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Lunar Habitats: A Brief Overview of Issues and Concepts

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Abstract

A summary of the lunar environment is provided as background to the issues that await resolution by structural engineers who will design habitats for long-term stays on the Moon, initially by pioneering astronauts, and eventually by people who will call the Moon their home. Key environmental concerns are the radiation and micrometeoroid environment, the hard vacuum, and the lack of atmosphere. The lunar dust poses a carcinogenic hazard, as well as an existential threat to engineered systems. Structures need to be designed with an eye to the psychological wellbeing of the inhabitants. This review provides an introduction into some of these aspects of lunar habitat design, and is based on the 2018 book by the author.

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... Due to the missing magnetosphere and atmosphere, particles of galactic and solar origin reach the surface of the Moon unattenuated. Any construction on the Moon, including the ones built from regolith, is required to reduce the exposure to safe levels for prolonged human presence on the Moon [34] as well as protect it against meteoroids impacts with velocities that vary from 2.4 km/s to 72 km/s and weighing from less than 1 kg to over 5 tons [35]. When designing the lunar construction, one needs to take into consideration all the abovementioned factors. ...
... The lunar regolith morphology resulted from the continuous impact of meteoroids and the bombardment of the lunar surface by charged particles from the Sun [8]. It has low thermal conductivity, and therefore, the thicker its layer is, the larger the reduction in the temperature variations is [35]. Additionally, from the perspective of radiation health, a regolith layer of 2-3 m thickness provides radiation shielding of about 40 g/cm 2 , whereas Earth's atmosphere provides a shielding equivalent of 100 g/cm 2 . ...
... Additionally, from the perspective of radiation health, a regolith layer of 2-3 m thickness provides radiation shielding of about 40 g/cm 2 , whereas Earth's atmosphere provides a shielding equivalent of 100 g/cm 2 . Rare, large solar flares require shelters with shielding of at least 700 g/cm 2 [35]. By using lunar regolith as an aggregate for mortars or concretes, it is possible to take advantage of those properties and increase the shielding properties of the new construction composites. ...
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NASA has revealed that they plan to resume manned missions and ensure the permanent presence of people in the so-called habitats on the Moon by 2024. Moon habitats are expected to be built using local resources-it is planned to use lunar regolith as aggregate in lunar concrete. Lunar concrete design requires a new approach in terms of both the production technology and the operating conditions significantly different from the Earth. Considering that more and more often it is assumed that the water present on the Moon in the form of ice might be used to maintain the base, but also to construct the base structure, the authors decided to investigate slightly more traditional composites than the recently promoted sulfur and polymer composites thermally hardened and cured. Numerous compositions of cement "lunar micro-mortars" and "lunar mortars" were made and tested to study rheological properties, namely, the consistency, which largely depend on the morphology of the fine-grained filler, i.e., regolith. For obvious reasons, the lunar regolith simulant (LRS) was used in place of the original Moon regolith. The used LRS mapped the grain size distribution and morphology of the real lunar regolith. It was created for the purpose of studying the erosive effect of dusty regolith fractions on the moving parts of lunar landers and other mechanical equipment; therefore, it simulated well the behavior of regolith particles in relation to cement paste. The obtained results made it possible to develop preliminary compositions for "lunar mortars" (possible to apply in, e.g., 3D concrete printing) and to prepare, test, and evaluate mortar properties in comparison to traditional quartz mortars (under the conditions of the Earth laboratory).
... The first step towards the "urban development" on other planetary bodies is for both scientists and engineers to fully comprehend the extraterrestrial environmental conditions. To this end, Jablonski and Showalter [3]; Benaroya [4] and Schrunk et al. [5], review the current data about the Lunar environmental conditions (e.g. low gravity, temperature fluctuation, radiation, lack of atmosphere and pressure, meteoroid impacts, Lunar dust, and other geophysical features) and highlight the most significant requirements for Lunar systems and structures that can be important especially in the earlier stages of Lunar explorations. ...
... Furthermore, the extremely hazardous radiation that is caused by either galactic cosmic rays (GCR) or solar energetic particles (SEO) [8] will pose a great threat to the subsystems of any Lunar structure (e.g., a deployable system) [9]. The lack of atmosphere renders the Moon vulnerable to meteoroid impacts: impactors with velocities that vary from 2.4 km/s to 72 km/s [4] and weighing from less than 1 kg to over 5 tons in rarer cases [10] can be expected to severely affect Lunar structures in the vicinity of where they land. Additionally, Lunar dust as a material can prove quite dangerous and should be taken into consideration [4,7]. ...
... The lack of atmosphere renders the Moon vulnerable to meteoroid impacts: impactors with velocities that vary from 2.4 km/s to 72 km/s [4] and weighing from less than 1 kg to over 5 tons in rarer cases [10] can be expected to severely affect Lunar structures in the vicinity of where they land. Additionally, Lunar dust as a material can prove quite dangerous and should be taken into consideration [4,7]. The Lunar gravitational acceleration at ground surface level is approximately 1.62 m s 2 or g (0.17 ), where = g 9.81 m s 2 on Earth [11]; amongst others). ...
Article
The design of a permanent human habitat on a planetary body other than the Earth is an idea introduced many decades ago, which became even more significant after the landing of the first humans on the Moon with the Apollo missions. Today's rampant technological advances combined with ambitious missions, such as the Insight mission on Mars and the Artemis program for the Moon, render the vision of space colonization more realistic than ever, as it constantly gains momentum. There is a considerable number of publications across several disciplines pertaining to the exploration of Lunar and Martian environments, to those planets' soil properties, and to the design of the first habitable modules. The scope of this paper is to present a meticulous selection of the most significant publications within the scientific areas related to: (a) geotechnical engineering aspects, including the mechanical properties and chemical composition of Lunar and Martian regolith samples and simulants, along with elements of anchoring and rigid pads as potential forms of foundation; (b) ground motions generated by different types of Moonquakes and meteoroid impacts; (c) the different concepts and types of extraterrestrial (ET) structures (generic, inflatable, deployable, 3D-printed), as well as overall views of proposed ET habitats. Apart from the details given in the main text of this paper, a targeted effort was made to summarize and compile most of this information in representative tables and present it in chronological order, so as to showcase the evolution of human thinking as regards ET structures.
... It is however, important to notice that all mentioned studies either did not address the issue of energy storage systems (ESS) or assumed nuclear power sources for their lunar facilities. Present strategies for the early stages of manned lunar exploration promote solar-based energy solutions [18,24,25], that require application of energy storage systems. Landis and Bailey [26] presented their estimation of the minimal electric power demand of an initial, solar powered lunar settlement with a biological air revitalization system to be 25 kW. ...
... Landis and Bailey [26] presented their estimation of the minimal electric power demand of an initial, solar powered lunar settlement with a biological air revitalization system to be 25 kW. The most recent works [24,25,27] recognise the importance of the IHG issue in lunar settlements, but does not address it in detail. Numerous works [15][16][17]26] point out the necessity for a more custom approach to lunar bases heat gains, to be done by addressing their individual architectures, contemporary technologies and mission profiles. ...
... The purpose of this paper was to assess the total value of internal heat gains of a future lunar base of the same architecture and function assimilated in the LUNARES habitat during the ICAres-1 mission. It was accomplished by revisiting the actual inventory of LUNARES [28], adjusting and supplementing it to mirror a complete inventory of a lunar scientific facility according to contemporary baselines for space station subsystems [13,24,25]. State-of-the-art electric devices were assumed to be used aboard the base. ...
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The Moon’s environmental conditions present limited opportunities for waste heat dissipation, so internal heat gains (IHG) are a key component of thermal balance in a lunar building. Despite the significant development in energy saving and energy storage technologies of the last thirty years, the issue of IHG in lunar buildings has not been readdressed since the early 1990s. This study is based on an inspection of internal heat sources conducted aboard LUNARES, the first European extraterrestrial analogue habitat. The equipment absent on LUNARES, but indispensable for an actual lunar base, was identified and accounted for, along with additional laboratory and maintenance equipment. Three main groups of internal heat sources were identified and studied in detail. Waste heat generated by electric devices was accounted for, along with occupational heat loads adjusted for lunar partial gravity conditions. Assuming a photovoltaic power source for the studied building, two alternative energy storage systems (ESS) were analysed as another source of waste heat. Depending on the time of lunar day and applied ESS, the nominal IHG were between 73 and 133 W/m2. The most significant internal heat sources in a lunar base are life support systems and potentially, regenerative fuel cells; thus, lithium–ion batteries were recommended for ESS. Within assumed parameter range, parametric study exhibited differences in IHG between 41.5 and 163 W/m2.
... Benaroya has overviewed key issues and concepts relative to habitat design within the harsh lunar environment, and surveyed examples of Class I, Class II and combinations therein within prior research. [20] Multiple options have been considered relative to locating a habitat on the lunar surface-above the surface and shielded by regolith, inside lava tubes, or partially excavated within the ground plane. [21] Concepts for packed, modular regolith components were investigated and expanded on from a study conducted by Kaplicky, Nixon, and Wernick. ...
... hardshell structure ( Figure 22) was adopted from Bodkin et al. [9] Habitat geometry for the inflatable structure ( Figure 23) was adopted from habitable soft-goods inflatable studies by NASA. [23] Within the so-called bucket scheme, a 3D-printed shell is printed in-place through one of two methods: construction with a capstone at the roof of a dome structure, or construction of an unenclosed vault using sectional "slices" that are printed horizontally and tilted up to a vertical orientation (see Figures 19,20). ...
Conference Paper
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In Project Olympus, ICON and SEArch+ have developed design schematics for critical surface infrastructure necessary for a permanent lunar base. In 2020 ICON was awarded an SBIR contribution from Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to contribute to NASA Marshall's Moon-to-Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies (MMPACT) initiative. ICON will first demonstrate additive manufacturing capabilities for horizontal structures such as roads and landing pads, followed by demonstrations of vertical structures, including unpressurized radiation shelters as well as habitats. In 2020, ICON employed SEArch+ to develop design schematics for mission-critical surface construction elements for a lunar settlement, including concepts for surface-site deployment, construction sequencing, and structural design. The design process was informed by discussions with key ICON engineers and NASA collaborators. The exchange not only ensured the constructibility of designs according to hardware and material processing limitations, but also enabled the architectural process to influence and shape hardware requirements as they were being defined. The ensuing habitat design, titled the "Lunar Lantern" for its double-protective outer shield structure, celebrates and promotes a design approach driven by human factors principles to ensure the safety and security of future crew. As a whole, Project Olympus envisions the construction of durable, self-maintaining, and resilient surface structures enabled by advanced 3D-printing technologies. Nomenclature 3D = 3-dimensional 3DP = 3D-printed ConOps = concept of operations ECLSS = environmental control and life support system ISRU = in-situ resource utilization LRO = Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter MMOD = Micrometeoroid & Orbital Debris MMPACT = Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies MSFC = Marshall Space Flight Center PSR = permanently shadowed region RLSO2 = Robotic Lunar Surface Operations 2 1 Co-Founder, Project Associate, SEArch+. Current
... It is unclear whether Japan is still planning to build a Lunar base, announced in 2005, by 2030 or whether it allocated a budget for the program [22]. In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) for the construction of these outposts would be crucial to space sustainability [23], as it would reduce the mass, volume, DeltaV budgets, and mission costs by 3-4 orders of magnitude and instead rely on utilizing the lunar regolith and using local materials with additive manufacturing technologies to build the necessary infrastructure on the Moon, making the Moon the starting point for future launches into space [24]. In addition, the lunar regolith contains silicon, Aluminum, Titanium, Nickel, Helium-3, and water, which can be utilized to sustain lunar crews living in lunar settlements, manufacture space hardware, grow hydroponic crops inside lunar green habs, produce rocket propellant and solar or nuclear power through solar panels, small nuclear fission reactors, Radio-isotope Thermal Generators (RTGs), or fuel cells [23,25]. ...
... In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) for the construction of these outposts would be crucial to space sustainability [23], as it would reduce the mass, volume, DeltaV budgets, and mission costs by 3-4 orders of magnitude and instead rely on utilizing the lunar regolith and using local materials with additive manufacturing technologies to build the necessary infrastructure on the Moon, making the Moon the starting point for future launches into space [24]. In addition, the lunar regolith contains silicon, Aluminum, Titanium, Nickel, Helium-3, and water, which can be utilized to sustain lunar crews living in lunar settlements, manufacture space hardware, grow hydroponic crops inside lunar green habs, produce rocket propellant and solar or nuclear power through solar panels, small nuclear fission reactors, Radio-isotope Thermal Generators (RTGs), or fuel cells [23,25]. ...
Conference Paper
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Humanity is returning back to the Moon to establish a permanent and sustainable human-robotic presence on the lunar surface before the end of the decade. In addition to orbiters, landers, rovers, and crews, some nations aim to contribute to a more sophisticated and sustainable lunar architecture by building lunar bases. In this regard, The Moon Village Association is the only global organization that provides a platform and takes actions supporting communications and cooperation among all elements of the human society supporting the Moon Village concept, including both space-faring and non-space-faring countries and offers them the opportunity to play a role in its realization. Over the past decade, Egypt has been making constitutional amendments to officially establish a national space agency and position space exploration as an integral part of Egyptian society. In 2019, Egypt officially established the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) and drafted a high-level national space strategy for 2030, one of which is to explore deep space. Egypt's participation in the Moon Village Association (MVA) Participation of Emerging Space Countries (PESC) project complements these national efforts and interests to set more Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timed goals and feasible milestones for its short-term, mid-term, and long-term objectives from a project management perspective. This is all a reflection of Egypt's enthusiastic youth, positioning the nation as one of the leading emerging space countries to develop a domestically-built spacecraft to embark on the first Egyptian deep-space mission orbiting the Moon. In this paper, the MVA-Egypt founding team focuses on highlighting Egypt's interests and capabilities by identifying the commercial, scientific, and technological gaps in the past as well as in the active and planned lunar missions and highlighting opportunities for Egypt and the scientific community. We present Egypt's lunar exploration roadmap and investigate the current potential opportunities in the industry. To assess the gaps and opportunities, we tabulated the previous, ongoing, and planned lunar orbiter missions based on several data points, such as mission, country/operator, launch date, cost, launch mass, Launch Vehicle (LV), lunar delivery Space Transportation System (STS), orbit, landing site, main objectives, main instruments, and resolutions.
... These solutions are reliable and able to work continuously for years, regardless of environmental conditions. In particular, space-rated, compact nuclear reactors are not dependent on the availability of solar radiation and thus are able to continuously supply power to a lunar base without a need for a massive, highcapacity energy storage system (ESS) [27,[33][34][35][36]. Nonetheless, when using a nuclear reactor to power a manned lunar base, the issue of radiation protection must be addressed. ...
... The best available solution for ESS with sufficient technological readiness are Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Li-ion batteries have very high round trip efficiency and more than ten years of successful space application history, which is more than sufficient to consider this technology adequate to use onboard a lunar base [27,34,41]. The most important issue with Li-ion batteries as a high-capacity ESS is their unsatisfactory specific energy (gravimetric energy density, eS) [42]. ...
Article
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Due to the extreme cost of cargo transportation from Earth to the lunar surface, future lunar base subsystems are required to be rigorously optimized in terms of mass reduction. The purpose of this paper was to identify and evaluate the influence of key parameters of proposed lunar base power systems, as well as of the lunar environment on the total power system mass. Nine different power systems were studied as combinations of two power sources and three energy storage technologies. Power system architecture, total power demand of the base, its power management strategy, solar array structure type, Selenographic latitude and solar illumination conditions were nominated as the primary parameters for this study. Total power system mass calculations were performed for more than 200 combinations of these parameters, including three separate case studies. The total mass calculated for each combination included a power source, an energy storage unit, temperature control and the balance of system. For the wide range of studied parameters, hybrid power systems that combine solar and nuclear power were found to be the most advantageous solutions in terms of mass reduction.
... Habitation: Harmful levels of solar radiation and extreme day-night temperatures exist on the lunar surface. Habitat designs may utilise lunar regolith as shielding through burying or installing habitats underground [2,3]. Essential services or connections between habitats and other facilities may also require burial for radiation shielding, thermal stability or to remove congestion similar to plumbing, gas, electricity and telecommunications lines on Earth [4]. ...
... The samples are created and checked to ensure that the simulated porosity is close to the calculated porosity shown in Table 1. The modelled empirical equation for the density of the lunar soil based on observations made by Carrier, Olhoeft and Mendell [31] is shown in Equation (2). This is transcribed into Table 1 for each respective depth (m). ...
Article
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Applications of tunnels on Earth range from exploration, exploitation, transportation, infrastructure to human habitation. Similarly with the increased focus on habitation on the Moon, tunnels will be required to support these operations. Geomechanical properties are key factors to successfully drill a tunnel. These properties along with excavation dimensions must be appropriate for the tunnel's stability. The research outlined in this paper aims to determine the stability of small diameter horizontal tunnels in lunar regolith and conditions using the capability of the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The YADE DEM program was used for the numerical analysis in this paper. Lunar regolith data from various published papers and simulated triaxial testing has been used for model calibration. Results yield a tunnel stability chart showing size and stability increases with sample compaction and decreases with an increase in tunnel diameter. Seismicity tests also show that low level vibrations destabilise the tunnel with ease.
... Among aramid fibers, Vectran [71] was selected for the construction of high-strength fabrics of the inflatable plug. Vectran is commonly used in aerospace applications where high-strength, high foldability with minimum degradation is required [72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83]. Tests at coupon level included tensile testing, friction testing under dry and wet conditions, crease fold testing, long-term static loading on single and seam specimens, abrasion testing, and flammability of coated specimens. ...
Article
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The protection of underground civil infrastructure continues to be a high priority for transportation and transit security agencies. In particular, rail transit tunnels running under bodies of water are susceptible to disruptions due to flooding caused by extraordinary climatic events such as hurricanes or other events resulting from human activities. Several events have taken place in the past decades that have demonstrated the need to mitigate vulnerabilities or, at least, minimize the consequences of catastrophic events. Although it is impossible to prevent all situations that can lead to flooding, damage can be substantially decreased by reducing the area affected by the event. To minimize the effects of an event, a possible approach is to compartmentalize the tunnel system by creating temporary barriers that can contain the propagation of flooding until a more permanent solution can be implemented. One way to create a temporary barrier is by the deployment of a large-scale inflatable structure, also known as an inflatable plug. In such an application, the inflatable structure is prepared for placement, either permanently or temporally, and maintained ready for deployment, inflation, and pressurization when needed. The internal plug pressure imparts a normal force against the tunnel wall surface with the friction between the plug and tunnel surfaces opposing axial movement of the plug. The sealing effectiveness depends on the ability of the inflatable structure to self-deploy and fit, without human intervention, to the intricacies of the perimeter of the conduit being sealed. Primary design constraints include having the plug stowed away from the dynamic envelope of the trains and being able to withhold the pressure of the flooding water. This work presents a compilation of the main aspects of the activities completed for the development of large-scale inflatable structures as part of the Resilient Tunnel Plug (RTP) Project. The main test results and lessons learned are presented to demonstrate the viability of implementing large-scale inflatable plugs for the containment of flooding in rail tunnels systems. Over 400 coupon and specimen tests, 200 reduced scale tests, and 100 full-scale tests were conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of the design of different prototypes over a 10-year research and development project. The culmination of the work was 12 large-scale flooding demonstrations where the inflatable tunnel plug was shown able to be deployed remotely and withstand a simulated flooding event. Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience, 1(11):1-28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43065-020-00011-0
... The lunar soil was never exposed to erosion factors like wind and rain, leading to an irregular, angular shape with sharp edges of the regolith particles [26], often incorporating fused glassy inclusions. Particles with such shapes are very abrasive and can easily damage moving parts of processing equipment [27]. Small sharp particles are highly toxic -they can be cancerogenic if inhaled [28,29]. ...
Article
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This review discusses the development prospects of additive technologies for the manufacturing of complex technological items on the surface of the Moon under scarce resource availability and low-gravity conditions. One of the expected materials for 3D printing as part of a prospective lunar research program is the lunar regolith. It is easily accessible on the Moon in a few forms, depending on geographical location. Due to the limited availability of the lunar regolith on Earth, several attempts to use geological simulants of the regolith were made by research groups worldwide to analyze the applicability of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for lunar 3D printing. The present review is aimed at discussing recent achievements in the development of chemical and technological aspects of 3D-printing technology for the use of the lunar regolith. A detailed description of all known AM approaches is presented, and the results obtained by various research groups are compared and discussed. All available experiments with 3D printing for in-situ fabrication with lunar regolith were analyzed, systematized, and generalized. Finally, we have formulated the basic requirements and approaches for adapting additive manufacturing methods to lunar surface conditions.
... Within the literature, there is a good understanding of the principal types of in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) products that will be needed at a sustainable lunar outpost; oxygen [2][3][4], water [5][6][7], shelter from radiation, regolith dust, and micrometeorites [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. However, within the literature, there is significant technological uncertainty regarding how lunar resources will be utilised by missions to yield those principal products. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to deploy a Delphi expert elicitation methodology to better understand the technical and policy challenges facing the development of a sustainable lunar outpost in 2040, including the types and scale of ISRU deployment. We used a three-round Delphi survey with an open first round and specific questions in later rounds using a four-point Likert scale and two ranking exercises to assess energy technologies and inhibiting factors. In order to provide more certainty to our potential participants regarding their input, and boost engagement, the study deployed a three-round approach that was communicated to our potential participants and decided ex-ante. Potential participants were identified from the literature and academic networks as those who had made significant contributions to the fields of; ISRU technologies, space architecture, space-qualified power systems, and space exploration. The study identified around 20 major themes of interest for researchers in the first round and asked participants to rate their agreement with a number of statements about a hypothetical lunar outpost in 2040. From the group responses, we identified three major technical challenges for the development of a lunar outpost in 2040; developing high power energy infrastructure, lander and vehicle ascent capacity, and mission architectures and technical approaches. We also identified three major policy challenges for the development of a lunar outpost in 2040; US and global political instability, possibility of an extended timeframe for the first lunar landing, and political distaste for nuclear energy in space. The group was uncertain about the precise energy mix at the outpost as a result of uncertainty regarding electrical loads, but there was general agreement that solar PV would be a significant contributor. Whether nuclear power sources might play a useful role proved to be very uncertain, with some participants noting a political distaste for space nuclear power systems. However, the proposition gained two votes in each ranking position, suggesting it has a flat distribution including both supporters and detractors.
... Charged microparticles on the Moon have increased adhesion ability, which introduces various limitations to the use of space systems on its surface, from the contamination of the surface of solar panels to the decreased operational life of the details of rubbing mechanisms [8,9]. This is why it is currently important to obtain flows and levitating clouds of charged dust similar to lunar dust under laboratory conditions [10][11][12][13][14] to conduct simulation experiments and testing of both materials and components of future space technology, including lunar habitats [15,16]. Such experiments are conducted using acceleration technology [17][18][19][20], electron beams [12][13][14] or electrostatic powder dispensers [21]. ...
Article
In this article, results are presented of experiments on depositing charged particles, which imitate the levitating dust on the Moon, on stainless steel. Ensembles of particles are created above the surface of laboratory regolith whose composition and particle size distribution imitate the dust that covers the Moon's surface. Under the action of the gyrotron radiation on regolith, non-linear physical-chemical processes develop (breakdown, chain plasmachemical reactions, and particle scattering by the Coulomb mechanism), which lead to the appearance of a levitating cloud of particles. The simulation experiment is based on the similarity between the processes that develop in the laboratory experiments with regolith and the processes that occur on the Moon during its bombardment by micrometeorites. The effect of the levitating cloud on stainless steel plates is studied and it is shown that regolith particles in the shape of spheroids of different sizes are deposited on the surface of the plates. The dimensions of the deposited particles and the density of their placement depend on the quality of treatment of the plate surface. It is shown that the laboratory-produced dusty plasma can be used in simulation experiments to study the modification of surfaces of different materials for space technology.
... They contemplated developing the surface outposts to shelter the astronauts from space radiations, meteorite collisions and extreme temperature fluctuations. Detailed descriptions of such environmentally harsh conditions can be found in [3][4][5]. So far, plenty of different layouts of outposts have been conceptualized by construction professionals and civil engineers [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]; however, the description of their details is out of the scope of this article. ...
Article
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From the 2000s onwards, unprecedented space missions have brought about a wealth of novel investigations on the different aspects of space geomechanics. Such aspects are related to the exploratory activities such as drilling, sampling, coring, water extraction, anchoring, etc. So far, a whole range of constitutive research projects on the plate tectonics, morphology, volcanic activities and volatile content of planetary bodies have been implemented. Furthermore, various laboratory experiments on extraterrestrial samples and their artificial terrestrial simulants are continually conducted to obtain the physical and mechanical properties of the corresponding specimens. Today, with the space boom being steered by diverse space agencies, the incorporation of geomechanics into space exploration appreciably appears much needed. The primary objective of this article is to collate and integrate the up-to-date investigations related to the geomechanical applications in space technologies. Emphasis is given to the new and future applications such as planetary drilling and water extraction. The main impetus is to provide a comprehensive reference for geoscience scientists and astronauts to quickly become acquainted with the cutting-edge advancements in the area of space geomechanics. Moreover, this research study also elaborates on the operational constraints in space geomechanics which necessitate further scientific investigations.
... Potential residents could be tourists, scientists, or Lunar resources miners. An overview of issues and concepts of Lunar habitats is provided by Benaroya [18]. ...
Conference Paper
Building up on previous market studies for the aviation industry, the terrestrial tourism industry, the sub-orbital tourism market, and the orbital tourism market, we conduct qualitative and quantitative market surveys to estimate the size and value of the Lunar Tourism market. Based on initial assumptions, the target customers are expected to be 25 year old and beyond, pioneering individuals that belong to the innovator and early adopter groups of this lunar hotel's product lifecycle, and would psychographically have travel-based exploration and a fascination for science-fiction ingrained in their personalities. They would typically have a strong inclination towards adventure sports and expeditionary traveling. These consumers tend to have similar social circles and utilizing the emotion of fear of missing out (FOMO) is likely to play a vital role in customer acquisition. Lunar Tourism is initially set to be marketed as very niche expeditions meant to be the highlight of a person's lifetime. Though the Lunar hotel would be more likely to attract wealthy tourists in its initial phases of development, the evolution of the space tourism market would be highly dependent on the development of low-cost launch services that would make the access to space affordable to the general public. In the meantime, a new market would have to be created for a niche customer group with high standards, which might not directly influence the democratization of space in the relatively short term but would be essential for the creation of an initial market and the development of the Lunar business ecosystem. As the demand increases, the competition among different stakeholders will increase and new, more diverse services for different niche market segments will be created. This survey should uncover insights on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target customers, the perceived value of Lunar Tourism from the perspective of the customers, and the demands and requirements of the customers, which would affect the design of the hotel and the types of services offered.
... However, it is evident that the autonomous systems resident on the lunar base will need to function in concert and be optimized for safety [2]. Additionally, the autonomous systems will be subject to extremely harsh operating conditions given constant exposure to radiation, micrometeorites, lunar dust and other hazards [4]. The autonomous systems that enable the operations of the Artemis Base Camp should ideally be supported by its surrounding infrastructure to achieve its mission objectives. ...
Conference Paper
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Space habitats such as NASA’s proposed Artemis Base Camp will house both astronauts and autonomous systems. The Artemis Base Camp’s infrastructure could provide supporting services to its tenants to optimize their function. This calls for a smart city ecosystem. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been engaged as a framework to inform human-centric smart city design and feature prioritization; however, autonomous systems have different needs to humans. This paper aligns the needs of humans and autonomous systems in a framework called Autonomy’s Hierarchy of Needs, which provides a smart city ecosystem design framework for the Artemis Base Camp.
... Moreover, the lunar dust can cause a carcinogenic hazard, as well as an existential threat to any extraterrestrial system. Therefore, structures and systems on the Moon need to be designed with the psychological well-being of the inhabitants 3,4 . ...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2021-3160.vid One of the major consequences of climate change will eventually be housing. A solution to the looming housing crisis is space colonies. Due to limited resources, space colonies would require energy-efficient housing. Looking at nature, we can be inspired to engineer new technologies that address modern problems. Penguins breed in extreme conditions with low energy expenditure using coloration, a layered feather system, and huddling. Thermal imaging of penguins was conducted to model heat transfer effects due to coloration. In addition, heat transfer from huddling was modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics in a variety of geometries to test the effectiveness of huddling. By expanding upon this project, a highly efficient structure designed for space exploration can be created in the future.
... All countries are conducting lunar exploration research with the hope of building a survivable lunar station (Reitz et al. 2021;Fateri et al. 2019). However, many technological challenges such as the survival ability of the equipment arise during the planning for a robotic or manned lunar mission fully operational during the lunar night (Benaroya 2017;Fraser 2012;Palos et al. 2020). In past attempts at lunar exploration, many technologies have been used in thermal control systems, such as multiple insulation layers (Kim 2020;Plachta et al. 2012), single-phase, two-phase (Simonsen et al. 1992), and heat pumps (Sridhar and Gottmann 1996). ...
Article
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The structural design, heat transfer capability analysis, ground equivalent validation, and on-orbit flight of the two-phase fluid loop based on flat-plate evaporation module of the Chang’e-4 detector are introduced. Within the temperature range of -30 ℃ ~ -10 ℃, the designed two-phase fluid loop has a heat transfer capacity of greater than 200 W. An equivalent test prototype is designed and manufactured to examine the heat transfer performance of the two-phase fluid loop under the ground condition of 1 g. The driving force of the equivalent test prototype is less than that of the flight prototype, while the flow resistance is equivalent to that of the flight prototype. The test heat transfer capacity is smaller than that of the flight prototype on the lunar surface. According to the equivalent test prototype, the heat transfer capacity is no less than 130 W, which meets the requirements of Chang’e-4. During the 14-moon day-night cycle, the temperature of the two-phase fluid loop gradually decreased to an equilibrium value of -10 °C. During the wake-up process of the detector in moon day, the control valve was closed, and the temperature of the flat-plate evaporation module rose rapidly, indicating that the function of blocking heat transfer is normal.
... -Severe lunar day-night temperature cycling (+127ºC to -173ºC) 6 , and high temperature gradients during the transition from daylight to nighttime (about 5°C/h). ...
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Using space-based resources (In-Situ Resource Utilization, ISRU) to produce life support and propulsion consumables such as oxygen or water offers the possibility of a more sustainable and cost-effective exploration of the Moon when compared to missions relying solely on material transport from Earth. Learning how to operate on the Moon with local resources, reduced gravity, and a harsh environment is a stepping stone towards developing technology for a sustained human presence in space. We analyze several technical concepts to produce oxygen or water from lunar regolith. Thermochemical reduction processes of solid lunar materials using hydrogen (hydrogen reduction of ilmenite), methane (carbothermal) reduction and other processes such as molten salt electrolysis (e.g. the FFC-Cambridge process) are evaluated. Focus is set on the technological solutions for supporting fluid management systems required to produce, separate, collect, and measure water or oxygen from solid oxide chemical/electrochemical processes, evaluating their technology readiness level, current necessary developments and their potential interaction with other life support International Conference on Environmental Systems 2 and exploration activities. Technology de-risking plans to demonstrate fluid management system feasibility and tests in relevant environments are proposed to support establishing a human presence on the Moon sustained by local resources. Nomenclature ACD = Anode-to-cathode distance EOP = Electrochemical Oxygen Pump ESA = European Space Agency FFC = Fray, Farthing, Chen-Cambridge Process FMS = Fluid Management System GCR = Galactic Cosmic Rays IL = Ionic Liquids ISRU = In-situ Resource Utilization LEO = Lower Earth Orbit PSS = Process Subsystem (PSS) RAS = Regolith Acquisition System RTS = Regolith Transportation System TRL = Technology Readiness Level
... These facilities must be able to remain resilient against extraterrestrial hazards [16,20]: i) radiation generated by either galactic cosmic rays or solar energetic particles that can pose a great threat to the subsystems of any Lunar structure (e.g., a deployable system), ii) the lack of atmosphere which is responsible for the frequent meteoroid impacts and meteoroid showers, iii) the high temperature fluctuations (up to 280 K or o C) on the Moon's surface, iv) ground motions generated by different types of Moonquakes. Finally, one of the most dominant factors that will affect the stability of the future OES is partial gravity. ...
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Preprint
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Justifications for a permanent lunar base are described. A brief review of lunar conditions and challenges are presented. Existing lunar base concepts are introduced. Radiation properties, sources and dangers for a permanent human habitations are explained. Practical and theoretical radiation shielding techniques along with the corresponding formulas are presented Diagrams and detailed renders are included for visual references. The content will be updated in order to keep the given information relevant. This paper is meant to be a guideline and a reference paper built upon great works of the all the scientists and engineers which are referenced.
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Introduction: In 2009, three huge pits were discovered on the Moon in image data acquired by the SELENE Terrain Camera. Their diameters and depths are several tens of meters or more.[1-3] They are possible skylight holes opening on large subsurface caverns such as lava tubes, [1] by analogy with similar pits found on Mars.[4] This possibility was enhanced significantly by LRO oblique observations; large openings were observed horizontally at the floors of the pits.[5] Robinson et al. (2012)[5] claim at least two possibilities for the large caverns associated with the skylight holes: a lava tube or a magma chamber. Lava tubes are normally elongated in the horizontal direction. In contrast, magma chambers may not have large horizontal extensions but instead may have drops like a sink around their inner walls as illustrated by Robinson et al. (2012).[5] Lunar caverns are protected from radiation, micrometeorites, and extreme temperatures, and thus are expected to be shelters in which humans will construct lunar bases. Lava tubes are likely more appropriate for lunar base construction than magma chambers. It is thus significant to investigate whether a lunar subsurface cavern is a lava tube or a magma chamber. We analyze radar echo data acquired by the Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) onboard SELENE (Kaguya) to determine whether there is any suggestion of the existence of elongated lava tubes along rille-A named by Greeley (1971).[6] The Marius Hills skylight Hole (MHH) is on the rille.
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3D-printing technologies are receiving an always increasing attention in architecture, due to their potential use for direct construction of buildings and other complex structures, also of considerable dimensions, with virtually any shape. Some of these technologies rely on an agglomeration process of inert materials, e.g. sand, through a special binding liquid and this capability is of interest for the space community for its potential application to space exploration. In fact, it opens the possibility for exploiting in-situ resources for the construction of buildings in harsh spatial environments. The paper presents the results of a study aimed at assessing the concept of 3D printing technology for building habitats on the Moon using lunar soil, also called regolith. A particular patented 3D-printing technology - D-shape - has been applied, which is, among the existing rapid prototyping systems, the closest to achieving full scale construction of buildings and the physical and chemical characteristics of lunar regolith and terrestrial regolith simulants have been assessed with respect to the working principles of such technology. A novel lunar regolith simulant has also been developed, which almost exactly reproduces the characteristics of the JSC-1A simulant produced in the US. Moreover, tests in air and in vacuum have been performed to demonstrate the occurrence of the reticulation reaction with the regolith simulant. The vacuum tests also showed that evaporation or freezing of the binding liquid can be prevented through a proper injection method. The general requirements of a Moon outpost have been specified, and a preliminary design of the habitat has been developed. Based on such design, a section of the outpost wall has been selected and manufactured at full scale using the D-shape printer and regolith simulant. Test pieces have also been manufactured and their mechanical properties have been assessed.
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The moon has recently regained the interest of many of the world's space agencies. Lunar missions are the first steps in expanding manned and unmanned exploration inside our solar system. The moon represents various options; it can be used as a laboratory in low gravity, it is the closest and most accessible planetary object from the Earth, and it possesses many resources that humans could potentially exploit. This paper has two objectives: to review the current status of the knowledge of lunar environmental requirements for future lunar structures, and to attempt to classify different future lunar structures based on the current knowledge of the subject. The paper divides lunar development into three phases. The first phase is building shelters for equipment only; in the second phase, small temporary habitats will be built, and finally in the third phase, habitable lunar bases will be built with observatories, laboratories, or production plants. Initially, the main aspects of the lunar environment that will cause concerns will be lunar dust and meteoroids, and later will include effects due to the vacuum environment, lunar gravity, radiation, a rapid change of temperature, and the length of the lunar day. This paper presents a classification of technical requirements based on the current knowledge of these factors, and their importance in each of the phases of construction. It gives recommendations for future research in relation to the development of conceptual plans for lunar structures, and for the evolution of a lunar construction code to direct these structural designs. Some examples are presented along with the current status of the bibliography of the subject.
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The realization of the renewed exploration of the moon presents many technical challenges; among them is the survival of lunar-surface assets during periods of darkness when the lunar environment is very cold. Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass that can supply energy to protect lightweight robotic rovers or other assets during the lunar night. This paper describes an analysis of the performance of thermal wadis based on the known solar illumination of the moon and estimates of producible thermal properties of modified lunar regolith. Analysis has been performed for the lunar equatorial region and for a potential outpost location near the lunar south pole. The calculations indicate that thermal wadis can provide the desired thermal energy and temperature control for the survival of rovers or other equipment during periods of darkness.
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While popular science writers typically describe the benefits to be derived from their favorite very large space development project in detail, their treatment of the crucial initial capitalization of such projects is typically sparse or implausible. Capitalization is a crucial problem for these projects because the total capital investment required is very large and the investment takes a very long time before producing economic returns. "Chunky" investments are unattractive to most private investors and lenders. Very large space development projects are best understood as massive public works projects which are necessary to open frontiers. Despite the libertarian sentiments in much of the popular science writing on very large space development projects, government would likely have to play a large role in capitalizing such projects. Space development enthusiasts typically explain the significance of their favorite very large space projects−whether constructing orbital colonies or cities beneath the surface of the Moon, terraforming Mars or Venus, or launching interstellar spacecraft−in terms of their promise to produce vast new wealth, open frontiers to serve as social "safety valves" for the ambitious or the dissenting, generate the novel problems that drive dramatic advances in science and engineering, provide new sources of natural resources, and permit population dispersal to assure the long term survival of our species. Without question, these are all laudable reasons for the adventure of space and any very large space project would probably meet several of these objectives. However, if the economic and social promise of these projects is so extraordinary, and if the social losses which result from failing to undertake them are so large, why haven't humans embarked on them? Why aren't we even close to beginning one of these great enterprises? Given the assertion made by many space development enthusiasts that the basic technology needed for their favorite projects already exists or can be developed from the available science, asking these questions is entirely fair. The answers must be found in political economy, some rudimentary understanding of which will be necessary before realistic planning for any very large space project can begin.
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1] We discovered a vertical hole on the Moon, which is a possible lava tube skylight, using data from SELENE's two high-resolution cameras: the Terrain Camera and the Multi-band Imager. The hole is nearly circular, 65 m in diameter, and located in a sinuous rille at the Marius Hills region, a volcanic province on the lunar nearside. We observed the hole at various solar illumination conditions and estimated its depth to be 80 to 88 m. The depth/diameter ratio is much larger than for typical impact craters. There are neither conspicuous deposits indicating volcanic eruptions from the hole, nor are there pit craters adjacent to the hole that could be related to an underlying fault or dike. The area around the hole is covered by a thin (20 to 25 m) lava sheet, which may help protect the lava tube from collapse due to meteorite bombardment. Citation: Haruyama, J., et al. (2009), Possible lunar lava tube skylight observed by SELENE cameras, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21206, doi:10.1029/2009GL040635.
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A lunar base is an essential part of all the new space exploration programs because the Moon is the most logical first destination in space. Its hazardous environment will pose challenges for all engineering disciplines involved. A structural engineer's approach is outlined in this paper, discussing possible materials and structural concepts for second-generation construction on the Moon. Several different concepts are evaluated and the most reasonable is chosen for a detailed design. During the design process, different solutions—for example, for the connections—were found. Although lunar construction is difficult, the proposed design offers a relatively simple structural frame for erection. A habitat on the Moon can be built with a reasonable factor of safety and existing technology. Even so, we recognize the very significant difficulties that await our return to the Moon.
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The Langley high energy nucleon transport computer code BRYNTRN is used to predict time-integrated radiation dose levels at the lunar surface due to high proton flux from solar flares. The study addresses the shielding requirements for candidate lunar habitat configurations necessary to protect crew members from these large and unpredictable radiation fluxes. Three solar proton events have been analyzed, and variations in radiation intensity in a shield medium due to the various primary particle energy distributions are predicted. Radiation dose predictions are made for various slab thicknesses of a lunar soil model. Results are also presented in the form of dose patterns within specific habitat configurations shielded with lunar material.
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The economic benefits of NASA programs are discussed. Emphasis is given to an analysis of indirect economic benefits which estimates the effect of NASA programs on employment, personal income, corporate sales and profits, and government tax revenues in the U.S. and in each state. Data are presented that show that NASA programs have widely varying multipliers by industry and that illustrate the distribution of jobs by industry as well as the distribution of sales.
Book
This book carries out approximate estimates of the costs of implementing ISRU on the Moon and Mars. It is found that no ISRU process on the Moon has much merit. ISRU on Mars can save a great deal of mass, but there is a significant cost in prospecting for resources and validating ISRU concepts. Mars ISRU might have merit, but not enough data are available to be certain. In addition, this book provides a detailed review of various ISRU technologies. This includes three approaches for Mars ISRU based on processing only the atmosphere: solid oxide electrolysis, reverse water gas shift reaction (RWGS), and absorbing water vapor directly from the atmosphere. It is not clear that any of these technologies are viable although the RWGS seems to have the best chance. An approach for combining hydrogen with the atmospheric resource is chemically very viable, but hydrogen is needed on Mars. This can be approached by bringing hydrogen from Earth or obtaining water from near-surface water deposits in the soil. Bringing hydrogen from Earth is problematic, so mining the regolith to obtain water seems to be the only way to go. This will require a sizable campaign to locate and validate useable water resources. Technologies for lunar ISRU are also reviewed, even though none of them provide significant benefits to near-term lunar missions. These include oxygen from lunar regolith, solar wind volatiles from regolith, and extraction of polar ice from permanently shaded craters.
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Technology transfer has been a cornerstone of the justification for public expenditure of space technology development programs since at least the creation of NASA out of its predecessor agencies. Research into its mechanisms has, however, been largely qualitative and focused on actively managed, one-way transfer of technology from agencies to industry. In this paper we consider the effects of a wider range of mechanisms by which space agencies affect the technical knowledgebase, and examine the Contingent Effectiveness Model as a useful framework for formalizing comparative analysis of transfers.
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The most widely available lunar resources are the local regolith and power from sunlight. In-situ vitrification technology and techniques exist to construct paving, equipment foundations and radiation proof shelters. New methods are proposed for making dust free chambers strong enough to support atmospheric pressure. These methods require minimal excavation and should enable remote operation from Earth. The equipment could provide feedstock for a cast basalt industry for structural elements and fittings. By-products would be volatiles and iron. Consumables and high tech equipment only would need to be imported from Earth. Power required is half that for cement production.
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The idea of melting in-situ lunar regolith to create underground vitrified structures has been developed previously [1]. Using this technique, the possibility of establishing long term bases/settlements on the Moon, Mars, Mercury or any other rocky body is discussed. There are two basic obstacles to such settlements: gravity and radiation, and solutions to both problems are offered utilizing subsurface structures fabricated using vitrification techniques. Such structures could house large settlements of humans in comfort and safety in conditions similar to those envisioned with space based habitats. These settlements would have access to all the material and energy resources available to the planet or moon on which they are constructed. Such settlements offer protection to their inhabitants from radiation events or asteroid strikes that could destroy an Earth-based civilization.
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Introduction: The thermal energy balance of any space mission element, whether it is a spacecraft, a permanent and crewed lunar base, or a space suit, is derived as a function of heat released by personnel and/or components installed within the outer shell and heat received from the surrounding environment. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
Chapter
Introduction: The Moon is the nearest celestial body to the Earth. As such, it has long been investigated to understand its formation and evolution, as a paradigm for better understanding the terrestrial planets, as well as all airless bodies in our solar system (e.g., Vesta, Phobos). The Moon's proximity to the Earth--more than one hundred times closer than any planet -- makes it a convenient target for exploration by spacecraft. Since the dawn of the space age in the previous century, we have explored the Moon with several spacecraft and even succeeded in sending astronauts there. One of the lessons of those explorations that hinders any future lunar expeditions is the severe conditions on the lunar surface. The lack of an atmosphere (10-12 torr) means that cosmic/galactic/solar rays, as well as the many micrometeorites directly striking the surface; in addition, surface temperatures vary widely, over a day-night range of more than 300 K. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.
Article
The solar radiation absorbed in massive building components is stored and later emitted as long-wave thermal radiation into the interior space. Heat storage capacity is directly related to the mass of the building envelope surrounding this space and particularly that of high-mass, homogeneous earthen or cementitious material. A thermal storage cycle is created by the time-lag effect if sufficient mass is available. A similar strategy applied to the lunar and/or Martian regolith would provide a surface structure with micrometeorite and radiation protection, thermal insulation, and natural supplemental heat energy that would significantly reduce the energy requirements met by mechanical equipment. HEAT2 is an energy simulation program that solves heat transfer problems using the partial differential heat conduction equation in two dimensions with the method of explicit finite differences. HEAT2 simulation data suggests that, although thermal mass is most suitable for climates where desired indoor temperatures fall within a large daily external temperature gradient, the heat storage cycle is least effective at the annual extremes occurring in midwinter and in midsummer. A more moderate climate will allow the heat storage cycle to modulate between positive and negative heat flows which are then shifted to align with peak load conditions, reducing energy demand. Also, diurnal and seasonal temperature gradients can initiate a sequence of phase transitions in the soil's moisture content affecting the overall conductivity. This study will present a more accurate explanation of the heat transfer processes occurring in soils of varying compositions when thermal properties are altered by transient climatic conditions.
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An igloo-shaped magnesium structure, supported on a sintered regolith, covered by sandbags of regolith shielding, and made using rapid manufacturing technologies is proposed as a potential design of a lunar structure. Also, a thermal analysis is carried out to study the effect of the regolith shielding as well as the sensitivity of such designs to measurement uncertainties of regolith and sintered thermal properties. It is shown that 3-m-thick regolith shielding can insulate the structure regardless of its location on the Moon.
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Many space-related impact studies have been carried out in the past, but there is no conclusive, comprehensive evaluation of the economic and social effects of public investments in space. Such evaluations are not easy to perform, for several reasons: the space sector is not a recognised category in official statistics; social benefits, which are likely to be very important, are hard to assess; and impacts from R&D are complex and occur in the long term. However, important steps can be made towards better evaluation of impacts. The full set of impacts of space investments may be simultaneously evaluated from both a ‘bottom-up’ and a ‘top-down’ perspective. In the bottom-up perspective, each effect is measured separately, while the top-down perspective provides a framework for integrating the effects. Although both perspectives have their own advantages and drawbacks, combining them yields both detailed and integrated results. Our discussion of the bottom up approach starts by identifying an extensive list of impacts. Next, data availability issues and methodological improvements are identified, leading to recommendations on programmes to collect data and perform case studies. Finally, suggestions are made for presenting impacts in the form of a scoreboard. The core of the top-down evaluation methodology proposed is social cost benefit analysis. Effects are weighted, where possible, on the basis of observed market prices or other estimations of monetary values. For effects that are hard to measure or monetize, multi-criteria analysis can be applied using surveys and expert opinion. Our core recommendations are to clearly define the space sector, to collect additional data, and to use improved methodologies. Social, strategic and environmental impacts deserve special attention, aiming at a more comprehensive coverage of impacts. Comprehensive evaluations can contribute to more upport for space expenditures.
Article
One of the biggest challenges of the exploration of the Moon is the survival of the crew and the lunar assets during the lunar night. The environmental conditions on the lunar surface and its cycle, with long periods of darkness, make any long mission in need of specific amounts of heat and electricity to be successful. We have analyzed two different systems to produce heat and electricity on the Moon's surface. The first system consists of Thermal Wadis, sources of thermal power that can be used to supply heat to protect the exploration systems from the extreme cold during periods of darkness. Previous results showed that Wadis can supply enough heat to keep lunar devices such as rovers above their minimum operating temperature (approximately 243 K). The second system studied here is the Thermal Energy Storage (TES), which is able to run a heat engine during the lunar night to produce electricity. When the Sun is shining on the Moon's surface, the system can run the engine directly using the solar power and simultaneously heat a thermal mass. This thermal mass is used as a high temperature source to run the heat engine during the night. We present analytical and numerical calculations for the determination of an appropriate thermal mass for the TES system.
Article
The lunar surface is characterized by a collisionally evolved regolith resulting from meteoroid bombardment. This lunar soil consists of highly angular particles in a broad, approximately power law size distribution, with impact-generated glasses. The regolith becomes densified and difficult to excavate when subjected to lunar quakes or, eventually, manned and unmanned activity on the surface. Solar radiation and the solar wind produce a plasma sheath near the lunar surface. Lunar grains acquire charge in this environment and can exhibit unusual behavior, including levitation and transport across the surface because of electric fields in the plasma sheath. The fine component of the lunar regolith contributes to the operational and health hazards posed to planned lunar expeditions. In this paper we discuss the mechanical response of the regolith to anticipated exploration activities and review the plasma environment near the lunar surface and the observations, models, and dynamics of charged lunar dust.
Article
A process is well underway in which the scientific, technical and cultural information vital to our society is stored in digital form within a limited number of computer facilities. This practice is vulnerable to a variety of catastrophes which would destroy our knowledge base in addition to the losses they caused to population and structures. The Alliance to Rescue Civilization (ARC) proposes that a staffed data backup facility be constructed in a secure location, with the Moon as the site of choice. If Earth's population were destroyed entirely, the lunar sanctuary could serve to repopulate the planet.
Article
A steady-state model for first-order magnitude estimates of lunar base masses is presented. The main focus of the model is the derivation of initial and annual resupply mass estimates for a lunar base at certain development stages. These estimates are not only a function of several thousand input parameters and boundary conditions such as crew size; lunar base location; and environmental conditions, but also specific system masses; specific power requirements; and specific thermal loads. This integrated lunar base model indicates which systems and subsystems have the greatest mass impact on the overall base. Also, brief overviews of possible activities at a lunar base and of lunar development strategies are given.
Article
The establishment of a permanent human presence on other planets will require establishing permanent infrastructure in new environments. Civil engineers select, define, and implement solutions to infrastructure design problems in unique environmental contexts. Wind and seismic loading are two examples of constraints long familiar to terrestrial civil engineering. Designing structrues for lunar exploration, development and eventual settlement will make use of the same design processes already practiced by the civil engineering profession. However, the extensive experience base resulting from centuries of terrestrial work does not adequately prepare civil engineers for the unprecedented constraints and environmental conditions that are encountered in space. The limited knowledge we already have about the Moon (mostly from the Apollo program) is a place to start. By assimilating and working with this knowledge, those pursuing the design of lunar base structures can begin to produce realistic and valid design solutions. The paper presents technical, operations, and programmatic issues that the writers consider fundamental to understanding the facts of life in this promising new design arena.
Article
This paper is a design study for a modular Lunar Base built of at least six cylindrical modules. For launching an ARIANE-Rocket with a payload of 12ton can be used.To land the modules on the moon the author has designed a Teleoperated Rocket Crane, which is assembled in the Lunar Orbit. The modules are made of aluminium sheets, using a double-shell structure to protect a crew of eight astronauts from radiation, micrometeorites, heat and low temperatures during the lunar night.Lunar material (regolith) is used for shielding.
Article
The morphology shape and texture of dust fractions of five Apollo lunar soils and a lunar dust simulant, JSC-1Avf, was studied using scanning electron microscopy. Shape aspect ratio and complexity of particles was described based on the two-dimensional projection images. The distributions of aspect ratio and complexity of particles are reported. It was determined that the Apollo lunar dust particles consist mainly of impact-produced glass, with complicated morphologies, extensive surface areas per grain, and sharp, jagged edges. Importantly, many grains contain elaborate vesicular textures, representing minute agglutinates. Dust simulant JSC-1Avf also has similar shapes as lunar dust, but differs in surface texture and area smooth and nonvesicular. These data provide information for toxicity studies of lunar dust and for selecting a suitable lunar dust simulant.
Article
Recent advances in materials technology have improved the performance capabilities of inflatable, flexible composite structures, which have increased their potential for use in numerous space applications. Space suits, which are comprised of flexible composite components, are a good example of the successful use of inflatable composite structures in space. Space suits employ inflatables technology to provide a stand alone spacecraft for astronauts during extra-vehicular activity. A natural extension of this application of inflatables technology is in orbital or planetary habitat structures. NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is currently investigating flexible composite structures deployed via inflation for use as habitats, transfer vehicles and depots for continued exploration of the Moon and Mars.
Article
Inflatable/deployable structures are under consideration as habitats for future Lunar surface science operations. The use of non-traditional structural materials combined with the need to maintain a safe working environment for extended periods in a harsh environment has led to the consideration of an integrated structural health management system for future habitats, to ensure their integrity. This article describes recent efforts to develop prototype sensing technologies and new self-healing materials that address the unique requirements of habitats comprised mainly of soft goods. A new approach to detecting impact damage is discussed, using addressable flexible capacitive sensing elements and thin film electronics in a matrixed array. Also, the use of passive wireless sensor tags for distributed sensing is discussed, wherein the need for on-board power through batteries or hardwired interconnects is eliminated. Finally, the development of a novel, microencapuslated self-healing elastomer with applications for inflatable/deployable habitats is reviewed.
Article
Visions about the establishment of a lunar base and development of the Moon for scientific, technical and commercial ends have been on the political agenda since the beginning of the Space Age. In the past few years a number of spacefaring nations, including the USA, European states through ESA, Japan, India, China and Russia have proposed missions directed at the robotic and human exploration and development of the Moon. This paper argues that an important factor in advancing these missions lies in a partnership between the pubic, governmental sector and the private sector. The paper analyzes the dynamics of this partnership as applied to the case of the US Vision for Space Exploration. The results of the analysis suggest that public–private partnerships directed at lunar development and commerce depend on how government reduces risks for the private sector. The risks identified and discussed herein include political and legal risks, technological risks, and financial and market risks.
Article
There is considerable interest at the present time to design a thermal control system (TCS) for a lunar base. Conventional techniques cannot be used for the purpose due to the lack of a readily available temperature sink during most of the lunar day. The lunar surface near the equatorial regions reaches a maximum of about 390 K during the 336-h lunar day. The projected range of temperatures for operation of sensors and conditioned habitat spaces is 270–293 K. A heat pump augmented TCS can be used to increase the operating temperature of the radiator, thereby enabling heat rejection. Rankine, absorption, and reverse Brayton cycle heat pumps with various working fluids are examined to identify the optimal cycle and working fluid combination. A base-line cooling load of 100 kW to be rejected at 270 K is used in the analysis. A Rankine cycle heat pump operating with R11 as the working fluid and R717 as a rejection loop coolant provides an optimal total TCS mass of 5940 kg at a radiator temperature of 362 K.
Article
Thesis--University of Illinois. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 144-150). Microfilm. s
Article
Radiation protection assessments are performed for advanced Lunar and Mars manned missions. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and solar proton flares through various shielding media. Galactic cosmic radiation at solar maximum and minimum, as well as various flare scenarios are considered. Propagation data for water, aluminum, liquid hydrogen, lithium hydride, lead, and lunar and Martian regolith (soil) are included. Shield thickness and shield mass estimates required to maintain incurred doses below 30 day and annual limits (as set for Space Station Freedom and used as a guide for space exploration) are determined for simple geometry transfer vehicles. On the surface of Mars, dose estimates are presented for crews with their only protection being the carbon dioxide atmosphere and for crews protected by shielding provided by Martian regolith for a candidate habitat.
Article
The present status of lunar knowledge based on U.S. and USSR lunar missions and the continuing analysis of lunar samples and data is reviewed. Particular attention given to exploration, samples, and recent concepts of the moon; the lunar environment; lunar surface processes; the lunar minerals, rocks, and regolith; chemical elements in the moon; physical properties of the lunar surface; and global and regional data about the moon.
Article
An increasing number of lunar base construction programs are in the process of developing lunar resources such as helium 3. The objective of the present work is to evaluate the temperature and humidity control system, which will allow man to live and work on the moon while developing lunar resources. The results of thermal load calculation show that the load of electric lighting is a 80 to 90% of the cooling load in the habitat module and that only the cooling function is required for temperature control. Due to this, a fluorocarbon refrigerant heat pump system was selected to satisfy reliability, energy consumption, size and weight requirements for the lunar base equipment. According to the load calculation, occupants will feel discomfort due to radiant heat from lighting fixtures. To resolve this problem, an air conditioning system, used in combination with forced convective cooling and panel cooling on the ceiling, was adopted in the living space. Moreover, the experiment on the ground was carried out to evaluate the effects of panel cooling.
Article
For many years it has been suggested that lava tubes on the Moon could provide an ideal location for a manned lunar base, by providing shelter from various natural hazards, such as cosmic radiation, meteorites, micrometeoroids, and impact crater ejecta, and also providing a natural environmental control, with a nearly constant temperature, unlike that of the lunar surface showing extreme variation in its diurnal cycle. An analysis of radiation safety issues on lunar lava tubes has been performed by considering radiation from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE) interacting with the lunar surface, modeled as a regolith layer and rock. The chemical composition has been chosen as typical of the lunar regions where the largest number of lava tube candidates are found. Particles have been transported all through the regolith and the rock, and received particles flux and doses have been calculated. The radiation safety of lunar lava tubes environments has been demonstrated.
Article
A long-term goal of space exploration is the development of a lunar settlement that will not only be largely self-sufficient but also contribute to the economy of the Earth-Moon system. Proposals for lunar mining and materials processing developments, as well as tourism-based applications, have appeared in the literature for many years. However, so great are the technical and financial difficulties associated with sustained lunar development that, more than 30 years after the end of the Apollo programme, there have been no practical advances towards this goal. While this may soon be remedied by a series of proposed unmanned orbiters, landers and rovers, the philosophy of lunar exploration and development remains the same as it has for decades: conquer, exploit, and ignore the consequences. By contrasting the well-recognised problems of Earth orbital debris and the barely recognised issue of intentional spacecraft impacts on the lunar surface, this paper illustrates the need for a new model for lunar exploration and development. This new paradigm would assign a value to the lunar environment and provide a balance between protection and exploitation, creating, in effect, a philosophy of sustainable development for the Moon. It is suggested that this new philosophy should be an integral part of any future strategy for lunar colonisation.
Article
The dynamics of how astronauts' immune systems respond to space flight have been studied extensively, but the complex process has not to date been thoroughly characterized, nor have the underlying principles of what causes the immune system to change in microgravity been fully determined. Statistically significant results regarding overall immunological effects in space have not yet been established due to the relatively limited amount of experimental data available, and are further complicated by the findings not showing systematically reproducible trends. Collecting in vivo data during flight without affecting the system being measured would increase understanding of the immune response process. The aims of this paper are to briefly review the current knowledge regarding how the immune system is altered in space flight; to present a group of candidate biomarkers that could be useful for in-flight monitoring and give an overview of the current methods used to measure these markers; and finally, to further establish the need and usefulness of incorporating real-time analytical techniques for in-flight assessment of astronaut health, emphasizing the potential application of MEMS/NEMS devices.
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