It was a paper by Craig Davidson (presented by Zubrin) as to why a Moonbase is better than the proposed…
It was a paper by Craig Davidson (presented by Zubrin) as to why a Moonbase is better than the proposed Lunar-Orbital Platform Gateway (LOP-G) to promote human exploration.
Lunar Gateway would be a Mir space station in orbit around the moon. If there is a requirement to go to Gateway before going to the moon then it would add 30% load penalty to send missions to the moon’s surface.
It would take four launches of the undeveloped space launch system or undeveloped SpaceX Super Heavy Starship to build Lunar Gateway. It can also be built with 20 Falcon 9 launches or equivalent twenty spacecraft interruptions.
The Lunar Gateway option costs 20 different interplanetary missions.
There are resources on the moon. There is ice in the permanently shaded areas of the moon and there may be ice elsewhere under a meter of soil. The average temperature of the moon’s extreme temperatures is -50 degrees. The average temperatures are below one meter.
Rocket fuel can be manufactured on the moon. Neither hydrogen can be produced by electrolyzing the water or methane can be brought and moon acid can be used. If methane is taken with lunar oxygen, it saves 80% of the mass. Methane is fueled for the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship and methane is easier to handle as a rocket fuel.
The problem with the ice is that it is in shaded craters. If we have new Kilopowr nuclear reactors, we can put the reactor inside the crater. If we use solar energy, the solar energy must be in the sunlit area on top of the crater. A microwave transmitter and your trans-radiant power a few kilometers into the crater and then you have a tent that is transparent on one side, aluminized on the other hand, the microwaves reflect back from the side of the tent and into the ground or the tent can be completely transparent and you can only have a reflective dish behind The general idea is that microwaves are set on heating water and that’s why they are so attractive for cooking and they would penetrate into the ground to water the water to evaporate and it is especially attractive if the water is in the form of a permafrost where it is mixed with dirt there and especially about the temperature in these craters. The permafrost can be extremely strong material. You do not want to do it to break it up. But here we only heat it with microwaves. The vapors came up. They walk in. There is a pipe that connects it to a trailer tank and then calling a rover that tank out. You do not want to get batteries in the crater to try to evaporate ice that would be very ineffective so this is the closest application of power radiation, it’s extremely simple because you do not have to convert the microwaves back to electricity and the distances involved are modest .
By increasing the temperatures to 700 degrees Celsius, you can make iron from the moon.
It does not have to be SpaceX hardware for the Moon Direct Mission. Lunar development can also be done with Blue Origin New Glenn rockets.
Initial missions need fuel before lunar mines are set. The lunar mining can be installed robotically first or the original fuel can be stored in advance. Lunar Excursion Vehicles can be used as drones to explore anywhere on the moon if they use rockets for 6 kilometers per second. The moon base would be drunken to explore the entire surface of the moon.