A survey of permanently-manned lunar base concepts.
Hiponia, Lorenzo S.
Wadsworth, Donald v.Z.
Wood, Richard D.
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This thesis is a comparative evaluation of various lunar base concepts advocated by leading experts in the field of manned space exploration. Additionally, original design concepts are presented in four appendices. The emphasis is on the impact of mission strategy and objectives on lunar base design concepts. Three candidate mission scenarios involving a lunar base are compared: (1) a scientific research station, (2) a mining and manufacturing facility based on lunar resources, (3) a permanent, autonomous manned base or staging point for space exploration. The lunar base development stages are related to the evolution of the various mission alternatives. In addition, several lunar base design concepts are compared and evaluated in terms of function and construction techniques suitable for the lunar environment. Lunar base power sources are compared in terms of power output, complexity, and feasibility. Particular attention is given to the role of solar and nuclear power and the possible role of superconducting technology. Finally, the transportation infrastructure and logistics required to support an operational Moon base are examined, the primary focus being on mission modes, transportation costs, and supply logistics. This thesis concludes with a feasibility appraisal of a lunar base endeavor and surveys current lunar base study efforts.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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