Author Topic: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil  (Read 3048 times)


Offline Jim

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Re: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #1 on: 03/19/2007 01:57 PM »
I don't see how this can work, especially dustfree.  I understand how a mass driver works, and it moves discrete packages.  But "sucking up dirt" is not the same.   As the magnets start pulling on the particles of the soil, it is going to affect them differently depending on their mass and iron content.  If this "trunk" works like a mass driver, the switching on and off, and the reversing of the magnetic coils is going to send particles going the other way.

Also what prevents dust and regolith on the outside of the "trunk" from being affected by the magnets

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #2 on: 03/19/2007 05:39 PM »
Is this Bigelow's proposed method for his inflatable Lunar Habs?
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline RedSky

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RE: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #3 on: 03/20/2007 12:18 AM »
Here's a prototype    :laugh:


Offline aftercolumbia

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Re: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #4 on: 03/20/2007 01:31 AM »
nice one!

Offline Tom Ligon

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Re: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #5 on: 03/20/2007 01:41 AM »
It looks like a solution searching for a problem!

There were a lot of minor problems with lunar dust on the Apollo missions, but nothing engineers can't learn to deal with.  That gizmo is an awfully complicated substitute for a shovel, and I doubt it would even work.

Lunar dust does some remarkable stuff, like fountaining way up in the sky (tens of kilometers) when hit by sunlight.  It is all electrostatic, not magnetic.  If dust is a problem, set up some chain link fence nearby, apply a charge to it that attracts the dust, apply the opposite charge to the digging equipment, and get on with the job.  A magnetic device will only deal with magnetic regiolith.  An electrostatic device should work on most material, and this is Luna ... dry.

Offline publiusr

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Re: Magnetic 'elephant trunk' sucks up lunar soil
« Reply #6 on: 03/30/2007 08:06 PM »
That makes a lot of sense. A lot of our heavy earthmoving equipment is already going more and more to electrical power. Give me Sea Dragon and we could put those up there as is. That and a nuclear reactor of course.

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