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Monday, December 11th 2006

Moon Is Giant Rock…No Reason To Visit…

Slate asks why the ^$#^ do we need a moon base. Just…because…it is cool.

Coming under a presidency whose slogan might be “No Price Too High To Accomplish Nothing,” the idea of a permanent, crewed moon base nevertheless takes the cake for preposterousness.

Unfortunately the analysis of the situation is very, very, very short sighted.

[I]ts scientific value is likely to be small while its price is extremely high. Worse, moon-base nonsense may for decades divert NASA resources from the agency’s legitimate missions, draining funding from real needs in order to construct human history’s silliest white elephant.

He denounces the experience in colonization a moon base offers by saying…

No one has any interest in settling Antarctica, which is much more amenable to life than the moon and can be reached at far less than 1 percent of the cost.

All I can say is…dumbass. We have to start sometime and some taxpayers will have to foot the bill. I know the idea of living off of earth seems like it is science fiction, like it should be hundreds of years away but it will take that many years of experience to make it a realistic goal. If this guy cannot see the major difference between the experience gained in colonizing the moon and colonizing Antarctica then I feel sorry for him. Comparing the two in a major online publication is just…well, it may force me to go burn all of my critical reasoning and logic books.

And while I know NASA has to paint a rosy picture, so you can be sure it’ll cost more than any broad estimates given at a news conference, I assure you that you should trust the physics/cost analysis by them more than this Greg Easterbrook.

NASA said Monday it can build a moon base for about the $10 billion per year it now spends on the (soon-to-be-retired) space shuttle and the space station. Considering that the space station and shuttle cost about $10 billion per year, a moon base might cost much more.

His reasoning?

The space station is 200 miles away and only goes up, never comes down. The equipment for a moon base would need to be accelerated to a significantly higher speed than was required for the space station, and that means a lot more fuel and a lot more expense.

Whatever. Let’s get ourselves to the moon.