Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

TBMs are heavy. While the Boring Company TBM can fit inside a BFR, the BFR does not have enough payload capacity to lift it. The TBM weighs around 1100 metric tons[0], while BFR's payload capacity is 100 metric tons. Water ice has only been confirmed to exist in permanently shadowed craters. We know it's there, we aren't sure what form it's in. Printing could be used to directly do processing. In the printing processes they outlined, regolith is heated up and melted. This is enough to drive out any volatiles including water from the regolith all one has to do is provide a means for capturing them. This might involve printing in a bubble or having a cold trap near where the regolith is melted. Of course the big question is how much benefit there is to printing structures on the moon vs. shipping up structures from earth. A promising approach is to bury structures launched from earth. Where we send up as lightweight a habitat as possible and use the regolith for radiation shielding. One very interesting means of burying structures on the Moon is to make a rover that goes around mining regolith and when it's full, uses a catapult to throw the regolith on top of the habitat[1]. Because gravity is low and there's no atmosphere, regolith can be transported quite far ballisticaly. [0]https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42143.140 [1]https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/199300...



Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: