Monday, February 10, 2014

Mining on the Moon

I thought this was a great article, and Very Pertinent to the Moon/Space fiction that I'm in the early planning stages of writing (hear that? I'm planning!) Mining the Moon: Plans Taking Off but Rules Lacking. The pertinent rule or "rules" here is from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, wherein the signers agreed that the moon belonged to no nation (I'm sure this is a drastic oversimplification, but there you go). This is also the treaty that bars nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction from orbit, or installation on bodies such as the moon or a space station.

Picture of the moon from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory web site

Poking around information regarding the Outer Space Treaty, I found the International Institute of Space Law, which I did not know existed, and has perhaps yet to become pertinent in a truly public arena. I know, yawn, law (especially space law) but you guys, we have space laws! We could be on the brink of being a spacefaring culture, here, and there is arguably an advantage to having laws keep up with things like that. It's one thing to refer to space as a "frontier" and a new "Wild West", but space is Goddamn dangerous. It is unforgiving. Mistakes have such a high potential to be fatal. One of the problems I had with the movie Event Horizon  (Event Horizon (1997) [Blu-ray] )was that Lawrence Fishbourne's crack team there is a "rescue crew". Well, kids, stuff in space is big and very far apart. Events happen quickly, travel does not. Anybody who needs rescue in space is probably going to be dead by the time the team arrives.

But yeah. There are organizations in which people get together and discuss, professionally, the minutia of putting people in space. The sustainability and feasibility of actions and operations in space. And this isn't science fiction, these are actual scientists. The fact that I'm excited by this makes me a super nerd, I'm sure. I will probably never set foot in space, never even experience something like a suborbital flight, nothing like that (which reminds me, I should read Packing for Mars again). But there are people making it happen and working towards it, and I love hearing about it. I'm moving towards writing about it as well, but slowly. I don't want to jump into something with both feet, only to have to change a bunch of incorrect or wildly implausible things later.


  1. You're a braver writer than I am. I would never tackle a subject like that. I like reading your occasional discussions of what you're finding though.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my rambling expositions on seemingly random topics. They all have their own links, to me anyway!

      I think you underestimate your own bravery, though. I'm speculating on the future, of which nobody is sure; you're speculating on the past, on which many people have opinions ;)