Hyperbola’s Vision for Space Exploration – part 2A – Lunar science

by | Dec 1, 2008 | Seradata News | 8 comments

Back in August (how time flies!) I began to set out Hyperbola’s architecture for exploration and with the Obama NASA transition team now questioning the agency’s officials I better get on with these postings before I’m over taken by events!

That post back in August said that my next splurge of ideas would be about the scientific objectives. Click through to the extended section of this blog post for more of my lunar architecture musings

Remember: Hyperbola is now on twitter and by following Hyperbola on twitter you can find out the latest stuff being worked on and who has been talking too whom, including Obama’s NASA transition team

So what do you want to do on the Moon? Scientists will give you no end of stuff to study, as this NASA Lunar Science Institute webpage shows. Look at any submissions lists for missions with any space agency and as the European Space Agency’s director general will tell you, there is no lack of proposals

My argument is that I am working backwards, unlike NASA and its Constellation programme that I have suggested started with a political-industrial approach to gain support for its transportation system

So what could you do?

  1. a telescope on the Moon’s far side
  2. a network of seismology stations
  3. numerous drilling sites for core samples
  4. geophysical surveys to study past volcanic activity

You can imagine more but there is plenty of scope for sending sizeable hardware to do a job and to locate it across what some call the 8th continent

For now I am going to reject the telescope because its location and constituent parts (I imagine a telescope that uses a distributed system of sensors across a large area to create a capability orders of magnitude better than Hubble) requiring a significant investment over and above what could be spent considering the constraints I have imposed upon myself. They are, recalling the August posting,

  • The plan has to use existing infrastructure
  • The plan has to show demonstrable progress for political reasons in the near term
  • The plan has to fit into expected future NASA budgets, which will increase at or below inflation

Tomorrow I will look at what these constraints mean for lunar activity that has to be both near and far from the main lunar outpost if any significant science is to be completed to advance our knowledge of Earth’s satellite

And take a look back at Bush 41’s Space Exploration Initiative and see what can be learnt from its all too brief existence

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