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Zee2A OP t1_j2edbys wrote

Solar power can offer a superior alternative to nuclear fission for generating oxygen on the moon .This would require "six times less mass to produce the same amount of energy" as the best nuclear option, says the professor:

Study Published in March 2022: 'Uninterrupted photovoltaic power for lunar colonization without the need for storage' :


mrod9191 t1_j2eeprp wrote

How are the solar panels producing more power if the lunar night is 14 days long? Does that mean during the lunar day the solar panels are producing more than double the power than the nuclear reactor?


KillCreatures t1_j2egky4 wrote

A brutal repressive regime such as Israel’s should not be allowed space on or access to the Moon.


LowBarometer t1_j2eiv8x wrote

Israel is too busy f*cking the Palestinians to do anything notable.


ninehundreddolarydos t1_j2ekexw wrote

I'm guessing over-estimates on the lunar nuclear solution, best case estimates for solar panel mass, and sidestepping the problem of volume for that many solar panels. Oh and don't forget to pack 10km (!) of transmission line.


gerkletoss t1_j2el583 wrote

Yeah but no way in hell is it six times less mass when you factor in all the equipment required to actually install the panels in a >300 km circumference ring and wire them up to a polar base. Then there's the usefulness of the reactor's waste heat for melting ice.

And good lucking servicing this distributed network of solar panels.


lazyProgrammerDude t1_j2ephmp wrote

I'm wondering how would they maintain such a large ring of panels and also protect them from space debris that we already have.


gerkletoss t1_j2epuhd wrote

The astronauts are near the reactor. They can potentially service it in shirt sleeves.

A meltdown is nearly impossible with current designs, but it would definitely halt ISRU operations until a new reactor could be sent.


_off_piste_ t1_j2erqax wrote

What about the abrasive nature of moon dust? I know there’s no wind like on Earth and Mars but it seems like travel to install and other operations will have an effect on how much is in the atmosphere.


BavarianBanshee t1_j2esjed wrote

Personally, I'm not buying it, but I'm not an expert. It just seems to me that there is no way in hell they would have six times less mass when making a ring of solar panels around something as large as the moon. It may not be as big as the earth, but that fucker is big; that's gonna take a lot of solar panels.


BavarianBanshee t1_j2etk7k wrote

You just do it the same way you would service solar panels on the moon.

You bring the stuff with you that you need, and have highly trained personnel do it.

And while there's never a 0% chance of a meltdown, with modern reactor designs, they can make it pretty close to 0%. People are quick to think of events like Chernobyl when talking about nuclear power, but that was a very old type of reactor being used in the worst way possible. You can bet people running a much better designed reactor on the moon are gonna take it a lot more seriously.


cpe111 t1_j2eus0j wrote

Need a lot of batteries to survive the 2 week night


Grimsage777 t1_j2eylgu wrote

Solar panels will gather dust and be unusable for a long period of time without maintenance and/or replacements.


dern_the_hermit t1_j2ezy61 wrote

Moon dust won't linger off the ground like it would in an atmosphere. You kick dust up and it falls right back down.

Which isn't to suggest it's not a concern, just that there's not going to be big billowing clouds that linger for any appreciable amount of time.


hyper24x7 t1_j2f02bq wrote

Both - panels could get hit by meteorites of all sizes. The nuclear reactor could help charge batteries. having more than once source of power (no matter how long it takes to get up there) is better than just having one.


dern_the_hermit t1_j2f0bys wrote

Unless the dust is disturbed by human or machine activity it'll just stay where it currently is. And if it is disturbed its trajectory tends to follow a simple up-and-down arc. It doesn't float in the air like it does here on Earth, for the very obvious reason.


armymike t1_j2f6l4d wrote

That sounds like a lot of panels. The zoning board will never go for it.

/s for those who don't have to hear about their local zoning boards doing everything they can to stop solar panel fields being installed


cynical_gramps t1_j2f98nh wrote

This could work in principle but it would hardly be an improvement over fission (and the math is very generous/somewhat questionable).


itsmejpt t1_j2fa24q wrote

I spent way too long trying to figure out what "Israeli pens" were.


Israeli_pride t1_j2fausw wrote

I’m such a nuclear proponent, especially in space. i immediately roll my eyes whenever i hear about solar, i always think but nuclear does it better


mykepagan t1_j2fe6sm wrote

Which is less mass: “six times less“ or “one sixth”?

If I start with 100Kg and take away 6x that mass, do I end up with -500Kg? How does negative mass work?


Stillwater215 t1_j2fegjv wrote

The only scary thing about a fission reactor on the moon is getting fuel there. Rockets are definitely moving in the direction of being safer, but a rocket loaded with enriched uranium, if it were to explode during lift-off, would potentially contaminate a massive piece of land with radioactive material. Even if a rocket only fails 1/100th of the time, that’s still a huge gamble to make.


Spurrierball t1_j2ff5i4 wrote

With how essential consistent power would be to every persons survival on a moon base why would they not simply do both?


mannishboy61 t1_j2ffrex wrote

Who writes this stuff. "Six times less mass" . A sixth?


stormhawk427 t1_j2fhem2 wrote

Why not both? Unless the panels are charging capacitors for when the sun isn’t out.


Maenethal t1_j2fnb8p wrote

Solar panels are easily damaged, especially since there is no atmosphere to decelerate space debris. A reactor would be a much safer option.


slick514 t1_j2fopum wrote

Building a nuclear reactor without a substantial water reservoir will be… “interesting”


Koffeekage t1_j2fwg25 wrote

America wants to set up on the poles. It would be more efficient to bring a reactor than run transmission lines from the equator.