Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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moon upcycle construction

plan to recycle ALL artificial objects already on moon
  [vote for,

the moon is a graveyard of mission vehicles and objects made on earth.

over 180,000 kilograms of dry mass sent by humans remains on the moon. probably half of it is disintigrated from impact but there is likely at least 50,000 salveageable kilograms of metal and other material sent by man to the moon. there may even be substantial weight of fuel and fuel tanks .

why not make a plan to identify ALL part and components and materials that can be salvaged and use them to start up the first moon base.

a mission to the moon COULD be planned in such a manner that it is designed to use these components to build an impressively sized moon colony for much cheaper than it woudl otherwise cost to mine moon materials and refine them with some as of yet non-existent moon refining technology, let alone the cost of launching that technology into space, let alone the cost of launching 50,000 or more kilograms of material to the moon.

teslaberry, May 04 2015

moon http://en.wikipedia...objects_on_the_Moon
[teslaberry, May 04 2015]


       Some of those sites might be declared off-limits due to historical significance. First man-made object to hit the moon (Ranger probe impactor, I think), first object to soft-land (Surveyor), first site of human landing (Apollo 11).   

       Most of the rest might be declared recycle-able, although some might also have appropriate historical significance --one of the Soviet probes had the 1st rover, for example.   

       A few things have scientific significance (laser reflectors, seismometers), and if they are still functional or mostly-functional, possibly ought to be left-alone/fixed-up.
Vernon, May 04 2015

       The moon is big. That material is scattered pretty well around it (yes, some concentration around the near side equator, but not much).   

       The lunar surface has a high percentage of aluminum, iron, silica (glass), and titanium. These would be the same materials recoverable from the space craft in place. It also has a high percentage of oxygen.   

       It's short on carbon, which isn't found in high quantities on the vehicles sent either. (Someone correct me if any of the more recent missions had an organic based fuel, anything older than a decade would have outgassed any remaining traces). There might be a few plastic parts, but probably not enough to justify the cost of landing the equipment needed to break those plastics down into fertilizer or chemical feedstocks.   

       Now consider the relative energy cost of landing a small solar refinery versus the cost of hopping around the lunar surface to collect the extant remnants.
MechE, May 04 2015

       I think we should bring all of that mass back to earth. Slow this place down a bit. The days move too fast anymore for me to keep up.
RayfordSteele, May 04 2015


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