NASA wants to use materials from the moon to build on its surface

One of the challenges facing the team now How to turn lunar regolith into a building material Strong and durable enough to protect human life. On the one hand, ice could exist in the regolith because future Artemis missions will be located near the Moon’s south pole. On the other hand, NASA doesn’t have a lot of actual lunar dust and rocks, only samples from the Apollo 16 mission.

So the MMPACT team had to create their own artificial versions.

Edmondson keeps cubes in his office with a dozen combinations that NASA hopes to find on the moon. Recipes include basalt, calcium, iron, magnesium and mineral compounds. Anorthita It does not occur naturally on Earth. Edmondson suspects that bright white synthetic anorthite, which is being developed in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines, is what NASA is going to find. Lunar crust.

However, the team believes it can do a “reasonably good job” of matching properties Geochemistry Of regolith, Clinton comments, “it’s very difficult to characterize.” GeotechnicalThe shape of the aggregate pieces of different smaller pieces, because these are built Collisions with meteors All that hit the moon for 4 billion years.”

Difficulties in building on the moon

There are other factors to take into account when Build on the moon, and some things can go wrong. Gravity is so weak that there’s a chance Earthquake It can produce vibrations for up to 45 minutes, and temperatures at the South Pole can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) during daylight and -400 degrees (-256 degrees Celsius) at night. Abrasion can clog machine joints and stop equipment completely. During the Apollo missions, regolith damaged space suits and inhaling the dust caused astronauts to experience allergic rhinitis-like symptoms.

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Construction Mars Dune Alpha, the test habitat in Texas, had an even bigger problem: Mankind had never brought a sample of Martian soil back to Earth, so Icon had to simulate the material based on predictions of its composition, namely that it was rich in basalt. They call their construction material “Lavacrete”. The most important thing for those in charge of NASA, according to Executive Director Jason Ballard, is to accurately reflect the color of the Martian soil. What would it be like to live on the red planet?.

It took a month to 3D print the structure, he explains. The process uses a giant printer arm with a nozzle that ejects a constant supply of lavacrete. They begin by outlining footprint of the structureA clay pot is constructed by adding layers.

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