Author Topic: Startup Moon Base Concepts  (Read 18384 times)

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #80 on: 05/03/2018 03:59 PM »
One of the additions for a polar base would be a solar tower.

There are peaks near the poles which are illuminated 99% of the time. However, to exploit this, the solar arrays have to be rotated on a vertical axis.

The solar tower would be launched on a Falcon Heavy, with a landing mass on the moon of about 10 tons. It then telescopes a vertical mast upwards about 70m, and from the top two side mast extending out 30m. Some packaging and assembly needed here.

Then the two horizontal masts each unfurl a solar sail, down 60m.  The result is a 60m x 60m solar sheet, with a generating capacity of about 1MW.

The vertical mast has a commutator and drive engine, to rotate the mast once per lunar month, so the sail always points towards the sun. The base has the heavy power conversion kit, and support legs (which would later be fixed to the surface).

Several of these units can be landed. Of course, sometimes they'll shade each other, or be shaded by nearby peaks, but should average a capacity factor of >80%.

Visually, these would dominate the Shackelton Moonbase.

I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.

Offline DistantTemple

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #81 on: 05/03/2018 05:24 PM »
snip... 
Also, Ive never heard if casting of cement in low g or space vacuum has been attempted.  Seems like the ISS needs a cement truck delivery.   Maybe the next mass simulator for FH will attempt a cement truck to the ISS?
A NASA investigation into the curing process and resulting strength of concrete in vacuum, found that once set  and vacuum was applied, concrete dried quicker and more thoroughly than a control at room pressure. The resulting strength was achieved more quickly and was at least as good.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1992lbsa.conf..497C

Another NASA study was on the curing. This concluded that load bearing items and pre-stressed items should be cast in a pressurised container/environment. Non structural insitu  concrete should have an aitright (not pressure tight) membrane fixed against it until it has cured.
http://space.nss.org/media/Lunar-Bases-conference-2-516-Concrete-Production-On-The-Moon.pdf
This is (mainly) because loss of water (to vacuum) before the hydration reaction is nearly complete (<4 hours) does negatively affect strength etc. The membrane reduces this, but a pressure vessel (or habitat/workshop) would eliminate it. (There are also differences in internal air bubble characteristics.)
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #82 on: 05/04/2018 04:49 AM »
The Japanese have thousands of years of experience building in an earthquake-prone environment.  And you do not see many all concrete, or even stone, buildings there.  No big medieval stone castles like in Europe.  All the really old buildings are made of wood, often without even nails.   Often a stone foundation and that's it.  Even those, of the ones you see around today, have been reconstructed in modern times for tourism purposes.  And they use fitted stones rather than concrete.  Even the Romans used concrete on Earth, 2000 years ago.  Not so in Japan.  Even if they knew how, it would not have worked.

Their big modern buildings today are flexible and they copy the harmonic vibration damper techniques from 1500 years ago into modern steel buildings.  As it is, a newly built concrete and steel apartment building in Japan is considered unsafe and has to be torn down after just 20 years, due to cracking.  This is factored into what you have to pay to live in one.

Can any flexible plastic-like materials, not using petroleum products obviously, be made from lunar raw materials?  The solution may be in polymers rather than ceramics.

Pure metals are flexible, which is why we use them in springs. In a vacuum we do not have to worry about rust. A metal with the appropriate temperature range in needed. When it gets cold iron for example gets brittle.

Offline Mr. Scott

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #83 on: 05/06/2018 04:54 AM »
One of the additions for a polar base would be a solar tower.

There are peaks near the poles which are illuminated 99% of the time. However, to exploit this, the solar arrays have to be rotated on a vertical axis.

The solar tower would be launched on a Falcon Heavy, with a landing mass on the moon of about 10 tons. It then telescopes a vertical mast upwards about 70m, and from the top two side mast extending out 30m. Some packaging and assembly needed here.

Then the two horizontal masts each unfurl a solar sail, down 60m.  The result is a 60m x 60m solar sheet, with a generating capacity of about 1MW.

The vertical mast has a commutator and drive engine, to rotate the mast once per lunar month, so the sail always points towards the sun. The base has the heavy power conversion kit, and support legs (which would later be fixed to the surface).

Several of these units can be landed. Of course, sometimes they'll shade each other, or be shaded by nearby peaks, but should average a capacity factor of >80%.

Visually, these would dominate the Shackelton Moonbase.

I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.
Have any landers sent to the moon been equipped with solar cells?  Youd have to believe this has been attempted by now? But Im not coming up with anything with my Google fu.

perhaps there is a technical risk that has kept solar cellls off of the moon?  Thermal fatigue or just the 14 days of darkness problem (so why bother).

Of course the lunar poles might work better for solar power.

Everything Im finding is nuclear or else short duration.

I've already asked to have my NSF account deleted, but they keep wanting me to do this.

Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #84 on: 05/06/2018 09:35 AM »
One of the additions for a polar base would be a solar tower.

There are peaks near the poles which are illuminated 99% of the time. However, to exploit this, the solar arrays have to be rotated on a vertical axis.

The solar tower would be launched on a Falcon Heavy, with a landing mass on the moon of about 10 tons. It then telescopes a vertical mast upwards about 70m, and from the top two side mast extending out 30m. Some packaging and assembly needed here.

Then the two horizontal masts each unfurl a solar sail, down 60m.  The result is a 60m x 60m solar sheet, with a generating capacity of about 1MW.

The vertical mast has a commutator and drive engine, to rotate the mast once per lunar month, so the sail always points towards the sun. The base has the heavy power conversion kit, and support legs (which would later be fixed to the surface).

Several of these units can be landed. Of course, sometimes they'll shade each other, or be shaded by nearby peaks, but should average a capacity factor of >80%.

Visually, these would dominate the Shackelton Moonbase.

I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.
Have any landers sent to the moon been equipped with solar cells?  Youd have to believe this has been attempted by now? But Im not coming up with anything with my Google fu.

perhaps there is a technical risk that has kept solar cellls off of the moon?  Thermal fatigue or just the 14 days of darkness problem (so why bother).

Of course the lunar poles might work better for solar power.

Everything Im finding is nuclear or else short duration.

Chang'e 3 had solar cells, though this may be considered a short duration mission.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #85 on: 05/06/2018 09:37 AM »
Have any landers sent to the moon been equipped with solar cells?  Youd have to believe this has been attempted by now? But Im not coming up with anything with my Google fu.

Surveyor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_program
Lunokhod. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_1
Chang'e 3. https://earth.esa.int/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/c-missions/chang-e-3
« Last Edit: 05/06/2018 09:39 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline turbopumpfeedback2

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #86 on: 05/06/2018 10:02 AM »
Suppose the international collaborations are at risk.  Which countries would be good to partner with (from a technical perspective)?  Have to leave politics out of it.  But, what countries provide the best capabilities to build this international lunar station?

My idea was just to continue ISS collaboration on the Moon, with reusable lander that uses fuel from water from lunar poles.

Offline Mr. Scott

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #87 on: 05/08/2018 05:18 AM »
Have any landers sent to the moon been equipped with solar cells?  Youd have to believe this has been attempted by now? But Im not coming up with anything with my Google fu.

Surveyor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_program
Lunokhod. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_1
Chang'e 3. https://earth.esa.int/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/c-missions/chang-e-3

Solar (photoelectric) cells on the lunar surface seem tried, but not true... for some reason.

There has to be a few different ways to generate renewable energy on the moon that you cannot do on Earth:

1) thermal gradients between light/dark side regions -> run a turbine to generate electricity using a 'working' fluid
2) solar wind turbines
3) microwave beaming from solar powered satellites (always in view of the sun).
4) solar concentrator / solar thermal power
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Offline DougSpace

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #88 on: 05/08/2018 11:11 AM »
My idea was just to continue ISS collaboration on the Moon, with reusable lander that uses fuel from water from lunar poles.

The ISS collaboration hasnt made it cost-effective.  But public-private partnerships have been cost-effective.  So, my view is that the US should fund American companies to establish end-to-end transportation, ice-harvesting, and habitation systems.  Then we should encourage other countries to do likewise.  Fund their own companies to develop redundant, dissimilar elements so as to keep our own companies honest and provide back-up in case one element has to go off line.

Also, the transportation system to the lunar surface should be so cost-effective that smaller countries well beyond the ISS partners should be able to buy at least one seat on an ongoing series of lunar exploration missions.

My write-ups in this topic are at:
SpaceDevelopment.org/ilcots.html
SpaceDevelopment.org/suborbital.html

Offline Mr. Scott

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #89 on: 05/09/2018 10:31 PM »
ISS collaborations sound murky.  Like posted earlier on this thread, it isnt clear what any other country brings to the party.

Public-private partnerships work well for waste water treatment plants and semi-privatization of federal penitentiaries.  But other examples havent worked out, and then the government has to step in to recapture what was chartered to be done. 

This news about nine SLS flights leads me to conjecture that travel to a moon base is going to be all commercial real soon.

There is no way one moon base would be built in nine flights and potential requal dates to slip the schedule out for the next millennia.

Id like to make the motion to move the thread to a commercial lunar programs category (out of Orion/SLS)

Afterwhich, we can take a poll which billionaire should build a moon base.

Any seconds on the motion?



I've already asked to have my NSF account deleted, but they keep wanting me to do this.

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #90 on: 05/13/2018 04:18 PM »
Before we can even discuss a lunar base, we need to understand the architecture to get us there. I honestly don't think BFR/BFS will fly as currently envisioned. (Way too big, mission profiles too complex)

The BFR isn't bigger then the Saturn V and that flew 50 years ago.  In terms of aerodynamics, the larger mass makes the BFR first stage simpler then the Falcon 9 which lands regularly.  The only unproven thing is the second stage and that's not really complex compared to "old fashioned" high speed reentry of a capsule.

A Lunar Outpost could consider using a roughly 70% percent oxygen and 30% percent nitrogen atmosphere at 5 PSI - similar to Skylab - to reduce chances of oxygen toxicity and to reduce pre-breathing time for EVAs.

I would think a lunar outpost could probably go all the way up to 75-80%.  It's only a kilogram of nitrogen per cubic meter.  If that is more then a minor expense, I seriously question the financial viability of constructing a moon base.  The density would be a little bit of a problem but presumably it could be shipped along with much more dense equipment that wouldn't use of the maximum storage volume of the shipping vessel.

I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.

Isn't the problem with the moon too much heat, not too little heat?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #91 on: 05/13/2018 10:17 PM »
{snip}
I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.

Isn't the problem with the moon too much heat, not too little heat?

Both. The Moon is a very tough environment.

At the equator the lunar surface temperature has a minimum of 100 K (-279F, -173C), mean of 220 K (-64F, -53C) and a maximum of 390 K (242F, 117C).

A list of material that can take the temperature range should be publishing. Things like electronics may need heating at night and cooling during the day.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #92 on: 05/15/2018 02:46 AM »
{snip}
I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.

Isn't the problem with the moon too much heat, not too little heat?

Both. The Moon is a very tough environment.

At the equator the lunar surface temperature has a minimum of 100 K (-279F, -173C), mean of 220 K (-64F, -53C) and a maximum of 390 K (242F, 117C).

A list of material that can take the temperature range should be publishing. Things like electronics may need heating at night and cooling during the day.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

The temperature of the surroundings of the ISS are very close to absolute zero once every hour and a half and yet they get by fine without a space heater.

Why would the moon base not naturally produce enough heat to offset the radiative losses?
« Last Edit: 05/15/2018 02:49 AM by johnfwhitesell »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #93 on: 05/15/2018 06:53 AM »
{snip}
I would also suggest a nuclear reactor - not least because of the need for heat, and also for redundancy. But the solar sails will probably work out cheaper than a reactor.

Isn't the problem with the moon too much heat, not too little heat?

Both. The Moon is a very tough environment.

At the equator the lunar surface temperature has a minimum of 100 K (-279F, -173C), mean of 220 K (-64F, -53C) and a maximum of 390 K (242F, 117C).

A list of material that can take the temperature range should be publishing. Things like electronics may need heating at night and cooling during the day.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

The temperature of the surroundings of the ISS are very close to absolute zero once every hour and a half and yet they get by fine without a space heater.

Why would the moon base not naturally produce enough heat to offset the radiative losses?

The pallets on the ISS have electricity to allow heating.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Repairs

A Moon base will also suffer conductive heat losses at night and heat gains during the day.

As well as buildings a Moon base will contain rovers with axles, solar panels, landing pads and stand alone electronics for experiments and navigation.

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #94 on: 05/15/2018 07:08 AM »

The temperature of the surroundings of the ISS are very close to absolute zero once every hour and a half and yet they get by fine without a space heater.

Why would the moon base not naturally produce enough heat to offset the radiative losses?

It probably will - on average. But there might be outlying bits that do need heating during the night. And of course, the more natural heat it produces, the more it has to work to get rid of the heat. And the better you insulate something (quite easy in a vacuum) the more you need active heat removal.

Of course, the most sensitive components of the moon base need to be kept in an environment between 10C and 30C at all times, and preferably held at 20C - 21C most of the time, with an internal operating temperature of 37C.

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #95 on: 05/15/2018 10:55 AM »
But these aren't problems with the base not having enough heat generation, this is a heat distribution problem within the base, and even then entirely architecture dependent.

And a nuclear generator isn't an effective answer to this problem, let alone an efficient one!

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #96 on: 05/16/2018 09:14 AM »
But these aren't problems with the base not having enough heat generation, this is a heat distribution problem within the base, and even then entirely architecture dependent.

And a nuclear generator isn't an effective answer to this problem, let alone an efficient one!

Depends on where the moon is and what it's doing.

If it wants to extract water from an ice/regolith mixture at the South Pole, then it's going to need a lot of heat.

In some case, solar reflectors might be easier, but any good "vistas" might be take up with solar PV cells.

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #97 on: 05/16/2018 12:54 PM »
That's the problem with the moon, you go there expecting wide open spaces but between the solar panels and the hipsters you barely have space to turn around.

Offline Mr. Scott

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #98 on: 05/18/2018 04:18 AM »
Ive begun to wonder about astronaut experience and the ability to start moon bases. 

Since there are very few experienced lunar astronauts, perhaps these commercial moon missions and startup moon bases could include currently living Apollo astronauts?

I've already asked to have my NSF account deleted, but they keep wanting me to do this.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Startup Moon Base Concepts
« Reply #99 on: 05/18/2018 04:30 AM »
You are remembering how old they are, right?! Even Charlie Duke - the youngest Moonwalker - is now 82 years old. By the time such ventures really get underway; he'd probably be pushing 90. Future lunar ventures are going to have to start more or less from scratch.
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