The Lunar Anthropic Principle

New post over at Air & Space on what I am calling the “Lunar Anthropic Principle.”  Is humanity destined to live on the Moon?  Comment here, if desired.

This entry was posted in Lunar development, Lunar exploration, Philosophy of science, space policy. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Lunar Anthropic Principle

  1. Joe says:

    Never heard of the “The Anthropic Cosmological Principle” before and have never been much of an adherent of predestination, Still its an interesting concept and I always loved the Erhicke quote (always took is a more of an ironic comment on the old “if we were intended to fly we would have been born with wings” trope).

    So we will eventually find out what happens:

    (1) We will develop lunar resources, become a space faring species and have at least a chance at a great future.


    (2) We won’t and will go out like a bunch of monkeys sitting in a tree, picking flees from each others armpits.

    I am rooting for number one.

    • LocalFluff says:

      My conclusion from the anthropic principle, or rather just the casual observation of its factual occurrence, is that everything is just imagination. What we call an intelligent understanding of our world, is a very extreme and abstract summary of what is really going on. (And we won’t go to the Moon if we suffer from flees in our armpits).

      Some humans will go to the Moon. Others will sit and scratch each other. It has always been like this with human kind.

  2. Vladislaw says:

    Ehricke remarked in 1984 that, “If God wanted man to become a spacefaring species, He would have given man a Moon.”

    It reminds me .. why do you climb a mountain .. With the moon being there it does give a target to shoot for. With the addition of a new heavy lift tested yesterday the Nation enjoys a greater ability to start after the resources off world.

    • Joe says:

      “With the addition of a new heavy lift tested yesterday the Nation enjoys a greater ability to start after the resources off world.”

      Now that the required SpaceX infomercial has been logged, perhaps the rest of the discussion can focus on the subject brought up by the article.

  3. LocalFluff says:

    What about putting solar panels on tall masts in the low Lunar gravity, would that increase their Sun time significantly? Or is there a particular mountain range that shadow these peaks of almost eternal light? Would 100 meters (or whatever is feasible) tall masts change the Lunar Polar landscape much?

    • Paul Spudis says:

      Masts help a little bit, but not much — their effect is mostly to reduce the time in eclipse (but a few hours) at the quasi-permanent sunlit areas.

    • J Fincannon says:

      I had looked at this at one time using lunar polar radar digital elevation models from an Earth site. Even 1 km tall towers could not eliminate the shadow periods, which for the south pole come mainly from shadows cast by mountains near Malapert. Also, there is the issue of eclipses due to the Earth blocking the Sun.

      So, Dr. Spudis is right, the most mass effective solution (i.e. less heavy than towers or connecting different sites by cables) is likely fuel cell energy storage for these short periods. A battery energy storage could also work.

      • Andrew_W says:

        I would expect even a 1 km tall rotating tower in a wind free, 1/6th g environment to mass far less than the solar panels it could support.

  4. gbaikie says:

    I do tend to think the Moon is perfect- as if it was designed to help make humans spacefaring.
    If it was bigger mass it would be worst. If had an atmosphere it would a nuisance, Millions or billions of water is more than enough. A greater axis tilt, wouldn’t be good. Maybe it would be better if it was 1/2 the distance- faster orbital speed and shorter day. Though not sure of the effect s on Earth tides and the satellites in GEO would be.

    But I were to change things, I think Venus having a moon would be helpful. Venus is good location in your solar system in terms of getting places via planetary hohmann transfers, and a moon would easier to use as compared to the planet Venus. Though one get material needed from our Moon and build an interplanetary spaceport at Venus/Earth L-2 so providing shade and/or option of intense sunlight.
    Though since we keep on finding new moons [or what people want call quasi moons] of Earth, we might in future find such “quasi moons” of Venus.

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