Jan 31, 2007

Lander Sketches

Phil Smith, our master Space Artist, had these sketches to help inspire us on for the 3D objects that we are aiming to create:


Phil Smith said...

No comments?? Oh that's ok :)

Anyway, some additional thoughts before the telecon tonight:

I think the Helium-3 thing should be dropped as an initial resource to be mined on the Moon. Their are too many questions about distribution, extraction, and processing. In addition, fusion has yet to be developed, and it may be a long time before it will be practical or be of sufficient demand to generate a significant mining industry.

Here are some other ideas.

-Platinum is used in fuel cells, and recent work on fuel cell technology has made these units much more efficient by significant orders of magnitude. I firmly believe we will move from fossil fuel energy to fuel cell energy before we move to fusion. That said, there appears to be huge amounts of platinum group elements (including gold and nickel) in some asteroids like Amon (which requires less delta V to reach than the Moon). Some of these asteroids (NEAs or Main Belt) might be “redirected” using autonomous vehicles and robots onto free-return trajectories to the Moon and deposited there for future exploitation. This could be done well in advance of actual mining operations, which requires significant infrastructure.

-Tungsten – The dark areas of the Moon have recently been determined to contain large amounts of tungsten, which will be in demand for carbides, wear-resistant metals (good for mining equipment and shielding), and filaments (for lights and fine wires).

-Hafnium – a rare metal on Earth, this element appears abundant on the Moon based on recent analyses. Hafnium, as it turns out, was recently used by Intel for its 45nm chip development. This is a really big deal, because hafnium is much more resistant to electron tunneling and other adverse effects of microelectronic circuits (now made with silicon and gallium). Processors of the next several decades will likely use hafnium, and those generate demand. Such demand may reduce the cost of hafnium from where it is today, but nevertheless chips and such will be made in space for other reasons like microgravity and vacuums.

Helium 3 should be incorporated, I just think not as an initial resource to exploit. Or, rather, it can be the source of significant RDT&E, which can be conducted by members of the Moon base in conjunction with similar efforts on fusion back on Earth. This presents and interesting partnership effort, actually – the Interplanetary Fusion Development Consortium (IFDC).

Also, we may liek to add some additional interest in terms of commercial activity by making up some company names and things like that (great for graphic artists to work on). Here are a few:

-Selenic Industrial Zone
-Earth-Moon Economic Development Initiative
Interplanetary Tanking, Inc.
-Sun System Cargo, Inc.
Space Services Company
-TriWorld Frieght, Inc.
-Inner System Cargo, Inc.
-Ceres Mining Company
-Vesta Group
-Kepler Kargo
-Planet Movers, Inc.
-United Shipping Company
-Moon Units, Inc.
-FedEx (we saw the Superbowl commercial, right? We should call 'em)
-Lunatix, Inc.

Anyway, I'm brainstorming out of my mind, prolly.

Phil Smith said...

Oh. And Starbucks, of course.

Jay Crossler said...

Definately Starbucks!!! Maybe put on a cylon reference, as well.

I moved the mining elements thread to a new post.. can you comment there. I'm going to copy and paste many of your descriptions into the configuration file I'm using - then whenever that mineral is looked at, the description will show up.

I like the ideas of a few moon competitors... but we need to decide basics like... how many people will currently be on the moon? How many other outposts? Any competition? How many people at your base? All from the same company?