Commercial Mining with a Lunar Elevator
By Charles F. Radley
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 | 6:00 pm to 7.45 pm
Midland Library | 805 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97233
The Earth's Moon is a treasure trove of mineral resources, such as precious metals, rare earth elements, Helium-3 and oxygen for propellants. However, the cost of landing on the Moon is currently very high. Using modern fibers we can build a lunar elevator which reduces the cost of lunar landing sixfold. Furthermore, it makes the cost of collecting material from the Moon and sending it to Earth essentially free. The lunar elevator will pay for itself after nineteen payload cycles. The lunar elevator represents a game changing technology which will open up the Moon to commercial mining.
Charles Radley is President of the Oregon L5 Society, and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. He has worked extensively in the space industry since 1981 as a product assurance and systems engineer. He is an adviser to Liftport Group. https://www.facebook.com/events/469248929861890
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A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional, potentially scene-stealing, future stars.
The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. These objects are clouds of cosmic dust that reflect light from a nearby star into space, creating a stunning light show like the one captured here. IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, a large region of gas and dust clouds that harbours numerous newborn and still-forming stars. The complex lies about 500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon.
IC 2631 is illuminated by the star HD 97300, one of the youngest — as well as most massive and brightest — stars in its neighbourhood. This region is full of star-making material, which is made evident by the presence of dark nebulae noticeable above and below IC 2631 in this picture. Dark nebulae are so dense with gas and dust that they prevent the passage of background starlight.
Reflection nebula, like the one spawned by HD 97300, merely scatter starlight back out into space. Starlight that is more energetic, such as the ultraviolet radiation pouring forth from very hot new stars, can ionise nearby gas, making it emit light of its own. These emission nebulae indicate the presence of hotter and more powerful stars, which in their maturity can be observed across thousands of light-years. HD 97300 is not so powerful, and its moment in the spotlight is destined not to last.
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