lunar tunnel engineers excited by boring moon colonies

by:Gewinn     2019-08-13
As space agencies prepare to send humans back to the moon, top engineers are racing to design a tunnel rig that can dig underground colonies for the first lunar resident.
\"Space has once again become the passion of many people.
There was a discussion about going back to the moon, and this time, \"we --
Iranian expert Jamal Rostami told AFP at this year\'s Naples world tunnel conference.
S. President Donald Trump\'s administration wants NASA to send humans back to the moon by 2024, and the agency plans to set up a \"portal\" station, as a platform for astronauts to and from the surface of the moon.
Billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are among the best in the fierce competition for military, civilian or commercial launches, and Musk\'s SpaceX is ahead of the race to prepare for a timely launch of a rocket.
But the harsh conditions on the surface of the Moon mean that once humans get to the moon, radiation and freezing temperatures need to be shielded in structures that maintain vacuum atmospheric pressure.
They also need to protect themselves from meteorite impacts.
\"Imagine my fist-sized thing turning into a stone at 10 --12 kilometres (6-7 miles)
\"Every second, it can hit anything and will destroy it immediately,\" Rostami said at a meeting in southern Italy . \".
\"So every plan to have a habitat on the moon involves building a trench, building a structure, and covering it with some form of pumice, which is the soil on the moon.
\"Our idea is to start underground and use a mechanism that we have already used on Earth, a tunnel drill that opens continuously, creates habitat, or connects colonies together, he added.
Rostami, director of the Institute of Earth mechanics at the Colorado School of Mines, said analysis of lunar surface images showed lava tubes could hide big cities underground. -Streamlining -
But it\'s not easy to get something as huge as a tunnel digging machine.
\"Weight is a problem.
It is quite expensive to take a kilo of material from Earth to the moon.
\"Our machine has hundreds of tons of quality, so it\'s not feasible to take the machine as it is,\" he said . \".
\"We have to convert the design, in which all the components are optimized, much lighter and perform better.
\"These machines must also be fully automated, and maintenance work is reduced to a minimum, which is a special challenge when dealing with tools that see a lot of wear and tear when eating in rocks and dirt.
Another question is how to provide them with power. With a four-
He said the meter-diameter machine requires about 2,000 KW of the energy, and experts are debating whether it is possible to use a small nuclear power plant to fuel the moon version. -
Frozen treasure-
By 2050, 1,000 people may be living in outer space. -
Whether in orbit or on the moon-
According to the United States Joint Launch Alliance, the initial space exploration will cost 2 pounds.
$7 trillion.
Although some say the first space residents to use mining tools, such as the lunar tunnel rig (LTBM)
Rostami says their top priority is to mine more precious things.
\"We are not talking about gold.
The first goal is water.
We know that there is trapped water at the moon poles, where the temperature is as low-
190 degrees Celsius (-310 Fahrenheit)\".
\"One idea that is being discussed is to heat the part under permanent shadows, evaporate the water and capture it,\" Rostami said . \", Who launched the world\'s first master\'s degree and doctorate in space resources engineering in Colorado.
\"The other idea is to dig it up and take it to a facility to unfreeze it.
The materials extracted with the water can then be used for 3D printed buildings in the colony, \"he said.
One thing is for sure: the future LTBM will first carry out a rigorous pilot test on Earth, because that\'s it once it\'s deployed.
It will be very difficult to make any drastic changes \".
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