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Discovery of 50km cave raises hopes for human colonisation of moon



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 25th 17, 04:55 AM posted to sci.space.policy
William Elliot[_4_]
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Posts: 40
Default Discovery of 50km cave raises hopes for human colonisation ofmoon

On Tue, 24 Oct 2017, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:
"William Elliot" wrote in message


The chasm, 50km (31 miles) long and 100 metres wide,
appears to be structurally sound and its rocks may
contain ice or water deposits that could be turned
into fuel, according to data sent back by the
orbiter, nicknamed Kaguya after the moon princess in
a Japanese fairytale."


Rovers can't do spelunking. You'd have to send people.
Why? A rover could go in, take a look around and come
back to tell us what it saw.

And how do you navigate? Radio isn't going to work well, and
while an autonomous rover sounds like a good idea, they work
best when we already know the terrain.

Place a transmission station at the entrance.
That'll do until there's a bend.
So bring along a relay for each bend.
Otherwise, a cable connection would have to be laid as the rover
roves. Let's ask Comcast. :-)

It's funny you mention this. The first idea has been looked at
for cave rescue, but so far hasn't been done, at least
routinely. It may work better in lava tube because they tend to
be straighter and less mazy (but that's far from true too).
But there's no guarantee until we go.


Why not? More expensive than cables? On the other hand, for
twisting, winding, narrow caves, cables would be better, at
least for those portions.


Logistics. Caves tend to be windy. So the number of repeaters can
climb quickly. That said, research is still ongoing.

As for laying cable, actually that's what we do now for cave
rescues (where shortening communication times is paramount), but
it's not as straightforward as you might think.


What's happened? Tangle foot had to be rescued?


Cave rescues vary in nature. Get your hands on the American Cave
Accident report for an idea.


And woe be the rover that catches the cable on something or jams
the reel. (We've already had this issue with a tether deployment
in LEO).


That would be far as it would go.


Wow, that's great mission planning. "Well if it breaks, so what?"

Since the point is to explore the target, you really can't say, "Eh,
so what."


So possible, but like any engineering challenge, there are
questions and it's not quite as straightforward as you'd think.

Keep in mind too, you have to land the rover in the lava tube,
that's going to take some pin-point aiming too. We'll definitely
want to get a MUCH better map of the floor.


Why expect the impossible? Go over to the edge and jump in or
lower yourself with a cable into the cave. With luck, a walkin
opening would be found.


Wait a second... you just went from wanting to land a rover in the
cave entrance, to accepting people as part of the mission.
Guess you do see the value of people.


You is the rover. Mission control will have to drive the rover to the
cave opening, find or afix an anchor for the rover and jump on in.

Most likely because the roof has caved in, the floor will be
littered with chunks of rock. A rover is NOT going to easily
traverse those.


Even with a lift from above. So if you get stuck, at least you
made a landing and have in place look see.


So you see a pile of rock. Umm. Ok. But that's barely scratch the
surface (or below the surface as the case may be).

We want to find things out like how large it is, are there flat areas
large enough for us to place structures, is it airtight enough that in
parts perhaps we can even use the lava tube itself as an air pressure.


A rover on the surface could do lots to detect the extend of a cave.
No. You'll have to bring an intertube.

We're also interested in the geology. How exactly does the magma
flow in 1/6th G and zero atmosphere. My guess is noticeably
different from here on Earth.


To give you an example, a lava tube in Oregon I was in earlier
this summer had a width that was probably 200' wide and distance
from floor to ceiling varied from probably 25' to 100' because
of the piles of basalt that formed basically small hills inside
the lava tube. Even as an experienced caver, this was NOT easy
ground to traverse.


The heck with six wheel. Let's crawl like six legged insects.


Great, and our experience with these on foreign bodies is how much?

So you've again changed the engineering problems.


Only changled them though I bet there's already work being done for
legged walking, two or four. An advantage to three legged walking is
greater stability, less need for gryo-balancing.

I can NOT imagine an form of a Mars based rover making it more
than 100' beyond the entrance in this particular lava tube.


That's as big of a deal as hours on Venus or days on Titan.


Hardly. It barely tells you anything about the tube.


At a hundred feet you'd know the composition of whatever lava
remained.

In theory a lava tube should be relatively smooth on the
inside except for chunks that have fallen from the ceiling,
there's no guarantee what we know about lava tubes here on
Earth cleanly translates to how they'd form on the Moon, or
how this particular one would form.

So, you really want to have someone on site. And once you
do, you might as well just use them to explore the tube.

On their own without outside communication?

Sure, why not. We have cavers who routinely spend 3 days to
weeks underground. Granted, it's NOT a mode NASA is used to
operating in, but there's no guarantee NASA will be the ones
doing the exploration.


What do they do with all their poop, **** and crud?


Carry it all out.


This isn't an issue on the Moon since there is no biosphere you risk
contaminating.


In many caves they setup their base camps near a water supply so
they don't need to carry water IN, but they do need to carry their
used water out!


Wouldn't a moon base have use for such stuff?

Are all meals prepared and ready to eat?


Depends. For morale, fresh cooked is usually better.


Cooked in the cave or at the base camp and brough in?

Are they cabled to the outside of is it an isolation ward?


Depends, but generally there's NO outside contact. It's just not
feasible. So you need folks who are trained to operate on their own
and collect data and do the proper research.

It's certainly possible, just very different from the current NASA
model where Houston wants to watch you 24/7. But, this is going to
have to change if we want to get serious about exploration.

The logistics are more complicated, because you will have to
bring shelter and air and the like, but it's definitely doable.

Look at some of the work Bill Stone has done in Sistema Huautla.
Oh and he has experience working with NASA.
I'm pretty sure he'd be willing to go.


And trust me, there's no shortage of cavers here on Earth
that would be willing to check out a lunar lava tube.

I'm probably a bit too old to go, but you know, I've got
some time to spare if NASA is willing to provide
transportation.

How about lodging and supplies? Pack your own backpack?

Sure. I can be packed and ready to go any time!

With all of your needed supplies?

If NASA is providing the transportation, I'll find a way! ;-)


---
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  #22  
Old October 25th 17, 05:04 AM posted to sci.space.policy
William Elliot[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 40
Default Discovery of 50km cave raises hopes for human colonisation ofmoon

On Tue, 24 Oct 2017, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:

It's funny you mention this. The first idea has been looked at
for
cave rescue, but so far hasn't been done, at least routinely.
It
may work better in lava tube because they tend to be straighter
and
less mazy (but that's far from true too). But there's no
guarantee
until we go.

Why not? More expensive than cables? On the other hand, for
twisting, winding, narrow caves, cables would be better, at
least for those portions.


I'm speculating, but I would expect wireless relays to have a lot of
problems with multipath reception ('echoes' from all the rocks and
crap in the cave). Of course, physical wires have the problem that
something actually needs to pay them out and not have problems with
reels and snags.

Yeah, radio's really not my forte, but that's a concern.

But my understanding is with modern signal processing that can be
mitigated somewhat. Whether it's enough, I have no idea.

The more I think about this, the more interesting the problem is.

For example, here on Earth, some folks are starting to use drones in
caves. Lets you explore pits or domes w/o needing to do any rigging or
bolting.

But of course that's not really feasible on the Moon.

And of course any of our techniques for going up and down rope here on
Earth are going to be far more complex on the Moon. On the other hand,
you've got 1/6th the mass to move. Most likely you'd have to rely on
winches, but as a backup, I think you'd still want to do some version
of what's known as single rope (or knowing NASA, twin-rope) technique
hear on Earth.


Sling ropes and Prussic knots?

I think some version of what's known as a rope-walker would work
well. Bit more complex than some other systems, but doesn't rely on
bending at the waist as much. But still not sure it would be
possible to get on/off the rope in a full suit.


I'm definitely eager now to try to figure out if this is possible!


  #23  
Old October 25th 17, 02:13 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Greg \(Strider\) Moore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 593
Default Discovery of 50km cave raises hopes for human colonisation of moon

"William Elliot" wrote in message
x.com...

On Tue, 24 Oct 2017, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:

It's funny you mention this. The first idea has been looked at
for
cave rescue, but so far hasn't been done, at least routinely.
It
may work better in lava tube because they tend to be straighter
and
less mazy (but that's far from true too). But there's no
guarantee
until we go.

Why not? More expensive than cables? On the other hand, for
twisting, winding, narrow caves, cables would be better, at
least for those portions.


I'm speculating, but I would expect wireless relays to have a lot of
problems with multipath reception ('echoes' from all the rocks and
crap in the cave). Of course, physical wires have the problem that
something actually needs to pay them out and not have problems with
reels and snags.

Yeah, radio's really not my forte, but that's a concern.

But my understanding is with modern signal processing that can be
mitigated somewhat. Whether it's enough, I have no idea.

The more I think about this, the more interesting the problem is.

For example, here on Earth, some folks are starting to use drones in
caves. Lets you explore pits or domes w/o needing to do any rigging or
bolting.

But of course that's not really feasible on the Moon.

And of course any of our techniques for going up and down rope here on
Earth are going to be far more complex on the Moon. On the other hand,
you've got 1/6th the mass to move. Most likely you'd have to rely on
winches, but as a backup, I think you'd still want to do some version
of what's known as single rope (or knowing NASA, twin-rope) technique
hear on Earth.


Sling ropes and Prussic knots?


No, we're far beyond that in terms of equipment. I mean many of us still
know how to use Prussics, but I can't imagine using them with spacesuit
gloves on.

No, we're talking a fully mechanical system, probably a ropewalker because
spacesuits traditionally haven't done well with bending at the waist. (The
A7LB was a bit better in that regards). On the other hand, putting on the
knee cam might be impossible.

A frog or texas may be the way to go, even if far less efficient.

I think some version of what's known as a rope-walker would work
well. Bit more complex than some other systems, but doesn't rely on
bending at the waist as much. But still not sure it would be
possible to get on/off the rope in a full suit.


I'm definitely eager now to try to figure out if this is possible!


--
Greg D. Moore http://greenmountainsoftware.wordpress.com/
CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
IT Disaster Response -
https://www.amazon.com/Disaster-Resp...dp/1484221834/

 




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