Originally posted by sherpa
Now I know this is going to sound kinda "out there" but any oxide such as Ferrous oxide, Aluminium oxide etc means a reaction with oxygen ie
oxidisation as far as I know.
LOL Okay then
MOON MINING 101
Have not seen much Aluminum oxide up there, but most of the Iron on the Moon is Ferrous Oxide (FeO) an is a black powder while on Mars you get Ferric
Oxide (Fe2O3) also known as ferric oxide, Hematite, red iron oxide - hence the red soil of Mars
But three main ones are more important Silicon Oxide (Glass), Titanium Oxide (Ilmenite) and Thorium Oxide, which is three times more abundant than
uranium, is also a radioactive material.
And guess where all these minerals are concentrated? In the Copernicus? Aristarchus regions...
DATA from CLEMENTINE
Now for an example lets say you wanted to make structures on the Moon... and Spaceships...
Well you could take Solar Furnaces (plenty of Sun up there they tell me) and melt down the Glass for use in Fiberglass structures...
The fantastic thing about doing this relatively simple process is that the BYPRODUCTS of making Glass from the Lunar Regolith are.....
Iron, Titanium and Thorium ore and FREE OXYGEN for breathing, water making and fuel ("burning" liquid O and H gives you water, so effectively rocket
fuel exhaust is pure water) H and O need a small spark to release lots of energy and make water...
So ONE SIMPLE PROCESS and you get..
Fiber Glass domes..
Iron and Titanium for Spacecraft construction
Thorium for Nuclear Fuel
Now before you say "It's all Fantasy.."
I want to refresh your memory about a term ISRU
In Situ Resource Utilization... In all the documents I have found on Lunar and Mars Mining they use this term... It simply means "What is found on
the Moon, STAYS on the Moon" so no costly shipping back to Earth
The only exception to this I have found is Liquid H and O for fuel for return trips and that goes to LEO to "fuel dumps" at the Langranian Points...
and liquid HE3 that comes back, though I do not yet know where it goes after reaching LEO
As to things like Gold etc... I see no mention of it, though in the big mine Like Copernicus it may be... I don't think they care. The above
minerals... all of them... are lying around on the surface and all you need to do is process the Lunar dust... And HE3 is worth so much it makes gold
worthless in comparison...
LPI 6034 PDF
LUNAR AND MARTIAN FIBERGLASS AS A VERSATILE FAMILY
OF ISRU VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS
Lunar Regolith consists principally of silicates, in some cases as volcanic or impact glasses...
The logic employed in our reasoning includes the fact that any In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) effort is going to yield copious masses of silicon
oxides which can be used in bulk as conventional glass products or, after further separation, can be synthesized as Silicon and Silicon- Carbide
Fullerenes for more exotic applications. Additionally, mechanical wrapping of Silicon Webbing could prove to be more practical and durable and a lot
less brittle than attempting large scale hot glass molding of structural components.
Identified fuel production ISRU efforts yield partially heated masses of metal oxides as waste byproduct – rich in silicates and metal oxides useful
in bulk as conventional glass products. Fiberglass manufacturing increases effectiveness of prior ISRU fuel production by taking advantage of mineral
benefaction and elevated process exit temperatures. The resulting structures would be spheres and cylinders with various configurations that could
apply to human support systems, along with structures useable as storage tanks for the very Oxygen liberated in ISRU applications.
ISRU can manufacture more than fuels: even spacecraft are feasibly and affordably manufactured on Moon based upon fiberglass "tankage" integrated
with fiberglass keels. Second generation structural components may take advantage of Silicon Nanotubes for additional composite strength. Diverse
products for human systems support are manufacturable in-situ using glass fibers and fabrics, and CNC-type programmable manufacturing delivering
state-of-the-art flexibility of remote design and parts manufacture. These concepts suggest extensibility and evolutionary capability derived when
machining tool parts from fiberglass.
So there you have your Oxygen
What has been nagging me about Aristarchus is the haze in Mike's image that seems to me to centre on this.
I will get back to this. I have many pictures that show this area clearly. It looks almost like you are looking through glass or a field of some