Friday, April 16, 2010

You Do The Math - Colonizing the Moon

Some say it costs too much to colonize the Moon. Let's see...

Iraq and Afghanistan cost 1 trillion dollars combined over 8 years, about $125 billion / yr:

NASA's annual budget has increased twice under Obama, and is proposed to be $19 billion in 2011.

Anyone with a kid in college will get $4000 a year from Obama.

With 11.6 million kids in college under age 25 (a stat from 2007), that comes to $46.4 billion.

...assuming a US population of 310 million...
NASA's proposed budget of $19 billion is $61 per person.
The $46.4 billion college credit is $150 per person.
The $125 billion Iraq and Afghanistan wars comes to $403 per person.
The $787 billion Wall Street bailout cost $2539 per person.

Money isn't the issue. It's the fact we should strip mine and pollute the Moon, not the Earth, and also that going to Mars is cheaper if we colonize the Moon first. Also, China, Japan, Russia and the EU will take the Moon if we don't.

Obama's claim of "been there, done that" when discussing the Moon is like the ancient Greeks being so proud of their math and geometry. Well, they did nothing with that knowledge, and eventually the Romans used that knowledge to build something and conquer most of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, about 2 million square miles.

Why is Earth's land mostly Spanish and English speaking? Conquest!
The Spanish Empire was a good 6 million square miles.
England's empire as of 1900 was 13 million square miles.

Compare that to the 4 biggest countries in the world. Russia is about 6.6 million square miles, Canada about 3.85 million, the US about 3.8 million and China about 3.7 million.

The Moon's surface is about 14.7 million square miles, not much bigger than the British Empire was. It's doable.

Why not Mars?

Mars is just as dead as the Moon is, with no protection to speak of from solar radiation. It's basically a bigger version of the Moon. Mars has 57 million square miles on it's surface.

Plus, it takes 3 months to get to Mars, and you have to stay 18 months, then spend 3 months on the return trip. Basically, Mars comes around once every 25 months, so just a quick trip to Mars automatically requires that you actually use all the technologies you would need to colonize Mars or the Moon. It would be extremely foolish to try a thousand new bits of technology on a 25 month round trip to Mars instead of a 2 week round trip to the Moon.

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