Showing posts with label moon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moon. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mining the Moon Could Give Us Enough Rocket Fuel- Says Student Researcher

mining of moon

2017 Caltech Space Challenge

It’s been forty five years since man had last set foot on space and now the moon is said to be the focus of effort for not only exploring space but alsoto develop aenduring, independent space managing society.Scheduling an expedition to the nearest celestial neighbour of Earth is now no longer just an effort of NASA but the space agency of U.S has ideas for a moon-orbiting space station which would be serving as a performing ground for Mars mission in the early 2030s.

 A joint project – the United Launch Alliance between Lockheed Martin and Boeing has scheduled a lunar fuelling station for spacecraft with the potential of supporting 1,000 people living in space within 30 years. Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos as well as Robert Bigelow have companies focussed on delivering people or goods to the moon.

 Many teams competing in partaking in the share on the cash prize of US$30 of Google are intending to launch travellers to the moon. Recently a few together with 27 other students from across the world had contributed in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge suggesting designs on what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space mission could appear like and how it would function.

Moon – One-Sixth of Gravity of Earth

Presently all space missions depend on and are launched from Earth though its gravitational pull seems to be strong. In order to get into orbit, the rocket needs to be travelling 11 km a second – 25,000 miles per hour.

A rocket leaving Earth needs to carry the fuel essential to reach its destination and if needed to return back again. The fuel is said to be heavy and moving with it at such high speeds would take a lot of energy. If the refuelling is done in orbit, the launch energy could lift more travellers or cargo or scientific equipment in orbit.

The spacecraft could then refuel in space where the gravity of the Earth seems to be less powerful.The moon is said to have one-sixth of the gravity of Earth making it a pretty substitute base. Besides this, it also has ice wherein we are aware how to process into a hydrogen-oxygen propellant which can be utilised in several recent rockets.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions of NASA have now found considerable quantity of ice in long-lasting shadowed craters on the moon.


These would be tricky locations to mine since they tend to be colder and have no sunlight to power wandering vehicles. But big mirrors on the rims of the craters could be installed in order to illuminate solar panels in the permanently shaded regions.

Travellers set to launch in 2020 from Lunar X Prize competition from Google and Lunar Resource Prospector from NASA would also be contributing in locating good areas to mine ice. Based on where the best reserves of ice seem to be, it would be essential to build many small robotic moon bases. Each would mine ice, manufacture liquid propellant as well as transfer the same to passing spacecraft.

A plan of accomplishing these tasks with three various types of ramblers had been developed by the team. The plan also needed some small robotic shuttles in meeting up with nearby deep-space mission vehicles in lunar orbit. One of the rover known as Prospector would be exploring the moon and locate ice-bearing areas.

A second, the Constructor would be following along behind constructing a launch pad and packing down roadways to ease movements for the third kind of rover, the Miners. This would in fact amass the ice, delivering it to the nearest storage tanks and an electrolysis processing plant which tends to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Landing Pad – Lunar Resupply Shuttles

Moreover, the Constructor would also be erecting a mooring pad wherein small near moon vehicle spacecraft called Lunar Resupply Shuttles would be arriving for the collection of fuel for delivery as lately launched spacecraft pass by the moon.

The aircrafts would utilise the moon-made fuel and have advanced guidance together with navigation systems for travel between lunar bases and their object spacecraft. With the provision for adequate fuel being produced and the aircraft delivery system is tested and dependable, their intentions are for building a gas station in space.

The aircraft would be delivering ice straight to the orbiting fuel depot after which it would be processed into duel and where the rockets heading to Mars or any other area could dock to refill. The depot would be equipped with large solar arrays powering an electrolysis module for the purpose of melting the ice and later turning the water into fuel together with huge fuel tanks for storing what is prepared.

NASA has been operational on most of the technology essential for a depot such as this comprising of docking and fuel transfer. A working depot is expected to be ready in the early 2030s in time for the first human missions to Mars.

Earth-Moon Lagrangian Point – L1

The depot needs to be placed in a stable orbit probably near the Earth and the moon to be most useful as well as effective.The Earth-moon Lagrangian Point 1 – L1 is said to be a point in space around 85% of the way from Earth to the moon wherein the force of the gravity of the Earth would match the force of the gravity of the moon pulling in the other direction.

It seems to be an ideal pit stop for a spacecraft going on its way to Mars or the external planets. The team also located a fuel-efficient system of getting spacecraft from Earth orbit to the L1 depot which needed much less launch fuel and reducing more lift energy for cargo items. Initially, the spacecraft would be launching from Earth into Low Earth Orbit with empty propellant tank and then it could be towed with its cargo from Low Earth Orbit to the L1 depot utilising solar electric force tug, which is a spacecraft largely propelled by solar-powered electric thrusters and this would triple the payload delivery to Mars.

By assisting us in escaping the gravity of the Earth as well as its necessity on the resources, a lunar gas station can be the initial move to the big leap in making humankind a space civilization.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

There Could Be Lava Tubes on the Moon, Large Enough for Whole Cities

Moon Lava Tube
Lava Tubes Beneath Lunar Surface – Bigger and More Stable

A research of networks of lava tubes that tend to wind beneath the lunar surface proposes that they could have been bigger and more stable than presumed earlier. The researchers sculpting the tunnels which are the remains of volcanic activity in the moon’s early stages are of the belief that they could possibly be up to around three miles wide thus raising the hope for subterranean bases.

The lava tubes which have been located in Iceland as well as Hawaii seem to be huge tunnels that have been carved out of the rock by the flowing lava. Geologists are of the opinion that they have been developed from streams of magma that had run dry, leaving channels through the solid rock.

Scientists are of the belief that the same structures are probably found beneath the lunar surface depending on small gravitational changes as well as images of cave openings gathered from lunar orbiters. If the lava tubes are found and seem to be stable they could offer shelter for a lasting lunar base.

Overcome Problems – Potential Hazards

This would help in overcoming the problems pertaining to potential hazards confronted by a base on the surface inclusive of the risk of meteorites as well as the increased solar radiation owing to the absence of protective atmosphere.

A group from Purdue University in Indiana had utilised computer demonstrating procedures in analysing how huge these tunnels could possibly grow. The circumstances on Earth would mean that the tubes tend to be limited to 30 metres across though the gravitational evidence recommends that on the moon they could be much larger. Utilising evaluations of rock density from the samples of moon rock, it was presumed that the width of the tubes would probably be thrice wider than their height.

The effects indicated that the stability is governed by the width of the tube, thickness of the roof together with the physical stress on the rock. In a paper published in journal Icarus, researchers had explained that if adequately deep, the lunar condition would probably generate fissures kilometres wide.

Lunar Base – Twice Commercial Base

It was informed that the theoretical maximum size of a lunar lava tube was based on various factors though with sufficient burial depth – 500 m together with an initial lithostatic stress state, the results portrayed that the lava tubes up to 3 miles – 5 km wide would be capable of staying structurally stable.

The estimates surpassed the earlier sizes that had been provided by the group during the 2015 conference which had recommended that tubes of 0.6 miles in diameter could be adequately steady to house permanent bases below the surface. Nasa scientists had earlier in the year calculated that there could be a possibility of returning to the surface of the moon in the next five to seven years at a total cost of about $10 billion.Spaceflight experts have debated in a series of papers, on the cost of building a lunar base which tend to be much less than anticipated and that there could be a substantial commercial value there.

They had mentioned that a lunar base can be twice a commercial mining base to enable the resources of the moon to be exploited. According to evidence, the moon could be a rich source of water ice, together with rare metals as well as a rare isotope of helium.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Could We Live Inside The Moon?


Lava Tubes – Offer Shelter for Long-Lasting Lunar Base

According to a study of networks of lava tubes that tend to twist beneath the lunar surface proposes that they could be much bigger and stable than otherwise presumed. As per researchers displaying the tunnels which has been left from volcanic activity during the moon’s early life, are of the belief that they could probably be up to three miles wide, which has raised the hope for underground bases.

The lava tubes that have been discovered in Iceland and Hawaii tend to be massive tunnels that have been engraved out of the rock due to flowing lava. Some of the geologists are of the opinion that they have been created from steams of magma that ran dry, leaving the channels through the solid rocks.

Scientist are certain that the same structures would probably be located under the lunar surface depending on minute gravitational changes as well as images of openings of caves collected from lunar orbiteers. Should the lava tubes found tend to be stable, they could offer shelter for long-lasting lunar base which would be beneficial in overcoming issues regarding potential hazards envisaged by a base on the surface, inclusive of the risk of meteorites together with the increased solar radiation owing to the lack of protective atmosphere.

Structurally Stable

Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana utilised computer modelling procedures in analysing how huge these tunnels could probably grow. The conditions, on Earth would mean that the tubes tend to be frequently limited to 30 metres across though the gravitational evidence recommends on the moon could be much larger.

With the use of estimates of rock density from moon rock samples, it was presumed that the width of the tubes could be trice the time wider than their height. The conclusion revealed that the stability was based on the width of the tube, the thickness of the roof as well as the physical stress on the rock.

The researchers had explained in a paper to be published in the journal Icarus that if adequately deep, the conditions of the lunar could probably generate caverns of kilometres wide. They further explained that `the theoretical maximum size of a lunar lava tube depends on various factors, though given sufficient burial depth (500 m) and an initial lithostatic stress state, the results indicate that the lava tubes up to 3 miles (5 km) wide could be capable of remaining structurally stable’.

Lunar Base – Twice a Commercial Mining Base

The evaluations surpasses the earlier sizes placed forward by the group during the 2015 conference which had indicated that the tubes 0.6 miles (1 km) in diameter would be adequately stable in housing permanent bases below the surfaces. NASA scientists, earlier in the year had calculated that there was a possibility of returning to the surface of the moon within the next five to seven years at a total cost of around $10 billion.

In sequences of paper the experts of spaceflight had debated the costs of building lunar bases would be much less than anticipated with a substantial commercial value there. They state that a lunar base could be twice a commercial mining base enabling the resources of the moon to be exploited. According to the evidence, it indicates that the moon could be a rich source of water ice, rare metals together with rare isotope of helium.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Theory: How Earth Got Its Moon

How Earth Got Its Moon

Origin of Moon – Impact Theory

The moon is extremely important to the Earth that provides the source for several calendars which tends to affect the tides of ocean. Many have been questioning on how it got there. A team of scientists have now utilised complex modelling in order to propose a new theory which involves violent collision that tends to vaporize much of the planet. Lead researcher, Matija Cuk had mentioned in a news release that in spite of smart people working on this issue for 50 years; they have still been discovering the basic things regarding the earliest history of the world.

The results published in the journal Nature had been co-authorised by scientist at the University of California, Davis, Harvard University, the University of Maryland and the SETI Institute, an organization which is recognized better for its attempt in locating alien life and where Cuk is said to be a researcher.

The origin of moon, had been the `impact theory’ for decades as one of the leading explanations, It is said that billions of years ago, Earth and Mars sized protoplanet known as Theia had collided. The wreckage had formed a ring round the equator of the Earth and had been ultimately drawn together by gravity thus forming the moon.

Debris of Theia

The moon could have been developed much nearer to Earth and ultimately moved farther away. According to Davis, senior author Sarah Stewart, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, had informed CBC News that this idea had come around before computers could do detailed simulations of planet formation. Computer simulations now portray that the impact could have developed the moon mainly out of the debris of Theia though scientists are of the opinion that the Earth and moon tend to have unusually identical chemical makeups. Stewart states that it really puts a brake on the giant impact hypotheses.

Moreover, if the moon had been formed from the debris surrounding the equator, presently we would expect it to circle alongside the equator and the fact is, its orbit is tilted five degrees. Astronomer and co-author Douglas Hamilton of the University of Maryland had mentioned in a statement that this large tilt seems to be very unusual and till now there has not been a good explanation for the same. However it can be understood if the Earth had a more dramatic early history than suspected earlier.

Higher Energy Effect

The collision, under the new, tweaked theory could have taken place at a much sharper angle and could have been more powerful. Stewart commented that it takes a lot of energy to change an orbit. The latest model recommends a much higher energy effect which could have been much more violent that it vaporised not only Theia but the Earth also.Molten and vapour material may have shaped a huge cloud, about 500 times the extent of the present Earth.

Some of the material may have cooled and could have fallen back to Earth and the remaining may have designed the moon. The bigger collision could have been much more powerful and at that angle that it could have hit the rotational axis of the Earth between 60 and 80 degrees causing the planet to spin speedily that days could last only two hours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

IS THE EARTH SLOWING DOWN ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you know, The earth is slowing down? The rotational speed of the earth is slowing down. This was first found by the famous scientist,mathematician,astronomer Edmond Halley. A comet is bearing his own name as Comet Halley, to honor him for his remarkable job in astronomy.

The earths speed of rotation was slow down but the rate at which it takes place is very very small and it can not be accurately measured in a small interval of time. In 100 years or more a day or night will be two milliseconds longer. Now our earth takes 24hours to take one complete rotation on its own axis but about 400 million years before it was about 400days long.

Here we gave to remember again the moon is revolving around the earth more slowly and moves away from the earth few centimeters per year. The interaction of moon and earth are the result of the above interrelated phenomena.

we know gravitational pull of the moon and sun cause tides. Apart from these two the centrifugal force of the earth is also a reason for it. The height of the tides depends upon the shape of the coast, depth of the ocean and the shape of the Ocean bed.

The movement of water masses and tides makes some friction on the earth crest which absorbs some energy of the earth which works like a brake and slow down the earth's rotation.

As some time in future our planet will slowed its rotation and it will lose its own satellite moon. Further, after 4 thousand million years the earth will stop its rotation on its own axis which will result in dividing into two halves extreme hot and extreme cold region.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is the Moon the Earths own sibling?!

Is the Moon  the Earths own sibling?!

No other planet in the solar system possesses such a large satellite like moon. The first person to develop a theory about the moon was the scientist George Darwin son of the most famous Charles Darwin. He hold the view that the moon and the earth had once been very closer together than now.  He thought that they had been hold together as a single planet revolving at a high speed around its own axis with a time taking less than two hours per rotation.

By that time the earth was molten and with high temperature.  As the speed of rotation was high the earth bulged at the equator.  The centrifugal force gradually caused a drop of terrestrial matter to detach itself and fly out into the space.  This piece of the earth becomes moon, which continues to revolve around the earth as the satellite.

 As a proof for his theory, Darwin shows the Pacific ocean which is shaped like a bowl. What he says  is Pacific ocean is a scar left behind when the moon detached away. For most of the years the Astronomers  though that Darwin's theory was more or less correct, but however later realise that the separation of moon from the earth could not have taken place in the way he described.

Then another theory was framed.  The moon also was a small independent planet in the solar system when the solar system was formed however on one of its orbits it came a bit closer to the earth and it was influenced by the earth's gravitational pull and forced to follow the earth's orbit.

In 1960, a new hypothesis  Accreation theory was  framed according to this, when the solar system was young numerous planetary embryos, disintegrated near the earth.  The pull of the earth caused the embryo to form a ring around the earth.  Since the particles attracted one another and they began to cluster together finally forming the moon.

None of these theories was satisfactory  to the scientists. The chemical composition of the moons surface differ from the earths crust. On the moons surface there is no alkali metal such as sodium, potassium etc but heat resistant oxides of aluminium and calcium are abundant which proved Darwin theory was wrong and the rock analysis further revealed that moon contains only 10 percent of Iron compared to th30percent of Iron content  of the earth.  Hence this proved  capture theory and growth  theory are wrong.

The origin of moon still present mystery we know that our planet and moon are of the same age. Further we know that our own satellite functions as a climatic regulator for our earth.