Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drilling Lunar Holes With Gas?

Larry Klaes sent me a post from Colony Worlds, which reminds me that
there are others of you out there.
Of late I have been distracted with events more local than space and
have been remiss in posting space related items.

If you go to the Colony Worlds blog you will see the illustration of
lunar dirt being sucked up and transported by pneumatic methods.
The credit for the image is given to Jeroen Lapre with a link to the short digital movie he is working on.

The article on the Colony Worlds blog is drawn from at

This is just one example of how going to new worlds will stretch the
imagination and how to come up with new ways of doing things.

When you have the vacuum of space available you don't need to think
about sucking, you need to find ways of blowing.
Then you have to find the gas to use to blow and ways to not let it be
wasted lest you destroy the vacuum you have out there.

The Moon will never be the same once we land again and we will need to
keep in mind the big picture or contamination may just be the air we
breath out.

What a challenge for the young engineer to be who now may be in our
school system. Best learn how to think outside the box, inside the box,
and all around the box, and then, just where to put that box.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Colony Worlds

Drilling Lunar Holes With Gas?

Posted: 12 Sep 2008 06:30 AM PDT

(Image: Illustration showing lunar rover carrying lunar dirt "sucked up"
by pneumatic digger towards storage tower (for later use). Credit:
DigitalSpace / Jeroen Lapre)

Its not until one leaves our blessed home world that one realizes how
hard it is to live lunar side.

Without an atmosphere settlers will be unable to drill beneath the
surface (due to friction between lunar rocks and drill bits), and unless
one has an endless supply of labor using shovels and pick axes may take
too long.

Despite the difficulty, one company has approached the problem from a
different angle, choosing to use gas to drill lunar holes instead of
striking the surface with metal.

How to Build Lunar Homes From Moon Dirt

By Clara Moskowitz
Staff Writer
posted: 03 September 2008
06:49 am ET

NEW YORK - When humans finally set up residence on the moon, our lives
there will look very different.

Since many of the tried and true tools we use on Earth will be
impossible to carry along, some scientists are hard at work inventing
from scratch the machines we'll need to make life possible on the moon.

One such example is building equipment.

"Bulldozers and excavation systems are pretty bulky and heavy," said
Kris Zacny, director of drilling and excavation systems at Honeybee
Robotics in New York City. "We came out with a different method of
digging that uses gas."

Zacny's invention digs up ground by injecting gas into the dirt, thereby
creating a high-pressure situation from which the gas naturally wants to
escape. When it does fly upward, the gas' strong momentum ends up taking
dirt up with it.

Space Settlement Nexus

*"The people of Earth have both the knowledge
and resources to colonize space."*

That was the stated conclusion of this NASA-sponsored study in 1975!
There are two things you need to know about space settlement:

* *We can do it, starting now. *
* *A future with space settlements is vastly better than one without

Lunar Bases and Settlement
Excerpt from speech of John Marburger
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President
March 15, 2006

The Moon has unique significance for all space applications for a reason
that to my amazement is hardly ever discussed in popular accounts of
space policy. The Moon is the closest source of material that lies far
up Earth's gravity well. Anything that can be made from Lunar material
at costs comparable to Earth manufacture has an enormous overall cost
advantage compared with objects lifted from Earth's surface. The
greatest value of the Moon lies neither in science nor in exploration,
but in its material. I am talking about the possibility of extracting
elements and minerals that can be processed into fuel or massive
components of space apparatus. The production of oxygen in particular,
the major component (by mass) of chemical rocket fuel, is potentially an
important Lunar industry.

What are the preconditions for such an industry? That, it seems to me,
must be a primary consideration of the long range planning for the Lunar
agenda. Science studies provide the foundation for a materials
production roadmap. Clever ideas have been advanced for the phased
construction of electrical power sources perhaps using solar cells
manufactured in situ from Lunar soil. A not unreasonable scenario is a
phase of highly subsidized capital construction followed by
market-driven industrial activity to provide Lunar products such as
oxygen refueling services for commercially valuable Earth-orbiting




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