Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why do you want to go to the Moon?

Just read the post by Space Age Publishing Company - Lunar Enterprise Daily, and noticed in the Highlights section that NASA has issued an (RFI) for Developing a Strategy for future Exploration of the Moon and beyond.



Synopsis - Apr 11, 2006

General Information
Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: NNT06DSFEMBL
Posted Date: Apr 11, 2006
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Apr 11, 2006
Original Response Date: May 12, 2006
Current Response Date: May 12, 2006
Classification Code: B -- Special studies and analysis - not R
and D

Contracting Office Address

NASA - Headquarters, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), 300 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20546-0001


NASA is initiating a long-term activity to develop a global space exploration strategy. A series of activities are planned in 2006 to gain a better understanding of the role that human and robotic exploration and development of a sustained human presence on the moon plays in supporting a broad exploration strategy that includes Mars and other destinations. As part of this process, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) is seeking through this Request For Information (RFI), ideas on activities that could be pursued on the moon as part of an integrated global exploration strategy. The goal is to collect a wide variety of ideas and perspectives for the lunar exploration component of the exploration strategy. Eventually a robust, worldwide strategy for exploration of the moon will be developed using information from many sources, including inputs provided through this solicitation.



This RFI is being used to obtain information for planning purposes only and the U.S. Government does not presently intend to award a contract at this time. As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the U.S. Government to form a binding contract. This RFI is subject to FAR 52.215-3.

Any information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be used by the U.S. Government on a non-attribution basis for development of a strategy for lunar exploration.

I don't know what to say.

Didn't any of you tell them already that you wanted to permanently occupy the Moon and develop the resources there?

.... Eventually a robust, worldwide strategy for exploration of the moon will be developed using information from many sources, including inputs provided through this solicitation.....


Oh well, you have a month to get your thoughts together and throw another wad of paper at them.

Someone point them to the "Romance to Reality: moon & Mars plans" web site by David S. F. Portree. I am sure there have been many ideas for doing things on the Moon. Just need to get there before there is a land grab.
- LRK -

And while they are looking over your missives, maybe the folks at the 8TH ILEWG conference will make some plans too. - LRK -

8th ILEWG International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon First Call for Papers

23-27 July 2006, Beijing, China

You are welcome to participate in the 8th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon which will be held in Beijing, China on 23-27 July 2006 and jointly sponsored by China National Space Administration (CNSA), the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) and European Space Agency (ESA). The local organizer is the Lunar Exploration Program Center (LEPC) of CNSA with the assistance of Center for Space Science and Applied Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CSSAR), Chinese Society for Astronautics and China Aerospace Engineering Consultation Center (CAECC).


Mr. Zhang Wei, Director General of Foreign Affairs Department of CNSA Mr. Hao Xifan, Vice Director General of LEPC Mr. Bernard H. Foing (ILEWG)


Best stop and let you look at some info on lava tubes and a reply from Jim Ickes below.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:


Welcome to the lava tube portion of the Virtual Cave. Lava tube caves are found throughout the world in places where fluid lava has flown over the surface. The largest and most vertically extensive lava tubes known are on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our idealized lava tube cross-section and feature are based on the tubes there, and most of the photos are from there. Lava tubes are found in the western U.S.A. (Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona), the Canary Islands, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kenya, and other volcanic hot spots. Most tubes form when fluid lava flows down the sides of volcanoes, the upper layer begins to cool, and the lava beneath continues to flow in tubular conduits beneath the surface. Due to the insulating effects of the hardened lava above, molten lava is able to travel considerable distance underground with very little cooling. In Hawaii, lava tubes have carried fluid lavas 50 or more miles from their source. Tubes may also form when lava follows trenches or gulleys on the surface, which then roof over as lava accumulates along the top edges.

Lava tubes contain many features similar to those in limestone cave, such as stalactites and stalagmites, helictites, and a sort of flowstone. Most of the features in the diagram were made when the cave was active and during the early cooling stage. Secondary minerals may be deposited in the tubes later, such as gypsum or calcite crystals, but these tend to be on a much smaller scale than you can find in limestone caves.

To take a tour of the wondrous world of lava tubes, choose from the list below. You can see all the features in context on our very cool Virtual Lava Tube Image Map (drawn by master lava tube cartographer Carlene Allred).

Note from Jim Ickes. - Thanks Jim - LRK -
I would agree that a lava tube could offer some valuable support and protection to the first lunar settlers. It would be an ideal place to set up your housing for several reasons. First and foremost, you would be better able to protect yourself from radiation and all of its nastiness as well as to protect yourself from the overall vacuum environment that you're facing.
You're underground, safe from the micrometeors that are constantly raining down on you, you have a place that is much more temperate than being on the surface and you might actually get pretty lucky in having space that is very large in volume without having to build anything on the surface. It sounds like a win-win to me.

I suppose that the biggest risks that you would have to face would be the lunar moonquakes and what they could do to your facilities in the lava tube.

Or ever worst case, what would you do if the lava tube suddenly became active again? That seems pretty remote given the lack of confirmed lunar volcanism in recent times. But I suppose that there could be a chance that you might find the one active lava tube and that would pretty much ruin your day.

The best case would be to find such a place at one of the lunar poles that would have immediate access to water ice. That way, you would be able to have the best of all situations. Water, oxygen, the potential to make rocket fuel with the hydrogen and still have the protection that the lava tube would offer. The only way to find all of this out is to go there and see what we find. As you've said before, the time is now!


Sinuous Rilles and Lava Tubes
Vallis Schroteri Lava tubes are caves on the moon, formed when molten rock flowed over the surface after a major meteor strike or a volcanic event early in Luna's history. They are geological interesting, but their greatest treasure lies in the promise of protection they offer for human lunar settlements.

Sinuous rilles appear to be lava tubes that formed on surface of the moon, and then collapsed. Some may be frozen lava channels that never formed into a tube. No intact lava tube has been found on the lunar surface, though many sinuous rilles appear to be partially collapsed lava tubes. Geological theory protects that we will find intact lava tubes beneath the lunar surface, perhaps as deep as a mile and perhaps as large as half a mile in diameter and hundreds of miles long.




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