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EMail Newsletter of The Moon SocietyNovember 2010
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In This Issue
Lunar Pioneers
Exploring the "Hidden Valleys" of both Moon and Mars
Reusing the ISS
Article Headline
A Lunar Greenhouse Prototype

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Lunar Pioneers
With the assistance of Dr. Dave Schrunk, Dr. Harris has just completed a sequel to his first novel, Launch Out. This fiction book entitled, Lunar Pioneers, examines living and working on the Moon in 2050.

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ISDC 2011
Moon and Mars

Exploring the "Hidden Valleys" of both Moon and Mars

The popular conception of both The Moon and Mars is of worlds that are nothing more than desolate dusty rubble piles. Yet scientists have known for decades that there must be extensive networks of spacious lava tubes on both worlds. These "Hidden Valleys" offer protection from the cosmic elements such as radiation and thermal extremes, for industrial parks, warehousing, agriculture, and settlements. On the Moon, these features were formed as part of the way great sheets of molten lava spread across many large basins to form the "Seas" or "maria," the familiar dark areas on the Moon's Nearside, with some on the Farside too. On Mars, we will find them in the flanks of the great shield volcanoes such as Olympus Mons and Pavonis Mons.

Surface clues are the many winding valleys, called sinuous rilles, such as Hadley Rille visited by the Apollo 15 mission, that are universally interpreted as collapsed lavatubes. Here and there, we expected to find places where an incoming meteorite of large enough mass, made a direct hit over a tube, and created a skylight pit. But until Japan's Kaguya orbiter mission, we did not have good enough image resolution. Now with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter getting into the act, the confirmed number of skylight pits on the Moon is up to 5, and counting. And on Mars, at least 7 have been found. In an effort to prod NASA to brainstorm a skylight probe mission, The Moon Society and Lunar Reclamation Society are working on an Engineering Concept Demonstration competition aimed at SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) and other student groups to come up with workable designs.


Download our PowerPoint presentation.
Reusing the International Space Station

ISS to the Moon

The current commitment of the ISS International Partners is to keep the International Space Station operational to 2020. What then?  Scuttling this $100B investment would be the ultimate in financial insanity.  If the station has been kept up, and routinely refreshed, it would make sense to keep it going. But lets say that by then, there were cheaper alternatives, such as new more spacious and much less expensive inflatable station complexes?

One suggestion a few people have been playing with is to slowly move a decommissioned ISS to a new location: Geosynchronous Orbit, 23,000 miles up? Or perhaps to the Earth-Moon L1 point to serve as a gateway to the Moon? Or should we take it apart and land all the usable modules on the Moon somewhere as a first moonbase? L1 might be the better option considering that these modules were all outfitted for operation in a weightless environment.

But there is more to ISS than the physical structure. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of ISS is its peaceful international collaboration of many spacefaring partners. ISS is the perfect example for a larger, more capable, more diversified international lunar science outpost than any one nation could deploy. The Moon Society is on record as promoting an "International Lunar Research Park" as an alternative to a NASA or to other individual national space agency outposts. Whether it is located at the south pole or in the Marius Hills or elsewhere, such a complex, open to industrial and commercial partners, could gradually morph into the first civilian industrial settlement on the Moon. Indeed, there could be more than one ILRP as no one location on the Moon has access to all the resources we need to tap. More on this concept...
Concepts for Lunar Roving Vehicles


Here you see two concepts for special lunar vehicles. Now if you invented/produced something similar for use on Earth, you might make some good money, as they should work great on various kinds of terrain right here in 1-G Land. 


The first is for a one-person lunar recreational vehicle of squirrel cage design, that should be impossible to flip. For use on Earth, a more conventional engine would do fine. It would work on the beach or on other types of vegetation-skimpy terrain that was fairly flat or had only low grade elevation changes. Eventually there might be annual races with such vehicles, on increasingly more challenging courses. More on this first concept...


The second is for a lunar exploration crew or tourist vehicle that could operate in fairly rugged and trackless terrain with almost no disturbance of the landscapes traversed. The inspiration, of course, is the Daddy Longlegs (Harvester) spider. A similar terrestrial vehicle could take tourists over rugged road-free terrain in various parts of the world, otherwise unreachable except on foot, and then with some difficulty.  There is a growing high-price market for exotic off-the-beaten-path  tourist experiences. These concepts are free for the taking, but we hope that you use "Moon" or "lunar" or "Mars" or "Martian" in the name of your production model, as the idea is to get across to the public that we could use similar vehicles on the Moon or Mars.  More on this second concept...

A Lunar Greenhouse Prototype

The Moon Society first learned of the pioneering work being done at the University of Arizona's Controlled Environment Agricultural Center (CEAC) in Tucson, AZ and of their Food Growth Chamber at the South Pole Amundsen-Scott station in early 2007. We invited Phil Sadler and Lane Paterson to present at ISDC 2007 in Dallas, and have been an enthusiastic supporter of this research program ever since. To our way of thinking, biological life support is not something to be tucked in a closet, but rather something that should pervade outpost complexes.

Greenhouse Video

Watch our Video on Lunar Greenhouse, produced by member and advisor, Chip Proser
Moon Society Publications and Free Downloads
Frontlines: President's monthly report: click on the image link below the Moon Society announcements list on our Homepage
Moon Miners Manifesto India Quarterly: MMM IndiaISDC 2011

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