Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Lunar ISRU

Lunar ISRU

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:01 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 23 posts ] 
Lunar ISRU 
Author Message
Spaceflight Trainee
Spaceflight Trainee
avatar
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:47 am
Posts: 35
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:52 am
Hi Ekkehad,
Out gassing would probably indicate that the crater in question has an ore body rich in whatever was out-gassed buried below it. It would certainly be a good indication to "dig here".

Obital mechanics ought to give a good indication, from the size of the crater, what mass of original metorite material is buried below it, and how far down you'd need to dig to get to it.

The problem is that it's not just hydrogen or water that you need. Sooner or later you're going to need access to practically all of the first 90 or so elements

_________________
Fight drought - don't wash.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:38 pm
Posts: 1361
Location: Austin, Texas
Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:20 pm
In the short term, water (and/or hydrogen) is THE most valuable thing that could be found on the Moon.

Long term it is more than elements that are needed. All the elements are available on Earth but we need certain compounds or certain kinds of minerals to actually do useful things. For example we need oil and not just carbon, hydrogen and oxygen to make plastics. And we need bauxite and not just any rock with aluminum in it to make aluminum metal.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Trainee
Spaceflight Trainee
avatar
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:47 am
Posts: 35
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:21 pm
Oil, unfortunately is not likely to be found off earth as it is thought to be derived from decaying organic matter.

To grow things you need lots of carbon, nitrogen and water. and a whole heap of minor elements. all scarce as hens teeth on the moon. unless exploration turns up deposits of old meteor cores rich in these elements.

Without the ability to grow things on the moon you're going too struggle to establish any sort of long term presence as all your food and water will need to be carted up from earth at ridiculous prices. Obviously we will have to do this initially anyway. But for the longer term it is essential, I think, to find out what buried resources there may be on the moon just to get some food production happening there to support a larger colony.

The moon doesn't have vulcanism, plate tectonics, erosion, or life forces acting on the lunar regolith to separate and concentrate ore bodies. The only force shaping the lunar surface is meteor impacts. Thus the remains of meteors are likely to be the main source of useful materials (other than those in the regoliths) for some time.

Fortunately you can see exactly where each meteor landed

:D

_________________
Fight drought - don't wash.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:38 pm
Posts: 1361
Location: Austin, Texas
Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:30 am
Growing plants requires nitrates, not nitrogen, unless you are growing only nitrogen fixers, like legumes. For the majority of plants the nitrogen in the air is totally useless. And carbon alone is also useless, You need organic compounds. So, as I say, just finding the right elements is not enough.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:18 pm
Posts: 124
Location: UK
Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:08 am
I used to think the answer to everything was to shovel moondust into a big calutron, then stick all the elements back together to make the stuff you want. I've grown out of it now.

I think the bottom line is that we need to know more about the moon to assess its resources. We need to start looking closely at structures using seismic tomography and, ultimately, deep drilling.

Venting of water at impact craters is suggestive of the hydrothermal deposits around the top of a plutonic intrusion. If impacts leave a molten mass underground which cools slowly, processes like fractional crystallization just might create concentrated deposits of sorted minerals, similar to a magmatic segregation deposit. Personally I doubt that there will ever be enough activity on the moon to warrant deep mining of anything.

Volatiles will always be a problem on the moon and hopefully we will find some on a convenient NEO. Ammonia and methane would be ideal - that gives you carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen. We already have oxygen in the rocks. Then we need a strategy to feed those materials into agriculture, and I think that will involve bugs. Other trace elements needed by plants are leached out of rocks when they come into contact with water, so I am not too worried about those. In short, if you want agriculture in space, I think an old-fashioned approach will actually be easier than hydroponic control-freakery. We will need to take a bucket of nature, like it or not.

I think O'Neill had the right idea about using the moon - pull it apart and use it to build orbital colonies.

_________________
We love Google. Google is our friend and protector.


Back to top
Profile
Spaceflight Enthusiast
Spaceflight Enthusiast
avatar
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:56 am
Posts: 3
Location: usa
Post Hydrogen for Propellant Creation   Posted on: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:39 am
Hi all,

I think the most important use of the possible hydrogen signature, especially the one discovered at Shackleton Crater is that it could be mined in either its H3 or ice/water form to create propellant for future space mission. I seen this video on http://www.ted.com that got me interested in this idea http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/141.

After watching that video I put a site together as a way to try to understand the issue http://www.lunarwire.com/. It is much more complex of an idea than I expected lol, but I'm pushing forward to understand it. Any and all comments are welcome.

Shackleton


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:21 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Baltimore, MD
Post    Posted on: Wed May 28, 2008 3:25 am
Great article by Dennis Wingo on SpaceRef.com about ISRU on the Moon...
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1290


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:34 am
Posts: 450
Post the Hydrogen Farm   Posted on: Wed May 28, 2008 5:38 pm
Let me suggest the “Hydrogen Farmâ€


Back to top
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests


© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use