Will Lunar Return Harm the Moon?

I have some thoughts at the Air and Space site about the possible environmental impact of lunar development.  Have a look and comment, if desired.

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6 Responses to Will Lunar Return Harm the Moon?

  1. J Fincannon says:

    Are there really people that worry about the Moon being disfigured by humans? The only case of this I have seen that seriously would mess up the Moon would be a Japanese company’s proposal.

    Apart from that, I suspect that the only disfigurement visible from Earth would be bright flashes of light reflecting off solar arrays from the lunar poles. Possibly, but doubtfully, brief plumes might be visible due to dust from landers or operations at the poles.

  2. Joe says:

    I may alone in this (even among space supporters), but I would not consider being able to look up at the moon and be able to tell extensive human activities are going on there to be “disfiguring” the moon.

    In fact being able to distinguish lighting in shaded areas would be both beautiful and reassuring (as is being able to see city lights in nighttime areas of earth from LEO).

  3. Gary Church says:

    Unless they start scraping up miles of surface to harvest Helium 3 I don’t see any way the Moon is going to be disfigured. And in my view the only fusion energy we can use is from the sun or a bomb. However, I am a big fan of David Criswell’s lunar solar power scheme.

    If completely powering Earth, everything, could be done by altering the lunar aesthetic, I am afraid I would have to go along with that. There is no free lunch and if electricity too cheap to meter (the old nuclear energy promise) can be had at the expense of a ring around the equator of the Moon, I would say it is worth the price.

    It is essentially the same deal with space solar energy as the power stations in GEO would likely be visible to the naked eye. For years I have read all the articles (they were always just advertisements for SpaceX) about colonizing Mars and I don’t understand how we came to this. In the late 70’s the path for colonization had been planned out almost to perfection by Gerard K. O’Neill.

    What happened? I know what happened actually…a certain bizarro entrepreneur.

  4. Michael Wright says:

    First demonstrate can go to the Moon then we can follow up with this discussion.

    Maybe if private firms like Moon Express fly some hardware we may see more action on this discussion. Not sure about govt agencies, there was the short lived Chinese lander.

    I’d love to see surface photos from rovers especially the Apollo landing sites. How has the solar winds affected the materials?

  5. jebowenag79 says:

    Someone will always question any new plan; that’s just human nature. I agree with J that the number opposing settlements, mining, etc. is very small.

  6. Robert Lucas says:

    The ‘Gateway’ at L1 would be the first step to landing with a refuelling depot. Although this would get us to the Moon it would need money to do that and if they’re still thinking asteroids or Mars then it maybe delayed again. It wouldn’t be a problem for years of us defiling the moon, however, they tend to end up taking everything don’t they and if they skim off the regolith then after a while this may end up showing somewhere. It would need thinking about long before such an event.

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