posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:17 PM
First I'd like to say, spacedoubt, you are absolutely right. Both in your take on the composition of the lunar soil, and my responding to your post
I feel like I'll sound like I'm staring into a crystal ball, but here goes...
Ok, here's my vision for lunar construction:
First off, you need to use a robotic "first wave" in the contruction process. Unmanned equipment, sent to the moon, to begin the basic layout and
grading of the future base site.
I see a tracked vehicle with a rotating digging arm that picks up the loose surface soil and deposits it onto a moving conveyor belt. This belt runs
through a sort of "microwave furnace" that would melt the iron content of the soil, reducing the sharp edges of the soil material, allowing it to be
more easily handled (so it wouldn't be as abrasive and prevent added wear and tear on the construction equipment).
From here we could go to one of two methods of construction. Material could be pressed into bricks (similar to how pills are made) or it could be
"baked" in a microwave oven into a convinient shape for construction.
Another method could be to cover a half buried inflatable structure with the regolith and use a vehicle mounted "microwave gun" to heat the outside
layer of the regolith covered structure. Another, smaller machine, could be used on the inside of the structure for the same purpose. This would help
out with both rigidity of the structure, and protection from solar and cosmic radiation.
Until basic shelters are in place, manned presence on the moon will always be a very temporary endeavor.
I don't know...maybe I'm just babbling.
[edit on 17-11-2005 by BomSquad]