Lunar Regolith Stabilization for Excavation
Small Business Information
9621 Camino del Sol NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87111
AbstractEstablishing human presence outside the protective cover of earth's atmosphere is a challenge. On earth, the atmosphere does not only present breathing gas, it also acts as a thermal buffer and protects the biosphere from harmful radiation. Shielding of humans from harmful radiation during long-term stays on an extraterrestrial body like the moon is a difficult task. Lunar regolith provides an excellent source of readily available insulation and shielding material. About 2 m of packed regolith would provide an excellent cover for a permanent installation.. In order to either bury shelters or to surround habitats with berms of protective material, it is necessary to excavate regolith on a large scale, a difficult undertaking due to the dustlike consistency of the material. To stabilize the regolith, it is necessary to either consolidate the surface material of the slopes or to convert the regolith into a solid building material. Adherent Technologies, Inc. has developed several specialty resins for material stabilization. This includes penetrating urethane foam for asbestos remediation and epoxy resins for borehole casings in dry-drilling applications. ATI now proposes to develop a stabilization system for lunar surface dusts using a polyurethane foam binder.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.