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A baseline lunar mineA models lunar mining method is proposed that illustrates the problems to be expected in lunar mining and how they might be solved. While the method is quite feasible, it is, more importantly, a useful baseline system against which to test other, possible better, methods. Our study group proposed the slusher to stimulate discussion of how a lunar mining operation might be successfully accomplished. Critics of the slusher system were invited to propose better methods. The group noted that while nonterrestrial mining has been a vital part of past space manufacturing proposals, no one has proposed a lunar mining system in any real detail. The group considered it essential that the design of actual, workable, and specific lunar mining methods begin immediately. Based on an earlier proposal, the method is a three-drum slusher, also known as a cable-operated drag scraper. Its terrestrial application is quite limited, as it is relatively inefficient and inflexible. The method usually finds use in underwater mining from the shore and in moving small amounts of ore underground. When lunar mining scales up, the lunarized slusher will be replaced by more efficient, high-volume methods. Other aspects of lunar mining are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Gertsch, Richard E.
(Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Space Resources. Volume 3: Materials
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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