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    03 Feb '19 03:38
    I was thinking about manufacturing on the moon and looked into it and found some interesting information. I realized that a moon colony is inevitable. It will happen, just a question of when.
    The low gravity of the moon makes manufacturing an attractive goal. Magnesium is abundant on the moon's crust. If magnesium alloys could be manufactured on the moon it would be really cool. So much could be accomplished.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/31/billionaire-closer-to-mining-moon-for-trillions-of-dollars-in-riches.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_manufacturing
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    03 Feb '19 16:225 edits
    @metal-brain said
    realized that a moon colony is inevitable. It will happen, just a question of when.
    If what you are referring to is a HUMAN moon colony, NO, that is not a question of when because it is unlikely to ever happen, or at least not unless the people chosen to be put in charge of the Moon missions are complete morons (sadly, they just might be if they are chosen by the US government and/or a stupid billionaire) that don't understand the first thing about economics and/or science.
    It will be wildly by far make more economic sense to develop robots and AI to put on the moon to do mining, manufacturing, etc. rather than take the huge unnecessary risks and extra unnecessary expense to put specifically PEOPLE up there that would require constant life support and would be constantly exposed to health hazards and huge dangers. (gamma ray radiation exposure from distant sources, long term damage to bone growth from low gravity, micro-meteor impact, tear in the spacesuit causing sudden explosive decompression, exposure to the Moon's extremes of temperature, running out of oxygen, etc. )
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    03 Feb '19 17:57
    @humy said
    If what you are referring to is a HUMAN moon colony, NO, that is not a question of when because it is unlikely to ever happen, or at least not unless the people chosen to be put in charge of the Moon missions are complete morons (sadly, they just might be if they are chosen by the US government and/or a stupid billionaire) that don't understand the first thing about economics an ...[text shortened]... plosive decompression, exposure to the Moon's extremes of temperature, running out of oxygen, etc. )
    Robots will no doubt be used as much as possible, but to build a spacecraft you will need humans to do assembly work. I doubt robots will be able to do certain tasks as efficiently as humans by that time.
    Saying there will be no human colony on the moon would likely be saying there will be no manned mission to Mars. It needs to happen on the moon first before Mars. It makes no sense to find out unanticipated problems farther than the moon. The moon is far enough away from common artificial satellite orbits for a rescue mission of some sort.

    Making the case against a manned colony on the moon is to rule out a manned mission to Mars in my opinion. It makes less sense for a manned mission to Mars than a colony on the moon. The moon is much closer than Mars.

    Asteroid mining will take place at some point in the future. Where are you going to take the asteroids once you get them? The moon, right?

    Imagine everything manufactured on the surface of the earth that leaves low orbit. All of that wasted energy getting it out of Earth's gravity well. Do you expect that to last forever?

    I think you are making the mistake of thinking robot technology will advance to the point they can do anything a human can do before manufacturing out of Earth's gravity well happens. It is like you are optimistic and pessimistic at the same time.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    03 Feb '19 19:451 edit
    @Metal-Brain

    One thing a lot cheaper on the moon, there is a much better vacuum on the moon than any in an Earth lab, even the big boys at Cern.

    So I can envision a particle accelerator going all the way round the moon, no vacuum equipment needed EVER. Just an open framework with electromagnets to guide and accelerate the particles to be studied.

    Also Ion Implanters would be a LOT less massive and taking up a lot less energy for industrial implantation of ions into a substrate, like now, silicon getting dopants like arsenic, boron or phosphorous to gain semiconductor status, P type or N type depending on the dopant.

    Also implantation of metals for strength or scratch resistance and such can be done with an open air ion implanter. I worked in that field for almost 20 years so know a lot about that technology and the vacuum equipment and the walls of 1/2 inch SS to hold back Earth atmosphere was a very large part of the expense but on the moon, you don't need ANY of that stuff, no big thick skins, no vacuum pumps and such.
    Just a support matrix for the acceleration electrodes and focus magnetic's and aiming electrodes and scanning electrodes and their associated high voltage power supplies.
    The supports can be something like PVC, moon rated of course but that would suffice for insulation needed for the high voltages used, sometimes a half million volts or even more and 50K to 80K in the source area generating the ion beam.

    I imagine there would be problems attracting dust by the high voltage fields and such but that can be countered with proper engineering.

    There can be a huge manufacturing facility on the moon for any machine needing vacuum like atomic force microscopes, electron microscopes, atomic deposition tools, sputtering tools, ion etchers, ALL of those techniques would be a LOT cheaper on the moon.
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    04 Feb '19 23:18
    @metal-brain said
    I was thinking about manufacturing on the moon and looked into it and found some interesting information. I realized that a moon colony is inevitable. It will happen, just a question of when.
    The low gravity of the moon makes manufacturing an attractive goal. Magnesium is abundant on the moon's crust. If magnesium alloys could be manufactured on the moon it would be real ...[text shortened]... ng-moon-for-trillions-of-dollars-in-riches.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_manufacturing
    It requires political will-power. Only governments will be able to handle the enormous investment. Imagine what we could do in space if we stopped building tanks and fighter jets we don't need and repurpose those factories? That would free up $200 billion. Imagine if we'd taken all the momentum behind building 100,000 wind turbines and instead built modules for a moon colony?
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Feb '19 15:21
    @wildgrass
    Are you saying the price for one in 2 mil? Wonder what the payback period would be, lets see, one of those big guys pumps out maybe one megawatt, at let's say 10 cents a kilowatt/hour commercial price. so one dollar buys 10 Kwhr of power, so 2 dollars buys 20Kwhr. so 2000 dolllars buys 20,000 Kwhr so 2 mil buys 20 million Kwhr
    I think that works out to 20,000 hours of 1 megawatt so let's call it 3 years running full bore to pay for itself. 6 years if it cost 5 cents a kwhr.
    That would be 100,000 megawatts for the whole set or 100 Gigawatts. Sounds like less than 1% of the total used in the US.

    Do those numbers add up?
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    05 Feb '19 20:001 edit
    @sonhouse said
    @wildgrass
    Are you saying the price for one in 2 mil? Wonder what the payback period would be, lets see, one of those big guys pumps out maybe one megawatt, at let's say 10 cents a kilowatt/hour commercial price. so one dollar buys 10 Kwhr of power, so 2 dollars buys 20Kwhr. so 2000 dolllars buys 20,000 Kwhr so 2 mil buys 20 million Kwhr
    I think that works out to 20,000 h ...[text shortened]... or 100 Gigawatts. Sounds like less than 1% of the total used in the US.

    Do those numbers add up?
    I was actually talking about the tanks and planes costing $200 billion, but I was off by an order of magnitude. F-35 program alone projects to cost $1.5 trillion.

    You appear to be right about the cost of a wind turbine but I think your calculation misses the fact that capacity ends up being a lot less than advertised. They only run 30% of the time. I have seen estimates of 55 years payback time for wind turbines, which is far greater than their lifespans.

    The other problem with your calculation is that it assumes that we are starting from scratch, considering wind to be our only option. But in the US we already generate more power than we need. I posted the article in the "nuclear power" thread, but one analysis shows that despite all the investment in green energy, it is more than offset by the decommissioned nuclear facilities. So we have invested billions in wind with no gain in power output (or reduction in carbon emissions).
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    06 Feb '19 09:109 edits
    @Metal-Brain
    I doubt robots will be able to do certain tasks as efficiently as humans by that time.

    I am an AI expert and I assert robots can be made to do all the required tasks efficiently enough. Robots and AIs are improving all the time and they don't have to do the job quite AS efficiently as humans to be more economical as humans because, providing they DO the job reasonably enough, they can easily outcompete humans on cost for not needing life-support, food, wages etc, even if an individual robot is often slow at doing various tasks.
    Saying there will be no human colony on the moon would likely be saying there will be no manned mission to Mars.

    I didn't say neither will happen. I would say neither is unlikely unless certain politicians are extremely stupid, which they sadly just might be.
    Sending a man to Mars would be a MASSIVE waste of money that can be spend on better things, such as to help to end world poverty etc. and would be MUCH more expensive AND risky than sending a man to the Moon. I am not saying it want ever happen; an economically-richer part of humanity might be STUPID enough to waste massive resources to make it happen. I just hope that, in the end, no politician that can make such a decision of trying to send a man to Mars would be so INSANE and/or STUPID as to do so.
    Making the case against a manned colony on the moon is to rule out a manned mission to Mars in my opinion.

    Then I would agree with that opinion of yours. Did you think I wanted vast amounts of money wasted on pointless missions?
    Asteroid mining will take place at some point in the future. Where are you going to take the asteroids once you get them? The moon, right?

    You are making a number of strange assumptions there. For example, why bring an asteroid to the Moon first? At least for an asteroid that often comes close enough to the Sun to make solar power available to power the robots, robots could mine certain rare minerals on the asteroid and then those rare minerals could be sent straight to the Earth.
    Imagine everything manufactured on the surface of the earth that leaves low orbit. All of that wasted energy getting it out of Earth's gravity well.

    What are you talking about? We shouldn't need to for ever move many manufactured things from the surface of the Earth to beyond low orbit.
    We could just initially send some advanced AI robots to the Moon to start a robot colony to use then use the Moon's resources to make more robots there that then make more robots etc. Then, with the help of magnetic rail guns in the surface of the Moon to launch space craft (rocket power would be the LEAST efficient method. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun), they could send many robots in space craft, with ion drive instead of rocket power (again, rocket power would be the LEAST efficient method. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster) to other parts of the solar system including asteroids. Then there would be no need to keep sending things from the surface of the Earth to beyond low-Earth orbit.
    I think you are making the mistake of thinking robot technology will advance to the point they can do anything a human can do

    I am a qualified and experienced AI EXPERT (and currently doing research in AI + statistical analysis). Are you?
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    06 Feb '19 13:12
    @humy said
    @Metal-Brain
    I doubt robots will be able to do certain tasks as efficiently as humans by that time.

    I am an AI expert and I assert robots can be made to do all the required tasks efficiently enough. Robots and AIs are improving all the time and they don't have to do the job quite AS efficiently as humans to be more economical as humans because, providing the ...[text shortened]... fied and experienced AI EXPERT (and currently doing research in AI + statistical analysis). Are you?
    AI is not the main obstacle so your claimed expertise means little. People can operate the robots from earth when something needs to be improvised. It is about the robot having the physical ability to carry out complex tasks.

    You have been watching too many Star Wars movies. Will a robot repair the other robots? That sort of thing is cool in a Star Wars movie and is fun to think about, but manufacturing robots on the moon is going to take a long time, far longer than the need for robots on the moon. You have to start somewhere.

    My government has already sent men to the moon. Why so resistant to the idea of a few people working there to do repairs? I don't recall a robot repairing the Hubble Telescope. How long do you think it will take for that to happen?
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Feb '19 14:381 edit
    @Metal-Brain
    No, some things remote operations are beyond our control, like driving a robot safely around obstacles even on the moon because there is that 4 odd second delay to get signals from Earth to the moon and back. If a robot is driving itself into a canyon a mile deep we would not know it for 4 or 5 seconds minimum and that is just the radio link delay time, then there is the computational load of downloading video and such and for Mars that is much much worse since there is a minimum 15 odd minute delay for round trip radio to Mars and it can be much worse if Mars is on the other side of the sun from us, and for some period of time communications might even be lost completely due to solar storms or Mars passing in back of the sun but Mars could be as much as 200 million miles way and light goes roughly a billion miles an hour so 2/5ths of an hour or around 30 minutes for round trip of signals. Sure, you could have robots doing one inch per hour or some crap like that but that would defeat the purpose of autonomous vehicles in the first place.
    The bottom line is humans cannot do real time control of ANYTHING ANYWHERE in space except low Earth orbit and such where the distances are only a few hundred miles and at 6 microseconds per mile the round trip time is in milliseconds which can allow direct remote control but not on the moon or Mars.
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    06 Feb '19 15:21
    @sonhouse said
    @Metal-Brain
    No, some things remote operations are beyond our control, like driving a robot safely around obstacles even on the moon because there is that 4 odd second delay to get signals from Earth to the moon and back. If a robot is driving itself into a canyon a mile deep we would not know it for 4 or 5 seconds minimum and that is just the radio link delay time, then th ...[text shortened]... ound trip time is in milliseconds which can allow direct remote control but not on the moon or Mars.
    That is not a problem. I never implied AI is not useful and the hard stuff does not involve driving around the surface of the moon. A 4 second delay is nothing compared to the robots on Mars given instructions when they run into difficulty.

    My statement still stands. AI isn't the problem. People sacrificed their lives to contain the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Despite the robotics progress we have made we still have a long way to go and it has nothing to do with AI. We have made good progress there.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/22/mit-creates-a-control-algorithm-for-drone-swarms/

    How many people sacrificed their lives to contain the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and pick up the fuel rods?
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Feb '19 18:371 edit
    @Metal-Brain
    You are then not talking about space probes and robots on other planets but AI robots here on Earth where the delay times are measured in milliseconds for radio control.
    You make it sound like it is a disaster we don't have such AI near human level intelligence for robots to pull rods from broken nuclear reactors.

    That is of course a real problem but the amount of broken reactors is so small in any one year as to not be worth the billion dollar development effort to make them work. Not that it could't be done but the political will to spend huge amounts of money just won't be there for something that doesn't happen but once in ten years maybe less.
    What other things are you thinking about that we are not developing in AI robots?

    They are improving yearly in nearly every field so what you think today will be a totally different story in 5 years.
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    07 Feb '19 07:582 edits
    AI is not the main obstacle so your claimed expertise means little. People can operate the robots from earth when something needs to be improvised. It is about the robot having the physical ability to carry out complex tasks.
    @Metal-Brain

    Well, that shows how totally IGNORANT you are. In what sense are the robots shown in the video link below lack "the physical ability to carry out complex tasks", as you said?

    YouTube

    They CLEARLY CAN physically do the required complex tasks previously done by people just fine. So your assertion of "AI is not the main obstacle so your claimed expertise means little" is nonsense. You clearly don't know what the main obstacle is nor what AI can do.
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    07 Feb '19 09:05
    @sonhouse said
    @Metal-Brain
    You are then not talking about space probes and robots on other planets but AI robots here on Earth where the delay times are measured in milliseconds for radio control.
    You make it sound like it is a disaster we don't have such AI near human level intelligence for robots to pull rods from broken nuclear reactors.

    That is of course a real problem but the a ...[text shortened]... g yearly in nearly every field so what you think today will be a totally different story in 5 years.
    You are like a broken record. AI is not the problem. It is the physical ability of the robot that is lacking, not AI.

    Do you ever read what I write or do you fool yourself into thinking I said the opposite of what I did? I used Fukishima as an example of the limitations of robots and nothing more.
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    07 Feb '19 09:16
    @humy said
    AI is not the main obstacle so your claimed expertise means little. People can operate the robots from earth when something needs to be improvised. It is about the robot having the physical ability to carry out complex tasks.
    @Metal-Brain

    Well, that shows how totally IGNORANT you are. In what sense are the robots shown in the video link below lack "the phy ...[text shortened]... tise means little" is nonsense. You clearly don't know what the main obstacle is nor what AI can do.
    LOL!
    A factory floor? That is your proof I am ignorant? LOL!!!!!

    "They CLEARLY CAN physically do the required complex tasks previously done by people just fine."

    Repetitive tasks for sure, but what about non-repetitive tasks that require a lot of specialized work?

    Can a robot replace a mirror in the Hubble Telescope? Nope.
    Can they contain a meltdown and clean up fuel rods? Nope.
    Is AI the obstacle? Nope.

    Who is ignorant?
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