More about coming lunar activity

Here’s part II of Greg Autry‘s series on cislunar activity.

From the article: “Orbital real estate is extremely limited and – in the absence of any coordination or law preventing occupation of those desirable orbits – the rules of First Mover Advantage must apply.”

In particular, Earth-Moon Lagrange points 1 and 2 are going to be in high demand. NASA’s Lunar Gateway architecture will stake a not-so-subtle claim on L2.

I’ve already written the scenes in my next book that involve lunar landing. But, I have to say, the idea of a space elevator from L1 to near the Moon’s south pole is almost too good to ignore. I might have to revisit those scenes.

Cislunar activity is about to explode

Greg Autry is writing a series of articles for Forbes on the coming era of cislunar activity. Here’s the first.

From the article:
“Walking the floor of the International Astronautical Conference in Paris last fall, I couldn’t help but feel that the Moon will soon be a very busy and very international destination. 2019 saw a lunar landing attempt by a private Israeli team and Japan’s ispace tried it last month. Both nations promise to return to the Moon soon. Meanwhile, China’s governmental program has had a series of lunar successes including placing a lander and rover on far side of the Moon. There will be landers, rovers, hoppers, and human habitats scattered across the lunar surface by the end of the decade. This activity will require a lot of orbital infrastructure.”

Particularly interesting is the discussion of the Moon’s gravitational anomalies due to its uneven density. This makes most low lunar orbits (LLO) unstable.

Celestial movement

I’ve been meaning to write a short piece about something I noticed while watching the recent lunar eclipse, but I wanted to wait until the furor of eclipse pics died down.

Where I live, the eclipse was already under way when the Moon rose. I also have a small mountain between me and the eastern horizon, so there was a pretty big bite missing by the time I saw it. I pointed my little telescope at it, and the family took turns at the eyepiece. Every so often, I would tilt the telescope farther up to compensate for the Moon’s movement across the sky as we rotated beneath it.

Continue reading “Celestial movement”

Off the shelf to the Moon

This is a fascinating development. The head of NASA just opened the door for commercial launch of NASA lunar missions.
“If we tell you, and others, that we’re going to launch in June of 2020 around the Moon, I think we should launch around the Moon in June of 2020. And I think it can be done. We should consider, as an agency, all options to accomplish that objective.”

Water on the Moon

I want to quickly follow up that Moon vs Mars video with this. With the recent confirmation of water ice on the surface at the Moon’s poles, some interesting possibilities open up.

Here’s a fascinating study that explores the logistics and economics of water mining on the Moon. Once again: these things are going to happen sooner than we expect.

Continue reading “Water on the Moon”