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Proposal for a lunar tunnel-boring machineA need exists for obtaining a safe and habitable lunar base that is free from the hazards of radiation, temperature gradient, and micrometeorites. A device for excavating lunar material and simultaneously generating living space in the subselenian environment was studied at the conceptual level. Preliminary examinations indicate that a device using a mechanical head to shear its way through the lunar material while creating a rigid ceramic-like lining meets design constraints using existing technology. The Lunar Tunneler is totally automated and guided by a laser communication system. There exists the potential for the excavated lunar material to be used in conjunction with a surface mining process for the purpose of the extraction of oxygen and other elements. Experiments into lunar material excavation and further research into the concept of a mechanical Lunar Tunneler are suggested.
Document ID
19890008382
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Allen, Christopher S. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Cooper, David W. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Davila, David, Jr. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Mahendra, Christopher S. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Tagaras, Michael A. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
May 5, 1988
Subject Category
ENGINEERING (GENERAL)
Report/Patent Number
NASA-CR-184746
NAS 1.26:184746
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGT-21-002-080
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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