1. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Jun '16 10:31
    http://phys.org/news/2016-06-private-venture-moon-mission.html
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    06 Jun '16 10:574 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2016-06-private-venture-moon-mission.html
    I bet private commercial exploitation of the moon would be proven to be not economically viable for a very long time and not until there is much dramatic improvement in technology esp in AI. I bet this is all far too soon and we will see very little progress for several decades.
    Perhaps in ~50 years time it would become viable and then we may start to see something real happen there?
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Jun '16 15:05
    Originally posted by humy
    I bet private commercial exploitation of the moon would be proven to be not economically viable for a very long time and not until there is much dramatic improvement in technology esp in AI. I bet this is all far too soon and we will see very little progress for several decades.
    Perhaps in ~50 years time it would become viable and then we may start to see something real happen there?
    I think private money will prove a lot more creative than NASA and will come up with solutions that will be viable a lot sooner than 50 years. Look at the rocket landing on the barge.

    Why didn't NASA do that 40 years ago?
  4. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    07 Jun '16 00:51
    Originally posted by humy
    I bet private commercial exploitation of the moon would be proven to be not economically viable for a very long time and not until there is much dramatic improvement in technology esp in AI. I bet this is all far too soon and we will see very little progress for several decades.
    Perhaps in ~50 years time it would become viable and then we may start to see something real happen there?
    Somehow I doubt that mining the Moon is legal. Otherwise it could be very profitable depending on what minerals are up there.
  5. Standard memberlemon lime
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    07 Jun '16 06:37
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Somehow I doubt that mining the Moon is legal. Otherwise it could be very profitable depending on what minerals are up there.
    Helium-3 mining might be feasible if it was profitable. But I don't think any mining operation on the moon would be profitable. It would cost way too much to set it all up and keep it running. You have the expense of transporting the needed equipment there, and of sending the helium-3 back to earth. Not to mention the cost of covering repairs, and (unforseen) problems that can slow down or halt production and transportation.
  6. Cape Town
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    07 Jun '16 09:44
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Somehow I doubt that mining the Moon is legal. Otherwise it could be very profitable depending on what minerals are up there.
    It could be made legal if it was profitable. However, in the short term, the main customer of private moon missions would actually be governments and the scientific community, and possibly later on, tourists. SpaceX is a private launch provider, but NASA and the US military are their biggest customers. So don't assume 'private' means 'the mission goal is for corporate profit'.
  7. Cape Town
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    07 Jun '16 09:46
    I do wonder if SpaceX plans to find a way to make money from its first Mars mission. A lot could be made from TV rights etc, and I believe Elon Musk has talked about letting people who go to Mars pay for their spaceflight. After all, if it is a one way trip, they don't need all their money any more, so they can essentially use their life savings.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    07 Jun '16 14:55
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I do wonder if SpaceX plans to find a way to make money from its first Mars mission. A lot could be made from TV rights etc, and I believe Elon Musk has talked about letting people who go to Mars pay for their spaceflight. After all, if it is a one way trip, they don't need all their money any more, so they can essentially use their life savings.
    That may be so but Musk would still come out on the short end of the stick, suppose each passenger, what, say 10 total? and each one pays say 2 MILLION dollars each for the privalege, then Musk generates 20 million only. I imagine the budget for that voyage to be well in excess of 500 million is my guess. So even in that extreme case, the voyagers wouldn't be paying for much of the total cost.

    There is also the 20 million dollar space prize at stake too but that also is a drop in the bucket of the real expenses of such a trip.
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    08 Jun '16 13:30
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Somehow I doubt that mining the Moon is legal. Otherwise it could be very profitable depending on what minerals are up there.
    You have to pay for a license from the EPA first.

    After all, you don't want to destroy the environment on the moon, do you?
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    08 Jun '16 13:30
    I'm selling a crater lot on the moon on the south side if anyone is interested.
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    08 Jun '16 15:572 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    You have to pay for a license from the EPA first.

    After all, you don't want to destroy the environment on the moon, do you?
    since the moon is naturally completely inhospitable to all life to start with, I don't see what there is to destroy..... oh wait, was that sarcasm?
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    08 Jun '16 19:06
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    Helium-3 mining might be feasible if it was profitable. But I don't think any mining operation on the moon would be profitable. It would cost way too much to set it all up and keep it running. You have the expense of transporting the needed equipment there, and of sending the helium-3 back to earth. Not to mention the cost of covering repairs, and (unforseen) problems that can slow down or halt production and transportation.
    H3 would be great if we already had cracked fusion. We are still in the wait 20 years stage. It is the best fuel for fusion but it is a bit premature ATT to try mining it.
  13. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    08 Jun '16 23:531 edit
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    Helium-3 mining might be feasible if it was profitable. But I don't think any mining operation on the moon would be profitable. It would cost way too much to set it all up and keep it running. You have the expense of transporting the needed equipment there, and of sending the helium-3 back to earth. Not to mention the cost of covering repairs, and (unforseen) problems that can slow down or halt production and transportation.
    You don't necessarily need to send anything back to Earth though considering gravity it probably isn't too hard. Mine the Moon to make satellites and such.
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    09 Jun '16 06:163 edits
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    You don't necessarily need to send anything back to Earth though considering gravity it probably isn't too hard. Mine the Moon to make satellites and such.
    probably the most economic method to get material from the moon to the Earth is firing it in strong cargo vessels manufactured on the moon by robot factories and designed to survive entry into Earth's atm and these cargo vessels being complete with parachutes and all of them fired from the moon to the Earth from a solar powered railgun stationed on the moon.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun
  15. Cape Town
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    09 Jun '16 08:251 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That may be so but Musk would still come out on the short end of the stick, suppose each passenger, what, say 10 total? and each one pays say 2 MILLION dollars each for the privalege, then Musk generates 20 million only. I imagine the budget for that voyage to be well in excess of 500 million is my guess. So even in that extreme case, the voyagers wouldn't be paying for much of the total cost.
    I believe Musk stated that to be realistic the cost of a trip to mars need to come down to about half a million dollars.
    Your 500 million budget is a NASA budget, not a SpaceX budget 🙂
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