Space Exploration Discussion Thread

There’s been a lot of talk about the Space Force in politics, but I’ve decided to start one in Outside the Beltway in the hopes that we can have a serious discussion about it.

I for one would like to see us colonizing the moon and other planets, and sending out research ships to other galaxies.

Then there’s the threat(?) - if that’s not too loaded a word - of a country like China annexing the moon for its own purposes, etc.

So how about a thread on the US Space Force AND all the other space exploration organizations around the world and what we can hope they’ll accomplish.

First off, here’s the official website for the US Space Force.

The Moon Treaty Outer Space Treaty currently prohibits China, the United States or anybody else from annexing the Moon.

(Note: I initially referred to the wrong Treaty, I mean Outer Space Treaty, not Moon Treaty.)

Even if somebody did, it would be impossible for any nation to block access to other nations. Any attempts to forcibly destroy competing mining and landing sites would only result in the retaliatory destruction of their own sites.

According to Wikipedia…no country has ratified the treaty.

The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies ,[3][4] better known as the Moon Treaty or Moon Agreement , is a multilateral treaty that turns jurisdiction of all celestial bodies (including the orbits around such bodies) over to the participant countries. Thus, all activities would conform to international law, including the United Nations Charter.

It has not been ratified by any state that engages in self-launched human spaceflight or has plans to do so (e.g. the United States, the larger part of the member states of the European Space Agency, Russia (former Soviet Union), People’s Republic of China and Japan) since its creation in 1979, and thus it has little to no relevancy in international law.[5] As of January 2019, 18 states are parties to the treaty.[1]

Perhaps because we’re not at a point yet where we can even put a working mining colony on the moon?

Once that occurs, the Treaty may perhaps be ratified in some form.

This could be an interesting topic to get started with - Space Law.

Just a note, I mean Outer Space Treaty in the previous post, not Moon Treaty. The United States and China are both members of the Outer Space Treaty.

I will reply further to your post in a bit.

To take the looong view, recent events have shown that humanity needs a second planet (or more) and it really doesn’t matter who starts colonizing in space. The species shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one planet.

I guess there’s only a handful of us here who care about space exploration?

I am actually interested. Unfortunately, I think this coronavirus thing is going to drown everything else out for the time being.

Yeah…bad time for it.

I’ll just share some space news day by day, until we’re ready to start a discussion.

Space News published this article today:

Space Force is trying to keep its plans moving during this time.

I don’t blame them.

The US Airforce is transferring 23 units to the Space Force.

Space Force getting some work from Wright Patterson

Colonizing the Moon and/or Mars would be an achievement by humanity surpassed only by the achievement of being able to breed in low gravity environments.

If we are able to breed in those environments, will Martians and Lunarians be able to bear the crushing gravity of their Mother Earth?

What if we get there and find out only afterwards that we can’t sustain ourselves there?

Can we talk about SpaceX here? They are doing truly exciting things.

Anything space related can be talked about here! Please do so!

If we plan properly, we’ll be able to sustain ourselves.

The technology to do that is implicit in the technology to even get there.

We have yet to discover the effects of a fetus developing in low gravity, much less a human growing up in it. If we can’t breed there, it’s just another outpost.

Space X is having problems with their launch vehicles.

No need to breed. Cloning of adults.

Isn’t this how prototyping is supposed to work?

Example. I designed a specialized camera mount. 3D printed it, attached it. Didn’t work. Redesigned, printed again, mount worked. So I went out and tried it. Broke within 10 minutes. Redesigned, printed tried again broke again (in a different spot). Redsigned, printed again – had another failure. Took 8 tries before I had a camera mount that worked as I needed it to without breaking at any point on the mount.

Only 1 part of it was “tested” by others that I copied into my design. The rest was trial an error.