## Extraterrestrial colony companies

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williatw
Posts: 1894
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

hanelyp wrote:Nope, blackbody radiation is proportional to the 4th power of absolute temperature. If a body at temperature X was inside a box of temperature Y, the body would radiate ~X^4, but also receive heat from the box ~Y^4.
Okay thank for the correction:
Re = eσT14th (1) where Re is the rate at which energy is emitted per unit area, e is called the emissivity (a
number between 0 and 1 depending on the material of which the object is made and on the
temperature), σ is Stefan's constant (= 5.67 x 10-8 watts/m2K4) and T1 is the Kelvin
temperature of the body.
Having said that I am still not sure how you arrived at only a 9% reduction in T in Kelvin for a 30% reduction in the sun's illumination of the moon:
hanelyp wrote: So a 30% reduction in incoming solar energy gives less than a 9% drop in temperature.

I assume you are calculating that it heats up so fast during its 70% irradiation phase that it doesn't matter how much it cools during its 30% sun blocked phase its mean temp doesn't change that much overall?

And also:
hanelyp wrote:
williatw wrote:Also is a planet really analogous to a black body? What about heat loss by reflection, clouds and such?
It's an imperfect model, but gets us in the right neighborhood. Reflection is only a factor if it varies by wavelength, or location around the planet. Atmospheric pressure is also a major factor, though some prominent forces are in DEEP denial of that.
2. From equations (1) and (4), it might appear that Re for a non-blackbody varies simply with
the fourth power of the temperature as well as for a blackbody, the only difference being in
the coefficients. It must be emphasized that this is not true. The factor e in equation (1) is
not a constant, but varies with temperature (since it depends on the frequency of the
radiation). Only for a blackbody is there a simple direct proportion between Re and T4 .

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~physics/labs/ ... riteup.pdf

williatw
Posts: 1894
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Location: Ohio

### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Blue Origin tweets picture from Antarctic expedition, hinting at moon mission
by Alan Boyle on April 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

“We know that there’s water there. There’s ice there. There are probably other interesting things in those craters as well,” he told me last May at a space conference in Los Angeles. “And then we also know that on the rims of the craters at the poles of the moon, there are places where you have almost perpetual sunlight,” he added. “Literally there are some peaks where you only have about 10 hours of darkness per year, and those perpetual peaks of light are conveniently located right next to the perpetual dark areas where all these interesting volatiles reside. So it’s almost like somebody set this up for us.”

Is Jeff Bezos planning to send a lander to the moon’s south pole?

It’s possible to leap to that conclusion, based on an enigmatic tweet from Blue Origin, the Amazon CEO’s private space venture.

The tweet consists of a photograph taken during British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s famously difficult Antarctic expedition, showing the ship Endurance stuck in polar pack ice. Accompanying the picture is a date: “5.9.19.”

It so happens that Bezos is due to provide an update on Blue Origin on May 9 — in Washington, D.C., where the Satellite 2019 conference is being held that week.

Two years ago, Bezos announced Blue Origin’s first launch contracts for its orbital-class New Glenn rocket at the annual Satellite conference, but Shackleton’s ship suggests that this year’s announcement will be more, um, adventurous.

Bezos has frequently talked about the craters in the moon’s polar regions as the preferred places for lunar exploration and settlement.

“We know that there’s water there. There’s ice there. There are probably other interesting things in those craters as well,” he told me last May at a space conference in Los Angeles.

“And then we also know that on the rims of the craters at the poles of the moon, there are places where you have almost perpetual sunlight,” he added. “Literally there are some peaks where you only have about 10 hours of darkness per year, and those perpetual peaks of light are conveniently located right next to the perpetual dark areas where all these interesting volatiles reside. So it’s almost like somebody set this up for us.”

To go there, Blue Origin is developing a lander called Blue Moon that would be capable of delivering up to 5 tons of cargo to the lunar surface. Blue Origin executives have said the lander could be ready to go as soon as 2023, which fits in well with NASA’s intention to put astronauts on the moon by 2024.

What’s the connection to Shackleton’s ship? One of the potential targets in the moon’s south polar region is Shackleton Crater.

All this doesn’t necessarily mean that Bezos will announce a mission to Shackleton Crater on May 9. But the teaser tweet does suggest that Blue Origin is planning a mission to one of the billionaire’s favorite off-Earth frontiers, the polar regions of the moon. There’s enough there for some entertaining speculation from Notre Dame planetary geologist and engineer Clive Neal; Skycorp CEO Dennis Wingo, author of the book “Moonrush”; Space News’ Jeff Foust and other space-watchers.

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/blue-orig ... n-mission/

williatw
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have profound visions for humanity's future in space. Here's how the billionaires' goals compare.

Elon Musk (left) and Jeff Bezos.

Just as the US and Russia (among other nations) have learned to work together to pull off major feats — such as the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station — it's not unreasonable to think that SpaceX and Blue Origin may one day cooperate to achieve the impossible.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have each spoken at length about their visions for humanity's future in space.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX, wants to launch people to Mars, establish a self-sustaining city there, and use the red planet as a base from which to further explore the solar system.

Bezos, meanwhile, talks of using his rocket company, Blue Origin, to put a permanent base on the moon, build up huge space colonies, and eventually have 1 trillion people living and working in space.
Although these visions are different, they have strong similarities, too.

Space is a big place, one rich with resources and adventure for the taking. So if you're the imaginative type, leaving Earth offers near-limitless opportunities for humanity's expansion.

Of all the people weighing in on how we'll get to space, what we'll do there, and on what timeline, the voices of two billionaires — Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — ring the loudest and most often.

Musk, the tech mogul behind Tesla and the founder of SpaceX (a now-\$33-billion rocket company), wants to establish a permanent, self-sustaining city on Mars.

Meanwhile, Bezos — the founder and CEO of Amazon — has his own space company, Blue Origin. Its work so far focuses on building a "road to space" with new rockets that could ultimately pave the way for floating colonies.

These two grandiose dreams are markedly different, and their owners occasionally spar about the details. But it's not inconceivable that their two companies will one day work together in space.

Here's what Musk and Bezos have said of their ambitious visions, and how they're different yet also surprisingly similar.

Musk has been obsessed with Mars for decades.

An illustration of Mars against the blackness of space.

In 2001 — a year before earning \$165 million from the sale of PayPal — Musk came up with an idea for a "Mars Oasis" spacecraft and pledged \$20 million to send it to the red planet.

The goal was to send a sealed chamber on a spacecraft to Mars, with dry nutrient gel and seeds inside of it. "When you'd land, you hydrate the gel and you have a little greenhouse on Mars," Musk said of the idea in 2012.

The chamber would be equipped with tools to take photos of the plants and beam the images to Earth. Musk thought this mission would inspire Congress to fund crewed NASA missions to Mars and establish a permanent human presence there.

But Musk underestimated the cost of rockets: The mission couldn't be done for \$20 million. So in 2002, he founded SpaceX to design reusable rockets that could lower the cost of access to space.

Bezos, meanwhile, has long been preoccupied with space colonies. In particular, he has expressed interest in the concepts imagined by physicist Gerard O'Neill in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

O'Neill colonies would be made almost entirely out of materials harvested in space. They would rotate to make artificial gravity and recreate Earth-like conditions inside.

In high school, Bezos gave a valedictorian speech about millions of people living among the stars: "Space, the final frontier, meet me there!" he said in closing.

As Bezos grew rich, his friend Neal Stephenson — a sci-fi author — helped inspire him to form a spaceflight company. In 2000, Bezos secretly founded Blue Origin to lower the cost of getting people into orbit.

Musk has described his vision for humanity's future in space in perhaps more detail than Bezos has. Musk's core goal is to "back up" our Earth-based civilization on Mars...

... Just in case terrible, lasting, and global calamities befall our home planet.

To work toward that goal, SpaceX developed Falcon 9 rockets with reusable boosters — the largest and most expensive part. Using these boosters (which are capable of landing themselves back on Earth) in multiple launches saves many millions of dollars per launch.

This reusability sets SpaceX's rockets apart from all other orbital rockets, which trash their boosters in the ocean or on land. SpaceX successfully landed its first booster on December 21, 2015.
Less than a year after that feat, Musk walked onto a stage to formally detail SpaceX's plans for populating Mars. But those plans don't involve Falcon 9 directly, nor the company's newer and more powerful Falcon Heavy rocket system.

Instead, SpaceX is working to develop a fully reusable rocket called Starship. Musk announces major design updates (and sometimes name changes) to this system about once a year; he's expected to do so again this summer.

SpaceX's current plan goes like this: A crewed Starship would get launched into orbit around Earth, then several tanker Starships would launch and meet the first one in orbit to refill its fuel tanks. Using that fuel, Starship would then launch from orbit toward Mars.

Musk thinks Starship could ferry 100 people at a time. He has said the cost of a round-trip ticket to Mars could be about \$100,000-\$500,000. That price would be "low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth and move to Mars if they want," Musk said.

SpaceX is building and launching Starship prototypes in south Texas to test and refine ideas. The full system could become a reality as soon as 2020 or 2021 if all goes as Musk hopes.

A crewed mission around the moon, perhaps in 2023, would ostensibly prove that Starship is safe to fly through deep space.

SpaceX would begin cargo launches to Mars in 2024, according to Gwynne Shotwell, the company's COO and president. A crewed mission would follow shortly after, perhaps in 2026. Then a permanent city would begin to flesh out in the 2030s.

But Musk has yet to reveal the technologies and cargo his company would launch to keep people alive on Mars or build a settlement there. SpaceX primarily bills itself as a transportation company — which means it may need others to figure out how to produce fuel on Mars, build off-planet habitats, and much more.

Either way, Musk hopes to establish the first self-sustainable city on Mars by the 2050s.

He'd also like to start terraforming Mars with greenhouses gases in the 2100s to transform it into a more comfortable, possibly Earth-like planet. That would help SpaceX to achieve its self-described "ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars."

Bezos has a similar plan to realize his vision of future space colonies.

Bezos' goal is for Blue Origin to "build a road to space" with a rocket called New Glenn, which is scheduled to debut in 2021.

Like SpaceX's current Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, New Glenn would have reusable boosters that could land back on Earth and be utilized in future missions, lowering the cost of launches.

New Glenn wouldn't be fully reusable like Starship. But Blue Origin is also developing a system called New Armstrong that might not waste any rocket parts. However, details about it are still secret.

For now, Bezos' philosophy is to get Blue Origin good at launching and landing rockets with its New Shepard rocket, which is smaller and not designed to reach orbit.

New Shepard is designed to fly past the edge of space in a ballistic arc, giving paying tourists about five minutes of weightlessness at the top. Bezos has said this will give the company robust experience flying human passengers before it targets orbit with New Glenn.

Blue Origin is also vying to be selected by NASA as a commercial partner in the agency's push to get astronauts back to the moon. In May, Bezos debuted the company's "Blue Moon" lander.

Blue Origin is also vying to be selected by NASA as a commercial partner in the agency's push to get astronauts back to the moon. In May, Bezos debuted the company's "Blue Moon" lander.

A lunar depot would be part of the means to more easily and cheaply access the abundant resources that are available across the solar system. This vision is broader than Musk's, which is primarily tied to Mars.

If Blue Origin can make launches cheap, mine the moon for fuel, harvest asteroids for metals and minerals, and generate energy in space, it may be possible to construct space colonies and move people off the planet.

"The solar system can support a trillion humans, and then we'd have 1,000 Mozarts, and 1,000 Einsteins. Think how incredible and dynamic that civilization will be," Bezos said in February.

Bezos admits the technology does not yet exist to make this happen. But he expects it to within a few generations. So he launched a "Club for the Future" to inspire kids to "preserve the Earth and unlock the potential of living and working in space."

In the end, Bezos and Musk's visions, while different, aren't so dissimilar: They both want to make access to space cheaper, enable people to live and work there, and expand the horizons of humanity.

Just as the US and Russia (among other nations) have learned to work together to pull off major feats — such as the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station — it's not unreasonable to think that SpaceX and Blue Origin may one day cooperate to achieve the impossible.

williatw
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

The golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire

Whether it was the Big Bang, Midas or God himself, we don’t really need to unlock the mystery of the origins of gold when we’ve already identified an asteroid worth \$700 quintillion in precious heavy metals.

If anything launches this metals mining space race, it will be this asteroid--Psyche 16, taking up residence between Mars and Jupiter and carrying around enough heavy metals to net every single person on the planet close to a trillion dollars.

The massive quantities of gold, iron and nickel contained in this asteroid are mind-blowing. The discovery has been made. Now, it’s a question of proving it up.

NASA plans to do just that, beginning in 2022. Whether it was the Big Bang, Midas or God himself, we don’t really need to unlock the mystery of the origins of gold when we’ve already identified an asteroid worth \$700 quintillion in precious heavy metals.

If anything launches this metals mining space race, it will be this asteroid--Psyche 16, taking up residence between Mars and Jupiter and carrying around enough heavy metals to net every single person on the planet close to a trillion dollars.

The massive quantities of gold, iron and nickel contained in this asteroid are mind-blowing. The discovery has been made. Now, it’s a question of proving it up.

NASA plans to do just that, beginning in 2022. Of course, says veteran miner Scott Moore, CEO of EuroSun Mining “The ‘Titans of Gold’ now control hundreds of the best-producing properties around the world, but the 4-5 million ounces of gold they bring to the market every year pales in comparison to the conquests available in space.”

In the decades to come, if you want to be a gold titan, you’ll have to get your feet off the ground. The real titans will be far from Earth.

Moore should know: He heads up a junior mining company that is seeking a seat at the titan table with the biggest in-development gold mine in Europe.

The 21st-Century Gold Rush

Can we actually extract this space gold? That is the quintillion-dollar question, certainly.

Speaking to Outerplaces, Professor John Zarnecki, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, estimates that it would take around 25 years to get ‘proof of concept’, and 50 years to start commercial production.

Of course, it all depends on two key things: Economic feasibility and our advancement of space technology.

And then, we’re not alone, either. There are other world powers who would like to get their hands on that asteroid, as well. China definitively plans to dominate this race. Mitch Hunter-Scullion, founder of the UK-based Asteroid Mining Company, tells the BBC that this is definitively the next industry “boom”.

“Once you set up the infrastructure then the possibilities are almost infinite,” he said. “There’s an astronomical amount of money to be made by those bold enough to rise to the challenge of the asteroid rush.”

EuroSun’s Moore agrees: “What we’re doing on the ground now may be impressive, but like everything else, even gold exploration in space is only a matter of infrastructure. We’ll get to it, eventually.”

But it’s not just about the quintillion-dollar prospects of the Asteroid Belt, which is 750 million kilometers from Earth.

“This may be the Holy Grail of space exploration for gold, but it won’t be the first stop on this adventure,” Moore says.

There are also Near-Earth asteroids, which pass close to Earth and could be pushed into an orbit from which water and other elements could be extracted.

Then there’s the moon, which holds resources from gold and platinum group metals to Helium-3, water and rare earth metals. Even though mining operations require gravity and the Moon’s is only one-sixth of Earth’s, scientists say there is enough gravity to make it work.

The Global Asteroid Mining Market.

Yes, there is already a global market for asteroid mining, and Allied Market Research estimates that it will top \$3.8 billion by 2025.

They’re counting ongoing and future space missions, the rise in inflow of investments in space mining technologies, and the growing use of print materials obtained from asteroids in 3D printing technology.

According to Allied, while the spacecraft design segment of this market accounted for four-fifths of the total revenue in 2017 and is expected to continue to dominate through 2025, the big change here will be in the space mining segment, or the “operation segment”. That segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 29% by 2025 “due to a surge in investment by public and private stakeholders in space mining technologies for resource exploitation”. “You can’t just think of space mining as something that will suddenly happen in 25 or 50 years,” says EuroSun’s Moore. “It’s already happening from an investment perspective. And the Asteroid Belt is just one aspect of this market. The entire global space market is worth hundreds of billions already.”

Indeed, Morgan Stanley estimates the global space economy to be worth \$350 billion today. By 2040, it will be worth a cosmic \$2.7 trillion.

Nor is the Psyche-16 Asteroid the only thing of interest in the Belt. Another small asteroid measuring 200 meters in length could be worth \$30 billion in platinum.

Who Will Get There First?

China has vowed to dominate this race, and that’s an easier game for a country that controls all the major natural resource companies and maintains a tight leash on tech developers.

That’s not to say that the US doesn’t have ambitions here. The difference, though, is stark. While NASA is focused on space exploration and scientific missions, China is focused on a space-based economy that is zeroing in on long-term wealth generation.

Even Europe, where EuroSun is developing a major goldmine in Romania, has its hand in the game. In January, the European Space Agency(ESA) announced a deal with ArianeGroup, the parent company of Arianespace, to study a prep mission to the moon in 2025. It’s got natural resources on its mind. Even tiny Luxembourg has 10 space-mining companies registered since 2016, with some targeting space ventures to the Moon, and others eyeing near-Earth asteroids for mining.

Tokyo-based iSpace, for instance, is a private space exploration company that plans to complete a lunar orbit in 2020, and a soft landing in 2021.

For Moore, the prospect is daunting, even if it is the clear future reality, because mining in EuroSun’s Rovina Valley project in west-central Romania has been a cakewalk, both in terms of geology and infrastructure. Everything lines up for a large, low-cost project (the biggest in-development gold mine in Europe.) That won’t be the case in space, but it’s a big bill that governments will want to help foot or risk losing their place in space.

Whoever gets there first will become the new god of gold, and the competition is heating up.

hanelyp
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Of course if you import too much gold, the price of gold crashes. As has been seen when Spain imported gold plundered from the Americas, and the California gold rush.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

paperburn1
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

hanelyp wrote:Of course if you import too much gold, the price of gold crashes. As has been seen when Spain imported gold plundered from the Americas, and the California gold rush.

Even the thought of too much gold can crash the market, a very real possibility because gold prices are over inflated even above the price of platinum since may of 2014 and gold follows platinum but stopped in 2008. with the current spread I would be selling gold and buying platinum.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

williatw
Posts: 1894
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Location: Ohio

### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

hanelyp wrote:Of course if you import too much gold, the price of gold crashes. As has been seen when Spain imported gold plundered from the Americas, and the California gold rush.
But of course...but gold (& especially platinum) have practical value in electronics etc. besides that of being like money. This is of course "hype"; obviously if you imported enough gold/platinum to make everyone a "billionaire" you would crash the value of such to maybe a copper/tin/zinc level. This is hype in a D.D. Harriman sense of the word; the true value of this is that it would massively open up the space frontier. Just like the historical significance of the '49 California gold rush where very few actually became rich (most of the money was made by those who sold supplies/equipment to the would be gold hunters). Primary benefit would probably have been the number of folks who were lured west hoping to strike it rich.

Having said that though some people would no doubt become quite rich; and maybe deposit their earnings in their tax free interest paying "Bank of Mars" account.
Last edited by williatw on Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

williatw
Posts: 1894
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

paperburn1 wrote:Even the thought of too much gold can crash the market, a very real possibility because gold prices are over inflated even above the price of platinum since may of 2014 and gold follows platinum but stopped in 2008. with the current spread I would be selling gold and buying platinum.
It might initially "crash" but recover; remember practically you couldn't really initially transport very much of that main sequence asteroid Psyche 16's gold/platinum to the market very quickly. Eventually the market would figure that out and price would recover (somewhat). Longer term the price of said gold/platinum couldn't sustainably drop to below the extraction/transportation cost from the asteroid. If it did mining/transportation would slow to a crawl until the price went back up (or extraction/transportation cost went down). If for instance it cost \$1000/oz to mine/process/transport the metal to earth & the market price dropped to \$900/oz; importation from the asteroid would effectively cease. Until either the price recovered to >\$1000/oz or extraction/transportation cost dropped to much less than \$1000/oz. The free market is a remarkable tool for finding the true value of something.

williatw
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Space Force defenses must stretch to the moon

By Peter Garretson, opinion contributor — 08/05/19 01:30 PM EDT
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

With the stand-up of the U.S. Space Force and initial operating capability of U.S. Space Command, it is time to revise the Unified Command Plan (UCP) to reflect the geographic responsibilities of U.S. Space Command, and align their formal responsibilities with the expectations of the American people.

Ideally the new Defense secretary would direct this on his own. But if he is checked by bureaucratic forces inside the Pentagon intent on limiting the instrument of spacepower to mere support of terrestrial forces, then either Congress or the administration could short-circuit military resistance with external direction.

The UCP should follow the recommendation that U.S. Space Command’s “area of responsibility” (AOR) start at 100 kilometers above Earth and span Cis-Lunar space to 450,000 kilometers. This is the volume of space that includes the moon, its orbit and its gravitational influence.

The moon is important because it is the nearest body with significant resources. The South and North poles in particular are important because of their access to constant sunlight and vast quantities of water ice which can enable trade, logistics and maneuver. The Moon’s gravitational influence is important because there are certain points (called Lagrange, Libration or “L” points) where the gravitational forces of the Earth and Moon balance to enable constant station-keeping with low energy, and allow easy maneuver from these locations to other important orbits. Those points will be critical in securing both economic and military advantage in the growing Cis-Lunar economy.

Specifying the Cis-Lunar AOR is important for three reasons:

First, this aligns the DoD’s strategic map with other important actors. It is the same map being used by our competitors. It is the same map being used by the Department of Commerce and NASA. It is the same map being used by the titans of the new space industries.

Second, military space professionals have historically only considered the space from geostationary orbit down to Earth. Changing the map is a necessary first step in creating a unique military space culture. The expansive map of Cis-Lunar encourages broader thinking. It allows space professionals (and American policymakers above them) to examine space as an independent instrument of national power and its own domain of commerce and security, and not just as a tool of terrestrial warfighter support. Maps structure the mind, and thinking of space as a place is necessary to shifting space professionals from thinking focused on providing a service to thinking about strategic presence and superior position. It also helps remind both space professionals and other military officers of the vastly (and vastly different) scales on which space initiatives are played.

Third, the Cis-Lunar map is the context in which the first major initiative and counter-initiative of great power competition will play out, and where U.S. Space Command and the new U.S. Space Force will need to design their own peacetime military offensive to secure a position of advantage.

There are other important benefits as well. This map will make it easier for military space forces to integrate with Congress, NASA, Department of Commerce, Department of State, Industry and others to develop a whole-of-nation space strategy. Such a strategy will be critical if the United States will remain superior in space against the challenge from China, Russia, and other emerging space powers.

Space is certainly a place, and one of the benefits of being a geographic combatant command are significant. The 100km altitude line also provides a clear demarcation of responsibility for coordination with other AOR’s.

Importantly, it means that the new U.S. Space Command has the power on the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) — the body that gets to decide what are valid requirements to spend taxpayer dollars on — to specify what other services may need to acquire to support the space AOR. If, for example, the Air Force needed to purchase airborne lasers, or the Army or Navy to purchase anti-satellite lasers or missiles to defend against the threat of a space blockade.

It also gives them the ability to lay out supporting actions, such as might be required within a terrestrial AOR to use Navy, Army, Air Force or special forces direct action to suppress adversary space forces in a conflict. The clarity of being a geographic combatant command makes such a supported/supporting relationship easier.

Such capabilities are important to secure the interests of American spacepower because, for the next couple decades, the balance of space denial capabilities will reside in the Army, Navy, Air Force, special forces and clandestine services — and the terrestrial combatant commands in which those forces reside and are controlled. For the U.S. Space Command to secure its own AOR, it will need to request and be supported by those terrestrial services. In fact, we should count on the reality that for any serious conflict, U.S. Space Command will be the “supported command” for the first phase of conflict where both powers either are signaling their seriousness or are attempting to render the other deaf an blind in the first minutes and hours.

Because a possible great power conflict would certainly begin in space — and more importantly preventing such a conflict will depend upon creating a credible deterrent posture — we don’t want to disadvantage ourselves by putting U.S. Space Command in a subordinate status where it does not have adequate bureaucratic power within the Pentagon to push for weapons systems and counter-space support. We must demand the next UCP sets up the U.S. Space Command as a geographic combatant command. A max-effort counter-space flight would certainly be transregional, multi-functional, and multi-domain, requiring coordination among many actors. But while some question the relevance of geographic combatant commands, what they enable is continuity and focus of operational expertise in a specific geographic AOR. That focus ensures indications and warning and enables a deterrent or winning posture.

Merely making U.S. Space Command a geographic command without extending the full breadth of Cis-Lunar space would be to leave the majority of a potential campaign area out of the commander’s imagination. A failure to prepare or surveil the flank could be disastrous. A failure to consider the long-term potential of coercion of our celestial lines of commerce could likewise prove costly. As a result, we must demand that the next UCP specifies a Cis-Lunar AOR.

Peter Garretson is an independent strategy consultant who focuses on space and defense, and a senior fellow in Defense Studies with the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC). He was previously the director of Air University’s Space Horizons Task Force, America’s think tank for space, and was deputy director of America’s premier space strategy program, the Schriever Scholars. All views are his own.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-se ... o-the-moon

williatw
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

How the latest X-37B mission may change the world

By Mark Whittington, opinion contributor — 05/17/20 05:00 PM EDT

The X-37B, the secretive uncrewed reusable space plane, has lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft is loaded with a variety of experiments, some from NASA, some from the United States Space Force. One experiment, testing the microwave transmission of solar energy captured from space, has the potential to change the world.

The idea of collecting solar energy in space and transmitting it to Earth was first described by Peter Glasser in 1968. Glasser subsequently acquired a patent in 1973. During the Carter administration, when an energy crisis rocked the world during the Iranian Revolution, NASA and the Energy Department conducted feasibility studies of the concept.

Around the time that Glasser received his patent, a Princeton physics professor named Gerard K. O’Neill began to develop ideas for free-flying space colonies in an article in Physics Today, the idea being that we don’t need to live on another world, such as the Moon or Mars. We can build our own worlds, using materials mined from the moon and asteroids. The concept was popularized in the science fiction TV series “Babylon 5.”

A year later, O’Neill proposed that these space colonies be paid for by having the colonies build massive space-based solar collectors. These solar power satellites, also built with lunar and asteroid materials, would provide a way to wean the Earth from fossil fuels. It had resonance in the 1970s with its various oil shocks due to Middle East turmoil. Unlike the Apollo program, building space colonies and solar power satellites would have a direct economic benefit. O’Neill popularized his concept in a book entitled “High Frontier.”

Space-based solar power, except for a handful of experiments, remained a concept throughout the rest of the 20th century and for the first two decades of the 21st. The initial cost of setting up a solar power satellite system that would provide much of the energy needs of the Earth would be astronomical, no pun intended. Also, the oil shocks of the 1970s faded away. Indeed, the fracking boom uncovered enough sources of fossil fuels to last for the foreseeable future.

Two developments may revive the idea of a solar power satellite system. The first is increasing fears of climate change caused by greenhouse gasses emitted by the use of oil, coal and gas. The second is the rise of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com and Blue Origin, a space launch company. Bezos is on track, according to one study, to becoming the first trillionaire on the planet.

More importantly, Bezos was a student at Princeton when O’Neill first proposed his plan for space colonies paid for by space-based solar power. He has taken that concept to heart and now means to implement it, perhaps on his own. Many people hate the idea that Bezos has so much money and hate Bezos personally. But his great wealth and drive may be what are needed to change the world.

The goals of the X-37B solar power experiment are much more modest than upending the planet’s energy economy. The military is interested in beamed solar power for two applications.

Drones that operate on beamed solar power could, in theory at least, fly indefinitely. The technology could also provide power to other spacecraft, satellites, or even rovers on the moon, say in the permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles, where water ice resides.

Beamed solar power could provide electricity to remote research or military outposts. A fire base in the hills of Afghanistan must be sustained by regular shipments of diesel fuel brought in at great expense and danger from enemy interdiction. Solar energy beamed in from space could be a sensible alternative if the technology can be developed.

Could the Glasser/O’Neill dream of giant solar power satellites beaming power to Earth ever be realized as a result of the X-37B experiment? Peter Garretson, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and current Senior Fellow for Defense Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council, thinks so. In such an event, the world would change in ways that cannot be easily imagined.

On the other hand, the Space Force, whose mandate in part is to defend America’s communications and GPS satellites from enemy attack, will have its hands full preserving giant solar arrays from destruction in case of armed conflict. But every technological advance comes with problems that must be dealt with.
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/ ... -the-world

williatw
Posts: 1894
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

“Confirmed” –The Presence of an Earth Around the Nearest Star

Posted on May 28, 2020 in Science

The existence of a planet the size of Earth around the closest star in the solar system, Proxima Centauri, has been confirmed by an international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The results, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, reveal that the planet in question, Proxima b, has a mass of 1.17 Earth masses and is located in the habitable zone of its star, which it orbits in 11.2 days.

ESPRESSO, the successor to HARPS, one of most productive and precise planet hunters, “has made it possible to measure the mass of the planet with a precision of over one-tenth of the mass of Earth. It’s completely unheard of,” says Michel Mayor, mission architect. Mayor is winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2019 “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos.”

In October 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system, an exoplanet, orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy, the Milky Way — planet 51 Pegasi b, a gaseous ball comparable with the solar system’s biggest gas giant, Jupiter. This discovery started a revolution in astronomy and over 4,000 exoplanets have since been found in the Milky Way.

The existence of a planet the size of Earth around the closest star in the solar system, Proxima Centauri, has been confirmed by an international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The results, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, reveal that the planet in question, Proxima b, has a mass of 1.17 Earth masses and is located in the habitable zone of its star, which it orbits in 11.2 days.

This breakthrough was possible thanks to radial velocity measurements of unprecedented precision using ESPRESSO, the Swiss-manufactured spectrograph, the most accurate currently in operation, which is installed on the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Proxima b was first detected four years ago by means of an older spectrograph, HARPS, also developed by the Geneva-based team, which measured a low disturbance in the star’s speed, suggesting the presence of a companion.

The ESPRESSO spectrograph has performed radial velocity measurements on the star Proxima Centauri, which is only 4.2 light-years from the sun, with an accuracy of 30 centimetres a second (cm/s), about three times more precision than that obtained with HARPS, the same type of instrument but from the previous generation.

Alejandro Suarez Mascareño, the article’s main author, says, “Confirming the existence of Proxima b was an important task, and it’s one of the most interesting planets known in the solar neighbourhood.”

The measurements performed by ESPRESSO have clarified that the minimum mass of Proxima b is 1.17 earth masses (the previous estimate was 1.3) and that it orbits around its star in only 11.2 days.

And what about life in all this?

Although Proxima b is about 20 times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it receives comparable energy, so that its surface temperature could mean that water (if there is any) is in liquid form in places and might, therefore, harbor life.

Having said that, although Proxima b is an ideal candidate for biomarker research, there is still a long way to go before we can suggest that life has been able to develop on its surface. In fact, the Proxima star is an active red dwarf that bombards its planet with X rays, receiving about 400 times more than the Earth.

“Is there an atmosphere that protects the planet from these deadly rays?” says Christophe Lovis, a researcher in UNIGE’s Astronomy Department and responsible for ESPRESSO’s scientific performance and data processing. “And if this atmosphere exists, does it contain the chemical elements that promote the development of life (oxygen, for example)? How long have these favourable conditions existed? We’re going to tackle all these questions, especially with the help of future instruments like the RISTRETTO spectrometer, which we’re going to build specially to detect the light emitted by Proxima b, and HIRES, which will be installed on the future ELT 39 m giant telescope that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is building in Chile.”

Surprise: is there a second planet?

In the meantime, the precision of the measurements made by ESPRESSO could result in another surprise. The team has found evidence of a second signal in the data, without being able to establish the definitive cause behind it. “If the signal was planetary in origin, this potential other planet accompanying Proxima b would have a mass less than one third of the mass of the Earth. It would then be the smallest planet ever measured using the radial velocity method,” says Professor Pepe.

It should be noted that ESPRESSO, which became operational in 2017, is in its infancy and these initial results are already opening up undreamt of opportunities. The road has been travelled at breakneck pace since the first extrasolar planet was discovered by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, both from UNIGE’s Astronomy Department. In 1995, the 51Peg b gas giant planet was detected using the ELODIE spectrograph with an accuracy of 10 meters per second (m/s). Today ESPRESSO, with its 30 cm/s (and soon 10 after the latest adjustments) will perhaps make it possible to explore worlds that remind us of the Earth.

https://dailygalaxy.com/2020/05/confirm ... rest-star/

williatw
Posts: 1894
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
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### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Teegarden B is even more attractive:
Published on Dec 28, 2019

112 trillion kilometers away, there is a red dwarf star, Teegarden's star. Teegarden's star is 12 times lighter than Sun and has a diameter of 176,000 kilometers. When Astronomers were studying this star they discovered a new planet, Teegarden B. This planet orbits in the habitable zone and has very similar radius and mass to Earth.

According to the astronomers, it is the most likely to be habitable. Surface temperature of Teegarden B is 28°C and likely has Oceans of water on surface. Teegarden's Star is currently inactive and quiet which means Teegarden B can easily harbor life.
Unlike Proxima Centauri Teegarden star is an unusually quiet (flare and radiation emission wise) red dwarf; also at about 12 light years away isn't that much further afield then proxima. Star is so dim that it wasn't discovered until 2003.

williatw
Posts: 1894
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

### Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

williatw wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:13 am
In fact, a recent NASA report said a team of scientists directly observed “definitive evidence of water ice” on the lunar surface of the polar regions. The space agency said the deposits are “patchily distributed”—most of the ice at the southern pole is concentrated in craters while ice at the northern pole is more widely, but sparsely spread.

Sounds like the lunar South Pole is shaping up to be the most valuable off-planet piece of real estate on the Moon (perhaps the Solar system)...hope that's where we setup our base.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organ ... nts-again/
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6247&p=131534&hilit ... es#p131534

NASA's Bridenstine: We really are going to the lunar south pole

By Mark Whittington, opinion contributor — 09/27/20 02:00 PM EDT

NASA has released its plan to return to the moon. In an accompanying live stream presentation, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine put to bed a story that the space agency was contemplating sending the first woman and the next man to land on the moon to one of the Apollo landing sites. The idea got a lot of negative reactions on social media. Bridenstine stated that the next moon landing will go to the lunar South Pole, full stop.

The plan did not have too many surprises. Artemis 1 will be an unpiloted jaunt around the moon taking place sometime in 2021. Artemis 2 will take the first crew around the moon in 2023. Then, in 2024, NASA will mount the first moon landing since 1972, something that will be a world historic event and more than a bit of good news for a planet that has had a dearth of such in recent years.

The plan has a price tag for the great endeavor. NASA plans to spend just shy of \$28 billion through FY2025. The biggest line item for Phase 1 of Project Artemis is just over \$16 billion for the initial human landing system. The money includes \$3.2 billion in the fiscal year starting in October. That figure is the sticking point as to whether Americans return to the moon in 2024, sometime later, or at all.

The House has passed a spending bill that only gives NASA \$600 million to develop a human-rated lunar lander. Bridenstine has stated that the space agency needs the full \$3.2 billion to keep Artemis on track to effect a moon landing by 2024.

During a hearing in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which appropriates funds to NASA, the senators in attendance seemed to be more enthusiastic about landing astronauts on the moon by 2024, though without committing to any specific funding for the lunar landers. Bridenstine was the sole witness. He explained that the earlier deadline not only lowered the overall cost of returning to the moon but also lessened the chance that Artemis would be cancelled as the two previous attempts to return to the moon had been.

Bridenstine also noted that the selection of one of the three companies proposing lunar landers would take place in February 2021. One of the criteria for selection would be how much of their own money the companies would invest in developing their particular landers.

Space journalist Alan Boyle noted that during the online streaming presentation, Bridenstine suggested that the competing companies might be asked to pay more if the full \$3.2 billion for human lunar landers was not forthcoming. SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos
have deep enough pockets to carry more of the cost of developing lunar landers in time for the 2024 deadline.

Why would SpaceX and Blue Origin, not to mention the third team run by Dynetics, fork over more funding if Congress is not as generous as it should be? NASA could point out that contracts for servicing what it is calling a “lunar base camp” would be profitable in the long run. The profit would be especially large if international partners and commercial companies expand the base camp from the single habitation module that NASA is planning.

However, neither Bezos nor Musk got as rich as they are by not making the best deal they possibly could, even with big-pocketed government agencies such as NASA. If Congress is not as generous as it should be, the space agency might be obliged to offer a sweetener. For what that added incentive could be, we should look back at history.

In the 1860s, the United States provided a variety of incentives for private companies to build the transcontinental railroad. One of those consisted of land grants along the route which the companies promptly sold to settlers they transported on their trains.

Land grants on the moon are not possible because of the Outer Space Treaty, but according to American law, mineral rights might well be. The right to mine and sell lunar ice may be sufficient for private companies to build what is in effect, a transcontinental railroad to the moon. The incentive will have to have international buy-in as part of the Artemis Accords.

The idea of mining rights as a commercial incentive to fund the return to the moon is something for both Congress and NASA to think about.

https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/ ... south-pole