WHY Return to the Moon? - Page 4

Lunar environment platform for asteroids (discovery, tracking, rendezvous, mining, NEO/PHA countermeasures)
Many Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are known and new discoveries are made daily.  Jupiter's impact by fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy9 showed that had Earth been the target life here would have been extinguished.  JPL's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has done a wonderful job of cataloging NEOs and PHAs.

Yet with JPLs resources and countless astronomers on the hunt for asteroids in February 2013 we could have been in the throes of a total nuclear war by accident.  An asteroid roughly 30 meters in size entered the atmosphere and exploded over Chelybinsk Russia - per Wikipedia "The bulk of the object's energy was absorbed by the atmosphere, with a total kinetic energy before atmospheric impact estimated from infrasound and seismic measurements to be equivalent to the blast yield of 400-500 kilotons of TNT (about 1.4-1.8 PJ) range - 26 to 33 times as much energy as that release from the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima "

The asteroid went undetected on Earth due to the glare of the Sun.

The United Nations became involved with asteroids by the Office for Outer Space affairs and in 2014 established the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG).

After sifting through CNEOS I found three potentials that can create massive destruction should they impact the Earth:

          Designation         Date                  Size            Distance (LD is distance from Earth to the Moon)
          2005 MN4      April 13, 2019      310m-680m         .10 LD (this asterioid is also known as APOPHIS )
          2001 WNS     June 26, 2020      610m-1.4km        .65 LD
          1999 AN10    August 7, 2027     700m-1.6km      1.01 LD

Keep in mind that these distances are minimum distance projections.  An asteroids orbit varies by solar energy, planetary gravity influence, and colliding with other objects.  These are known objects and there are those yet to be discovered.

This merits the need for an observational platform off our planet.  I am suggesting the lunar environment for such a platform.  Not only could this platform discover and track previously undetected asteroids but be a possible operations point for protective countermeasures.  Such a platform could also be used to stage asteroid rendezvous and mining operations.

I posed questions years ago when the 2010 National Space Policy was about to be released.  Those questions and more were addressed by Target NEO: Open Global Community NEO Workshop Report published April 25, 2011.

Biologic and other waste disposal methodolgies

What? Why this topic? Needless to say disposal is a messy business.  In the past it's been carted back to Earth, sent for disposal in space or burned up entering the atmosphere.  Some testing has been recycling of the waste products for other uses (including drinking water), radiation and food production.  Simply put there is much to learn and I don't like the ideal of leaving a trail of waste behind our space adventures.

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