Back to the moon – but this time right

In Hawaii, scientists advise on missions of the future

The astronomer and scientific author Carl Sagan did not held much from a juvenile to the moon. "The moon is a dead end", he said in 1996 in an interview a few months before his death. "There is no air there, no water, no more young geological formations, no life. You can not delight anyone anymore." Instead, the manned space travel should concentrate on earth-close asteroids and especially the Mars. Paul D. Spudis from Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is another opinion. A flight to Mars, he now argued at the International Lunar Conference 2003 in Hawaii, is currently a too much technical challenge and more cost than you can expect the US Congress.

Back to the moon - but this time right

Neil Armstrong, the first person who entered the moon. Apollo 11, 1969. Image: NASA

Against the moon, so spudis, be a nearby planet of coarse intellectual and economic value. The juvenity there is done with the existing technology with the involvement of the international space station, supplemented by a transshipment point on the Lagrangesches point L1, where the gravitational force of Earth and Moon neutralize each other:

The mission of a juvenity to the moon should be to learn the use of Auberplanetary resources. The ability to identify, characterize, extract and use such resources is indispensable if humanity should have a future in space. The juxtage to the moon will free us from the extensive logistical forcels that bind us to the earth, and is the first step in real independence in all and more distant planets.

Paul D. Spudis

China also goes to the moon. Yongliao Zou from the Academy of Sciences in Beijing sketched the three-stage program, which first provides for the posting of an orbit at the end of 2005. The satellite is intended to collect the moon for about a year in 200 kilometers high circuits and basic topography data, the distribution of chemical elements as well as the radiation ratios. For the period from 2006 to 2010, a soft landing with a rover is provided, for 2011 to 2020, a mission in which soil samples should be collected and transported to the earth. The objectives of this program are to better understand the energy and mineral resources of the moon and their use potential, potential uses of unique environmental conditions (for example, the high vacuum, the missing magnetic field, the stable geological structure) to explore and locations for a moon base too identify.

In particular, astronomy could benefit from a use of the moon. So paul d. Lowman Jr. from the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA to build an unmanned Observatory for the infrared and submillimeter area on the Mondsudpol. A suitable location for the observatory consisting of four 3-meter telescopes is the landing north of the Shackleton crater, which is almost permanently in the shade. The temperatures correspond to approximate those of liquid nitrogen (77 K), so that the otherwise required, efforted cooling of the telescopes could be omitted. At the same time, the northern edge of the crater irradiated by the sun offer the possibility of providing solar cells to ensure the energy supply of the plant. Paul van Susante from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, who supported the proposal, emphasizes that in the context of such a project at the same time an infrastructure was created, which could also be used for completely different missions.

Back to the moon - but this time right

Sudpol of the moon. Image: nasa

Until 2015, a radio telescope for observation of very low radio frequencies under 30 Megahertz could be put into operation on the Mondsudpol. This frequency range explains Yuki D. Takahashi, physicist at the University of California in Berkeley, on Earth, by the ionosphere and through interference, became significant. This is therefore the only part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which has not yet been intensively studied.

The optimal location for such a radio telescope is actually the permanent from the earth and its storgular shielded back side of the moon. Before the construction of an observatory is tackled, Takahashi is required to test the technology on a more accessible place for a more accessible body and has discovered a suitable location behind the Four Kilometer High Mount Malapert, which is also pretty well protected from terrestrial disturbances. The construction of a small radio telescope there should be in the context of an international project, recommends Takahashi.

International cooperation Stop via Viacheslav V. Ivashkin from the Moscow M. V. KeldySh Institute of Applied Mathematics required to build the station he examined for identification and defense of dangerous asteroids. This station should be operated with solar energy and consist of a telescope and a strong laser. When an asteroid is observed, which is at the course of collision with the earth, he could, as Ivashkin, be distracted or destroyed by the laser by its web.

Recording from 18.1.2003 from the International Space Station. Image: Don Pettit, NASA

Jack Green, Geologist at California State University, Long Beach, even believes that there were preliminary levels of life on the moon and could still be detectable in small quantities. The same depending on the intensity of earlier volcanic activity, which is still little known so far. The search for traces of this "Protolve" in turn in the permanent shady regions to the Poland particularly promising.

Really alive, it will probably only be on the moon when people fly there again. Like those who could live there, Barbara Imhof, architect from Vienna, shows on the basis of various designs emerged from the Lunar Base Design Workshop in June 2002. By way of example, she completes the special requirements for a mobile moon base, a moon dust covered accommodation and a stationary base on the surface.

Galileo image, 1992: NASA

Special attention is paid to the conference on legal questions. The Outer Space Treaty adopted by the United Nations in 1967 explains the space to the dousse of all humanity. In Moon Treaty is once again specified that no one can claim ownership on the moon. Some see them an obstacle for the commercial compliance of space and the moon. Others consider it a clear signal against the export of government territorial thinking into space.

Hans L.D.G. Starlife, co-aging of the COSMICA Network, tends to the latter position. "If we now establish ourselves as a multiplan area civilization", he writes in his proposal for a new space right, "is it the highest time to leave our primitive past behind us and develop new, more mature legal and social systems that better fit our new role in the cosmos." The urge to aggressively commercial exploitation of the ALLS is located above all in the US, while Europe’s most likely to become a stronger role of the United Nations.

So far, there are no real discussion between the different positions, but rather an exchange of polemics. In order to convey between the extremes, StarLife suggests that there is still no ownership rights in space, but probably to allow usage rights. As an example, how well that can work, he refers to his home country Sweden, where you own land, but no one can prohibit access.

In fact, sometimes it is pregnant how strongly the American space travel of national vanities, power calculus and commercial interests is projected. It ware of Starlife to wish that he manages to break up these hardened fronts. A departure to the moon, which only extends the all-round earthly conflict lines into space, really the last thing we need. ()

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