Re: twinkle, twinkle

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 22 Dec 1996 23:50:56 -0500

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> I've never seen a definite answer to a recurring pet idea of mine: to
> (transiently) stellify Jupiter by means of a nuke detonated in its
> metallic (or at least somewhere deep enough where hydrogen is
> sufficiently dense) hydrogen layer. You know, it's Christmas, and
> twinkle, twinkle. Why not?

SImple: Jupiter is not dense enough. To stellate it you'de have to use
the Von Neumann machine trick Clarke thought up for 2010, to increase
the density of jupiters core enough to collapse and heat up enough
hydrogen for a sustained reaction. After that, you're ratio of hydrogen
to heavier elements (the ones you needed to make it dense enough in the
first place) would make Jupiter age quickly, probably with a life of not
more than 10,000 to maybe as much as 1 million years.

> Since we are at madcap ideas, again: I've been reading up on some
> preliminary prospection, erm, cosmochemistry. What is the legal
> situation: which country/person owns the Moon?

The UN Space Treaty declared the Moon to belong to all nations equally.
The US refuses to sign this treaty for this reason (as we are the only
ones who actually got there). Since nobody is there now, and based on
past international law regarding colonization as well as the UN Charter,
a nation with the ability to send and support, as well as survive the
ire of the world body, could theoretically colonise and claim the moon,
just as a corporation could also do so, so long as they declared their
colony an independent nation, and were able to wangle a UN member state
to recognise them and sponsor their admission to the UN.

WHy a nation would do this is obvious. Not only the value of having the
highest strategic position on anyone militarily, but the mineral
resources, plus the quantity of helium III embedded in the lunar
regolith is estimated to be woth trillions easily if it is as useful for
practical fusion power as thought.

Phobos? Is this a claim
> thing, first comes first, or is it currently legally undefined? I'd
> assume the latter. As you doubtlessly know, unmanned LEO launch capacity
> will soon grew progressively cheaper and cheaper, currently there are (tiny)
> amateur satellites up there.

Anything unmanned can have no hopes of making claims.

> What's your oppinion, when will the general public realize that all above
> is not just another fraudulent scheme, and would invest in such a company?

Current public opinion is that the moon is a dud (they are wrong of
course) and that the new hearts content is Mars, with its possible life
forms (a stupid reason to go, but good enough as any if it actually gets
people up there to do something constructive).

I actually fancy the idea of founding a new nation on the moon. of
course, it'll have to be Luna, and the motto will be TANSTAAFL!


Michael Lorrey --------------------------------------------------------- President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive --------------------------------------------------------- Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Certified Genius.