All of lsparrish's Comments + Replies

Lunar Colony

In that case you should invest directly in base technologies. The private sector will find the most profitable uses for them, and usually there are more profitable applications for technology than space. Everyone loves to talk about all the new technologies which came out of the U.S. space program, but imagine how much more we would have gotten had we invested the same amount of money directly into medical technology, material science, and orange-flavored powdered drink mix.

I'm with you on spinoffs argument, however we're concerned with technologies of ... (read more)

Lunar Colony

The most efficient way to colonize space is with self replicating robots/factories. Human settlement is probably going to be more of an afterthought, or along the lines of on-site repair and teleoperations personnel for the robots doing the heavy lifting. The concept of slave labor in orbital mining colonies doesn't make much sense outside of science fiction.

Once a certain critical mass has been reached in terms of having systems that can convert raw space materials (asteroids, lunar regolith, and so on) to more useful configurations of their raw elements ... (read more)

Lunar Colony

Nope, the Moon has none of the resources required for sustaining a spacefaring civilization, except sunlight and water. Whatever resources you have will degrade with inefficiencies and damage. Your only hope is to just wait for however many years or millennia it takes for Earth to become habitable again and then jump back in a prepackaged spacecraft. But, as noted above, it's vastly easier to just do this in a shelter on Earth.

You are forgetting the rocks, including metals and so forth that we know to be present there (and on the asteroids, which are an... (read more)

3kbog5y
In that case you should invest directly in base technologies. The private sector will find the most profitable uses for them, and usually there are more profitable applications for technology than space. Everyone loves to talk about all the new technologies which came out of the U.S. space program, but imagine how much more we would have gotten had we invested the same amount of money directly into medical technology, material science, and orange-flavored powdered drink mix. The technologies required for that are various things which are beyond our current abilities. We can't even do self replication on Earth. We may as well start with the fundamental nanoengineering and artificial intelligence domains. We don't know how space tech and missions will evolve, so if we try to make applied technology for current missions then much of the effort will be poorly targeted and less useful. It's already clear that more serious basic problems in materials science, AI and other domains must be overcome for space exploration to provide positive returns, and those are the fields which both the private sector and the government are less interested in supporting (due to long term horizons and riskiness of profits for the private sector, and lack of politically sellable 'results' for the government).