!

    Not a good plan!
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  5. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    The Moon is 1/6 the gravity of Earth, but it's still a gravity well. The infrastructure to mine, process, launch, and capture would be a lot more complex than one for an asteroid. Not that we shouldn't do it eventually, but aside from distance and location, asteroids are far easier to work.

    In theory, of course. Until someone does either one it's all on paper.
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  7. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    I'd think that building replicator machines would be a much better idea. With the advances in nanotechnology we can one day see that becoming a reality but that day is far off in the future but still must be pursued until it is achieved. That way we can use those replicator types of machines for space travel to feed and help maintain the ships we set sail in.
  8. taichitarot Registered Senior Member


    i'm not planning on setting sail in a boat let alone getting in a space ship.
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    It can't be done as you suppose because that's not how things work. You can't avoid using rockets to reach escape velocity, and maneuvers (successive stages of elliptical and spherical orbits) using thrusters. You especially can't get around it using ropes because they will snap under their own weight. You also can't simply drop to earth from orbit using a chute. If any of these things were remotely possible, they would have already been attempted. Put space station construction to the same test as your scenario and see if you can figure out why it wasn't done that way.

    On earth we have a lot of different kinds of rock which have been eroded and exposed by tectonics, weather and water. Even in the Iron and Bronze Ages people knew where to go to get their ore, probably by just noticing it was lying around. How do you go looking for minerals on the moon?

    As an exercise, if you like to solve puzzles, you can try to figure out the maximum length of rope that can be hung from an imaginary sky hook before it will break under its own weight.
  10. Electro522 Registered Senior Member

    I actually agree with Aqueous. Your idea seems too simple to actually work. However, your idea is somewhat similar to the heavily debated space elevator. Only thing is, it will not be connected to the moon. For that to happen, the orbit of the moon and the rotation of the planet would have to be perfectly synchronized, like Pluto and its moon Charon. However, connecting the elevator to a space station, and having the orbit of the station synchronize with the rotation of the planet is possible. However, I think we should focus on actually mastering space flight before we even think of a space elevator.
  11. taichitarot Registered Senior Member

    "As an exercise, if you like to solve puzzles, you can try to figure out the maximum length of rope that can be hung from an imaginary sky hook before it will break under its own weight. "

    That's dull. Ropes don't snap in space, only in boats and rope ladders.
  12. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    It will be anything but dull for the miners when it snaps.

    You may be under the mistaken impression that there is no tension on the rope. Maybe this is what you meant by "just enough tension" to lift the ore to the platform. That might be true if you could get the rope to stand up from the surface of the moon by magic. But the gravity of the moon pulls it down. For example, let's say you figure out you need a rope the twice the size of Texas. Let's say that rope weighs 1.2 million lbs on earth. On the moon it weighs about 200,000 lbs., so when you tie it to a sky hook, that's about how much tension is on the rope. Most ropes can't handle that much tension, which is why I was suggesting you try this an an exercise, to test your idea.
  13. Pete It's not rocket surgery Registered Senior Member

  14. taichitarot Registered Senior Member

    This M5 fiber from the Lunar Space Elevator at wikipedia and it is hilariously good at 0.023 mm thick and holding thousands of kilograms of weight.

    "One material that has great potential is M5 fiber. This is a synthetic fiber that is lighter than Kevlar or Spectra.[6] According to Pearson, Levin, Oldson, and Wykes in their article The Lunar Space Elevator, an M5 ribbon 30 mm wide and 0.023 mm thick, would be able to support 2000 kg on the lunar surface (2005). It would also be able to hold 100 cargo vehicles, each with a mass of 580 kg, evenly spaced along the length of the elevator.[4] Other materials that could be used are T1000G carbon fiber, Spectra 200, or Zylon. All of these materials have breaking lengths of several hundred kilometers under 1g.

    At 0.023 mm thick (~1/20th of a millimeter) M5 fibre is thinner than the film you used to put in your camera AND can "hold 100 vehicles". It's amazing the stuff that doesn't exist these days especially not the moon elevator.
  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I don't see why not. If the terminal for the cable is far past the point of the moon's geostationary orbit ("lunar stationary orbit?") then the far end of the cable could be traveling at above the moon's escape velocity, so when you exit the elevator you would be flung away from the moon, never to return. Since the Earth crosses the moon's equator, and since exiting the elevator would fling you away in the plane of the moon's equator, it seems to me that if you timed it right, you could "fall" to Earth without needing any additional velocity change, and use a chute to land.

    Oh course, anyone here who knows more about orbital mechanics than me is welcome to correct me of I'm wrong...
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  16. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

    Rather than mining the moon, why not moon the mine?

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  17. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    If the nanobots can reproduce would be under hard radiation on the could cause mutation of the nanobots...and then you could have the entire moon dissolving into fractal-shaped gray goo.
    This would end up being quite trippy but not very useful...So nanoassemblers are really only safe if we can kill them with 100% accuracy-shut them down.
    *shrug* ANYway...

    I do think we ought to mine the moon for useful materials...more precisely, we could make long-flight spaceships there without the weight-cost of making them on earth.

    But I have no objections to moving asteroids into stable orbit and doing the same, whichever winds up being easier and cheaper.

    We need to create habitats elsewhere in the solar system, methinks. Right now we're all in one little delicate environment at the bottom of a gravity big rock and no more us.
  18. Rouge Registered Member

    Wouldn't something like a Coil gun or a rail gun be a bit better than a space elevator? because with a coil gun you're just going to be firing whatever is mined back to space instead of having a long elevator that stretches for hundreds of kilometers and considering the amount of space junk out there the elevator could get wiped out by a bit of space junk flying around at high speeds. If something like that happens then you'll have the unattached end of the space elevator just floating around in space, it could be a very expensive venture to try and fix everything up.

    Its Just an idea but this way seems less risky and cheaper

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