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Even though many still find it improbable, the Swedes are the latest group that plan to colonise the moon

Dr. Niklas Järvstråt had a plan over a decade ago to put a colony on the moon.  Järvstråt and the Swedish SMART-Centre, with the help of 50 partners, are ready to try and move one step closer to realistically begin trying to colonise the moon.  Although the colony would be self-sustaining, a symbiotic relationship will obviously need to be arranged with groups on Earth.  Research will continue in the second quarter of 2006, with a self-sufficient manufacturing process facility being developed within the next five years. 

"The principle is simple, but not traditional. It is logical, sustainable and very much within our reach, both materially and financially. Why treat a space project as a disposable unit, when it is possible to build a base, which can thrive, expand, and enhance man's benevolent presence in space?"  

Although this still currently sounds too much like something out of the Twilight Zone, only time will tell if lunar colonies are in our future.


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This does not sound right....
By Googer on 3/16/2006 4:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
I just have a fishy feeling about this. It reminds me of the BioSphere attempt in the Arizona Desert 15+ years ago. All the in habitants had to abanon it because it was not able to sustain life autonomously. The whole project was a bust. And I suspect that anyone who attempts the same on the moon will meet a dire fate. You may go to the moon to live in an enviroment where there is no life, but don't expect to live there for very long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2




RE: This does not sound right....
By johnsonx on 3/16/2006 5:17:18 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but according to the article you linked, the failure of the expirement was due to microbes in the ground where the Biosphere was built; on the moon there'd be no such microbes consuming the oxygen.
Now I'm not suggesting that therefore the Swedish plan to colonize the moon is a nifty idea guaranteed to succeed, but I don't think it's reasonable to presume failure of such a plan just because BioSphere 2 failed in some (many?) ways.


RE: This does not sound right....
By rudy on 3/16/2006 8:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
There will be microbes you are not going to be able to decontaminate every single thing you take so you are going to take microbes with you mainly cause you cant stick humans in an autoclave, and thats even more dangerous cause in the initial time they are populating whatever you have they could be very unbalenced and create worse problems.

This is a far off project anyway, they need like 20+ years of pulling it off on earth before they can even think about trying it on the moon or mars. Nasa pours millions into microbial ecology research for this and other reasons. You cant get rid of them so you need to figure out how to deal with them.


By masher2 (blog) on 3/17/2006 9:26:49 AM , Rating: 2
> "There will be microbes you are not going to be able to decontaminate every single thing you take..."

Try to understand this. Yes we will take microbes into space, but we won't take a few million tons of soil for them to breed in. A few random aerobic microbes clinging to a wall here and there are not going to consume massive amounts of oxygen.

> "This is a far off project anyway, they need like 20+ years of pulling it off on earth..."

We've already had more than 20 years experience in "pulling it off". We've managed to keep people alive on space stations since the 1970s.


RE: This does not sound right....
By Egglick on 3/16/2006 7:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting link on that BioSphere experiment. You'd think people would be running more tests in places like that before coming up with these grandiose plans. Afterall, if they can't get a working BioSphere on Earth, then how are they going to do it under much worse conditions, such as on Mars or the Moon??

If the facility still exists, they should keep running tests until they get it right. THEN they can start talking about colonizing space.


RE: This does not sound right....
By ShadowD on 3/16/2006 8:12:28 AM , Rating: 2
There have been numerous attempts at self-sustaining closed systems, and most have succeded, albiet with minor failures. I remember watching a documentry on one which had the inhabitants almost starve because of some of their food rotting.


RE: This does not sound right....
By masher2 (blog) on 3/16/2006 9:05:46 AM , Rating: 3
> "You'd think people would be running more tests in places like that before coming up with these grandiose plans"

What 'tests' do you suggest they run? We've kept men alive for months at a time on Mir. They could have easily been kept up there for far longer.

The only challenges the moon presents over near-earth orbit is some insulation issues and a little more in the way of shipping logistics. On the other hand, you have a weak gravity (eliminating long-term zero-G effects) as well as the potential to utilize raw materials on the surface.


RE: This does not sound right....
By oTAL on 3/16/2006 5:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point of the colony.... autonomy!
The ISS lacks autonomy. There's a reliance on earth for necessities. Since US flights were grounded the project came close to end....... remmeber? and that is with the russians maintaining their flights....


Why do we want to go?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 3/16/2006 8:22:48 AM , Rating: 1
I know there have been arguments for building telescopes and what not on the moon, and also using it as a springboard to Mars. Seriously, who is going to want to spend the money on this? I'm not saying we shouldn't but as long as we're slaves to paper that will slow down any progress and ultimately that will be the deciding factor.

There might be a chance if we can talk Republicans into turning the moon into a kind of "Death Star" using those "lasers" as they were. All kidding aside does anyone know of any tangible benefits of spending billions to build on the moon?

Flame away on this, I'm not really backing this up with much. It's very close to being a rant.




RE: Why do we want to go?
By masher2 (blog) on 3/16/2006 9:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
> "All kidding aside does anyone know of any tangible benefits of spending billions to build on the moon?"

Long term, the moon is actually a far more practical spot to build upon than Mars or many areas of Earth. You have near-unlimited solar power, undiluted by atmosphere, low gravity (which eases construction of large structures), unlimited free vacuum (priceless for many manufacturing proceses), and vast amounts of many resources.

In a century, I expect there to be a large degree of heavy manufacturing on the moon. Given the advantages there, and ever-tightening environmental regulations here on earth, the only thing keeping it from being cost-effective today is a cheap heavy-lift vehicle.


RE: Why do we want to go?
By Torched on 3/16/2006 2:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/helium3_0006...

Helium-3 is the reason for moon exploration. I'm suprized no one has mentioned it yet. Forget solar panels for power... imagine clean nuclear fuel with no radioactive byproduct.


RE: Why do we want to go?
By masher2 (blog) on 3/16/2006 3:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "imagine clean nuclear fuel with no radioactive byproduct"

Mm, nice to imagine, but forgetting the fact its harder to fuse than the standard D+T mix we've been trying to make economic for decades, it still makes radioactive byproducts. He3 fusion has a extremely lower neutron flux, which means far less netron activation of radionuclides. You still have some radioactive byproduct, however.


RE: Why do we want to go?
By Torched on 3/16/2006 3:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
But not much, compare at 1% of D+T mix. If the Sweedish have somehow worked out the economics of it, it would give them a damn good reason to want a moon colony. The only other econonomical reason for colonizing mars is to mine and export silicon, iron, aluminum, etc which are already in abundance here on earth.


RE: Why do we want to go?
By masher2 (blog) on 3/16/2006 4:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "But not much, compare at 1% of D+T mix"

But not zero. And a bit of a moot point since we can't even get D+T fusion economic yet...and D+He3 is much more difficult.


> "The only other econonomical reason for colonizing mars is to mine and export silicon, iron, aluminum, etc which are already in abundance here on earth.


You miss the point. The moon has low gravity, free unlimited access to lab-grade vacuum, very low temperatures, and much higher average solar flux. That makes many manufacturing processes much cheaper and simpler.

Your point about the "same resources" being here on Earth is off base. There is trillions of tons of gold in the oceans....but its not practical to refine it. We mine ore in veins, where nature has made it economic to recover those resources. On the moon, there are a vast amount of resources that, once we have a self-sustaining presence there, will be vastly cheaper to exploit.

Environmental regulations alone are shutting much of the mining and heavy industry in the US and much of Europe. On the moon, pollution isn't a problem....toxic fumes? Just vent them directly to space. Nuclear waste? drop it in a crater somewhere...there is no geologic activity to move it, nor any air or water for it to contaminate.

I would expect that the moon and near-earth orbit will eventually hold the majority of heavy manufacturing. Mars? Not a chance.


Did someone mention "Death Star"?
By Hulk on 3/16/2006 5:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
Now that is a good idea. I would definitly be willing to take a tax increase in order to build a giant "laser" on the moon.


Volunteers for breeding?
By shuttleboi on 3/16/2006 3:06:12 AM , Rating: 5
Do they need volunteers to breed with the Swedish women on the moon?




RE: Volunteers for breeding?
By Jynx980 on 3/16/2006 3:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure I've seen that movie.


By drunkenmastermind on 3/16/2006 9:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to volunteer.


There will always be naysayers
By zsdersw on 3/16/2006 9:20:16 AM , Rating: 2
Any project or undertaking worth doing will have a vocal legion of critics and naysayers. The course of history shows, however, how often those critics and naysayers are wrong.

There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but what *is* wrong, though, is killing an idea that has excellent future potential with criticism rooted in present limitations and obstacles.




RE: There will always be naysayers
By NotquiteanooB on 3/16/2006 11:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think the operative word in the title means the Swedes are going to put 'space' up their butts ! Colonise ...
Colonize means to add colonies.


By AnaxagorasZeres on 3/16/2006 12:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Colonise means the same thing. It's the original English way of spelling it. Like how I spell color without a 'u.'


Sweden? In Space?
By Chernobyl68 on 3/16/2006 12:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
Don't they have to like, I don't know, build rockets first?




RE: Sweden? In Space?
By masher2 (blog) on 3/16/2006 12:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
They can go the same route they used for SMART-1 (currently orbiting the moon). With third-party launch facilities.


Building rockets
By Swedes in space on 3/19/2006 2:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Building rockets
By Clauzii on 4/1/2006 10:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hey - Nice!! I didn´t know that - amazing!!


Swedish plan to conquer moon?
By kontorotsui on 3/16/2006 3:17:55 AM , Rating: 3
Borg? They must be Swedish ;)




Ha
By DigitalFreak on 3/16/2006 8:36:09 AM , Rating: 1
Ooom bork bork, ooom bork bork.




RE: Ha
By NotFlatusTDM on 3/16/2006 9:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hdrinda huure chicky chicky


Wonder if...
By jskirwin on 3/16/2006 12:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ikea will furnish the colony. Their furniture already looks kind of Space1999-ish.




Aliens
By AnotherGuy on 3/16/2006 6:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
I Dont like this...

...n then 1 day Aliens found the way inside 1 of the space ships and reached Earth.




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