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Several oxygen-containing dusts?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri May 20, 2005 5:05 pm
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Several oxygen-containing dusts? 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:58 am
campbelp2002 wrote:
The first products will DEFINITELY be propellants.


Absolutely!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:22 am
I am putting into question if the selection of propellant should be done according to the ISP alone.

If any planet other than Earth should be inhabited or used somehow the amounts of resources - applied per kind of ressource - are crucial meaning. The smaller the amount of a particular propellant is the more important is the struggle to let the planet to pull reaction products back onto that planet. This tends to be more achievable at heavier reaction products.

A counter-argument might be that the less the gravitational pull the less propellant needs to be consumed.

Next light propellants might be required for other purposes also.

So weight of reaction products and ISP shouldn't be the only criterions no longer. This is worth a particular thread in my eyes.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:34 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
I am putting into question if the selection of propellant should be done according to the ISP alone.


I would have said availability, followed by ease of extraction and then the reliability of the rocket motor would all come before ISP.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:13 pm
I don't think the first product will be rocket propellant. It would be a prudent product, but certainly not the first. It's like going somewhere and the first thing you do is going away. Yes it will be an important thing to do, but the first i hope is expanding the habitatspace and foodgrowing space.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:37 pm
Oxygen first, for multiple purposes! Actual rocket fuel (as opposed to oxidant) might wait a while, I agree.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:46 pm
Well I have to disagree with both Stefan and xiphius. All the oxygen (and we hope hydrogen) needed by the base for a year would probably be less than needed for one rocket flight. The only reason to NOT use it as propellant would be if you couldn't make enough. Propellant from the Moon is 6 times more effective because of the 1/6 gravity. It is much better to fuel a vehicle on the Moon to go to LEO and pick up supplies launched from Earth than it is to launch those supplies AND enough propellant to send them all the way from LEO to the Moon.

But any manufactured products will probably come from Earth for a very long time. America exported mostly raw materials to Europe and imported manufactured goods for about the first 200 years after the first Europeans settled there.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:05 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
Well I have to disagree with both Stefan and xiphius. All the oxygen (and we hope hydrogen) needed by the base for a year would probably be less than needed for one rocket flight. The only reason to NOT use it as propellant would be if you couldn't make enough. Propellant from the Moon is 6 times more effective because of the 1/6 gravity. It is much better to fuel a vehicle on the Moon to go to LEO and pick up supplies launched from Earth than it is to launch those supplies AND enough propellant to send them all the way from LEO to the Moon.

But any manufactured products will probably come from Earth for a very long time. America exported mostly raw materials to Europe and imported manufactured goods for about the first 200 years after the first Europeans settled there.


The oxygen and hydrogen will mostly be used for rocketfuel, apart from the occasional waterre-supply, but i was talking in more general terms (and i thought this was a Mars thread, my bad). If you go to the moon, it's not for exploration (we allready have lunarmaps, so how does the exploring part fit in?) but imo for preparation for colonisation or a testbed for this purpose (in the end you should have an industry up there).

In that case, the first thing you want to do is create a selfsustaining colony. If that is done, it should be expanded so it can handle more colonists. When this growing begins, then you can really start producing/manufacturing something, and then rocket fuel will become important. Unless it can be generated 100% auotmatically from day one with a machine that is lifted from earth in 1 launch, then forget what i said.

But it all depends on what do you want to use the moon for. Refillingstation, colony, testbed, industry or wastedump?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:28 pm
xiphius wrote:
Oxygen first, for multiple purposes!


By this I did mean for use as propellant as well as life support. I remember Bob Parkinson saying at a BIS conference that if you produce oxygen on the moon, then an infrastructure based on chemical rockets out-performs nuclear propulsion. I think the fuel component (i.e. stuff to be oxidized) of rocket propellant will be imported for some time.

And I agree about manufactured products being imported for some time to come, and possibly forever. I think there may never be enough activity on the moon to bother doing anything very sophisticated there. Using regolith in some kind of concrete analog, cementing or sintering it together for building surface structures, is probably the second phase of ISRU after tapping into whatever volatiles we find.

[EDIT] @Stefan, yes, it all depends on what scenario we are talking about. A lot of people now accept the presence of water on the moon, whereas I still don't feel secure assuming that is exploitable (maybe I'm too old), but we know we can get oxygen out of the rocks.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:01 pm
The article "How Moon Dust Could Yield Oxygen, Fuel and Water"
( www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090108-a ... awaii.html ) says that
Quote:
The type of dust that attracted the engineers to Hawaii is called "tephra," a fine, powder-like material that is ejected during a volcanic eruption. Tephra works well in the prototype chemical processing units because it mimics the dust found on the moon
.

What does tephra consist of? Is it a mix of several different dust?



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