NASA is back on track to colonize the moon, by destroying some grains of moon material brought back by Apollo 17.

in palnet •  5 months ago 

NASA is still studying material brought back from the Moon. A new analysis method is slicing up single grains of dust, and analyzing each atom contained inside.

Analyzing dust from Apollo 17, they have found that a colony on the moon, using local materials, is possible. This detail using minute volumes has never been possible before, and with the values of the moon material; this critical data has been out of reach.

Image from article:
Astronaut Moon Dust.jpg

Article on data gathered from Moon recovered dust material:

Accurate results have been limited, because they are destructive in nature, and the 'material pool' is finite. On the other side of the coin, knowing what material is actually there; can mean life and death!

In 1972, astronauts from the Apollo 17 mission brought home more than 200 pounds of lunar rocks and soil.

Now researchers from the University of Chicago are using just a tiny bit of the sample to answer big questions about the Moon's composition and the formation of precious resources like water and helium.

From a single grain of dust, the scientists analyzed the chemistry of the Moon’s soil.

The team's understanding of the lunar environment, published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science , will support the efforts of future astronauts as they prepare for longer-duration explorations to the Moon.

The distance to the moon makes it impossible to resupply from Earth. So if it can't be found locally (on the moon) it will be difficult to impossible to supply from here. So knowing exactly what is there is critical to any moon colony effort!

They have re-purposed a technology current being use for something else; to extract data, from a micro sized sample.

That technique, known as atom probe tomography (APT), is one most commonly used in the manufacturing and analysis of steel and nanowires.

The APT system combines a mass spectrometer and a microscope. Electric pulses remove ions from a sample surface, allowing the atoms to then be imaged and identified.

To study the tiny grain, Greer used a focused beam of charged atoms to carve a very sharp, very tiny tip — only a few hundred atoms wide — into its surface.

She pursued this tiny data collection method, to make a critical contribution to the NASA effort to colonize the moon!

In the tiny grain, Greer identified pure iron, water, and helium, which formed through the interactions of the lunar soil with the space environment. Such resources could help future astronauts sustain their activities on the Moon.

Greer also discovered evidence of space weathering, a change in the lunar materials due to the harsh, atmosphere-less environment.

“Because of something like this, we understand what the environment is like on the Moon. It goes way beyond what astronauts are able to tell us as they walk on the Moon," said Greer. "This little grain preserves millions of years of history."

Here is a video covering this test:

So the critical planning for a moon colony is able to proceed at NASA; due to a tiny piece of dust, and a test method that slices it up!

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When adjusted for inflation via the GDP deflator index the cumulative figure is closer to $1.17 trillion, an average of $19 billion per year over its entire history.

Before we figure out how to live in a place that if currently unlivable, perhaps taking care of the people who have no place to live should be done first. And not from a give people money perspective.

The return on every dollar spent with the space program was projdcted at $1.69. This is simply the business growth response.

I disagree with this $1.69, because they forgot to take into consideration the surge in technology from space flight. We are having this conversation on technology spurred by the race to space. I am posting this on a cell phone, another spin off.

Space flight is the Only government program that creates surplus, so money spent here does not remove money from circulation.

People should have gainful employment, and a solid space program can provide the funding for expanded jobs. Taking care of people in need, does not compete with space....


A government be it USA or Uganda that has one department with a 21 trillion dollar accounting error has zero credibility to do math for roi for NASA or a lemonade stand.

Being a constitutional purist, when private companies develop the moon, I will ok with the US government managing the post office and mail delivery on the moon.

Outside of those things specifically defined in the constitution, I would prefer the federal government to stay out.

I would happy with a federal government not conducting the Tuskegee Study, or brainwashing citizens into believing NASA gave them the microwave, and pissing off a trillion dollars.

Believing is the enemy of knowing.

This was back in the Apollo days, so the numbers are from when they still had accountants....

The materials are purchased here, not on the Moon. The orders are Jobs. I also like the private funding of space, because the government today is populated by Idiots.

I actually agree on Constitutional limits, but mail needs to be scanned and transmitted. No reason to lift the hard copy.

We agree on the Constitution limiting the Republic! I would like to see them out of the drug business as well. As long as people are fully responsible for damage while they are indisposed. This should include DWI too! I agree that they need to stop about 90% of what they do, across the board! Not their job, and they do NOT have the authority!

Microwave ovens came from Radar research. NASA money always results in a surge in technology, even better than the surge from War.

Believing in ignorance is a danger, believing based on knowledge is on solid footing.


Well I was gonna comment after I read the comments down below but that'll take a couple of days.

Sorry, I never meant for you too Learn anything, I know that just gives you a head ache....


Well it will be awhile before I know if I learned anything because the comments go on forever and they aren't one sentence like I like them. lol.

Sometimes a post has a lot to discuss....

Sorry for the length of replies, LOL! We have been discussing good stuff.


yeah right.

I will try to add pictures....


This can help a little but I would focus more on exploring the moon via drones first. Send robots to the moon and have them study the surface and then send some machines that can drill into the moon to see what is hiding inside of the moon as well. Now, I wonder who owns all of or different parts of the surface of the moon, the non-atmosphere and no air space around the moon, the mountains, the valleys, caves, the non-existent oceans, and especially the inside parts of the moon.

It is close enough, I would like to see manned survey backup. This allows repair on damaged drones, and return to service.

Also man can concentrate on the more promising sites. They need to find lava tubes for easy habitations.

It would also help develop the bots to use on Mars, kind of a practice run....


You don't think one robot can repair another robot similar to how robotic arms build cars?

We don't have that level of AI yet, too many variables. Besides men on the ground can clarify the value of specific sites. It will also allow them to do test extractions for breathing air, and fuel (hydrogen); as well as growing food, it will be a learning process at a much safer resupply distance.

We need to be bold on the Moon, to prepare for Mars; where we Can't make any mistakes at all!

But, Robots are a good start both places.


Have you not seen some of the things that Elon Musk has? Do you understand how assembling lines work with the robotic arms and how fast these machines work? Do you understand that the variables can be put included in the programming? Plus, do you really think that they're honest about what kind of top secret tech they have out there? Do you realize that many of the technology we see today is generally twenty years old or older in many cases and in so many ways? I'm trying to say that they have things they're not telling us about.

I have programmed and repaired assembly line robots. I gave modified the software on commercual A.I. production machines. They are impressive, but limited in their ability to handle new things.

I wrote a post abouf the loss of the Martian rover due to a dust storm. She lost power, due to the duration if the storm. When thd storm passed, she no longer knew where the Earth was, and no longer reports in. She went way passed mission, and did a lot more than designed, mission succsss for sure! If there were a manned presence there, she could be contacted locally, reprogrammed, and go back to work. Her data on weather alone, while unplanned, was worth many times the mission cost. A single repair outpost, could keep hundreds of units running....

I posted this, because in my consulting business, I get monthly publications from NASA called tech briefs. There are other trade magazines (COTS, DARPA, and military aviation) that come here too, sometimes more reading than I have time to read.

I love tech, and I believe in it's utility. Sadly, I have had to repair and modify too many systems to believe we are to the autonomous point. They did have 2 A I. Vehicles finish the DARPA race this year in the Baha (first time), one with decent time!

I built a test unit with a self calibrating A.I.; and the FDA had a fit! I had to add a manual calibration override, before they would allow it's use.

I love thd machinery, but the Moon presents a unique opportunity to develop machines for Mars, because if we screw up, in a couple of weeks ( instead of 7 tk 12 months) , we can send supplies. We can also extract fuel for a Mars mission directly from the Moon, with a much smaller gravity well.

Eventually, distributed computing in nodes, will allow broad data collection by tiny robots to a central up link facility. The Moon needs to be a development lab, as well as a colony; as fast as possible.

I will look up Elon Musk, always like new information, thanks!



They should make the machines stronger, more flexible. Too many things are too cheap and yet expensive. The good news is that there are different private companies in America in 2020 competing to take people to space. That means competition over a monopoly. I was hearing about that yesterday from an astronaut who was talking to Joe Rogan.


I understand that things break. But have you not seen the things that Elon Musk has? Space X is impressive. In a controlled environment, a robot should be able to repair itself or to at least be remote controlled from earth.

Remote Control

So, if it is unable to fix a problem, then as people watch on earth, they can then control the bots, the drones, on the moon, on Mars, in space, etc, like you would control a remote controlled car. But of course, there is the delay of some minute to some hours, however long it takes for the messages to travel from earth and to the moon.

Cutting Corners

So, you had to repair things. But sadly, I believe that people can do better than that. Those things are not good enough. It is possible that, at least in some cases, that they cut corners, take shortcuts, when building robots, machines, etc. Oh, what is COTS?


Oh, I don't like the FDA and I like that you installed a self-calibrating AI. Manual override can be ok but also dangerous. I would prefer that people don't try too hard to extract things from the molecules, the atoms, or however small they go, in order to collect what they need. I would have that as a backup plan and focus on the bigger things that the moon has to offer.

Lunar Solar Power

I would set up huge solar panels on the moon and do whatever it takes to make sure there was always more than enough power for drilling, for looking for caves, canals, holes, etcon the moon.

I love the competition for space lift ability. It is wise, and will force down costs. It is coming into range for private companies to build lift vehicles.

I did not recognize his name, but I have followed Space X. If I were single, I would likely go there and help them. Remote control is clunky from here to the Moon, and impossibly difficult on Mars.

IF Remote control was possible, we would Not need A.I. software. We need boots on the ground, to develop the resources on the Moon. Robots can data collect, but to develop a surface and harvest resources; we will need people.

Machines by definition wear and break. That does Not mean they are not useful, but they do not Heal themselves. Basic repairs might be possible after creative programming. It is so expensive to build and lift machines there, that reuse after repair, becomes very important.

Solar power is important for a Moon installation, and splitting water and storing the Hydrogen, while breathing the Oxygen with the solar power, will allow you to run fuel cell during the evening! Lava tubes, once sealed, will make a good living space, and subsurface is safer....

The Space X design has been optimized to land on, and colonize Mars. They will need the experience we can get on the Moon, before someone gets killed up there. That said, I would Love to go anyway! If we can pull fuel from the moon, we have a much smaller gravity well to fight, to fuel a Mars Mission.

There is Much to be gained, by using the moon, as a stepping stone to the stars!