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TransAstra Lunar Mining Idea Was Max Valier's In 1931

TransAstra's Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost (LPMO) idea lays out a potential architecture for exploiting the huge stores of water ice in polar craters.


(TransAstra Corp. aims to mine asteroid water by harnessing sunlight)

"One of our main objectives is to create icy-regolith simulants and test the effectiveness of these various heating methods in our cryogenic vacuum chamber," Sowers said during a presentation in June with NASA's Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group.

Sowers laid out a potential moon-mining architecture during his FISO talk, which was primarily focused on the economics of moon mining. Heliostats (mirrors that track the sun's movement) on the rims of polar craters could bounce sunlight down to the floors, onto the optics-equipped roofs of "capture tents."

This concentrated sunlight perhaps aided by buried heaters would cause subsurface ice to sublimate into water vapor, which would then be captured.

Austrian rocket pioneer and writer Max Valier wrote compellingly about this idea in his wonderful story A Daring Trip To Mars, published in 1931 in Wonder Stories:

The engineer had judged correctly for the ground on which the space ship had landed consisted of ice...

"...Now be quick, get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane."

A huge parabolic mirror built of light sheet silver collected the intense heat of the sun and first melted a small amount of ice in a closed container. The water thus formed - which cannot exist free on the airless moon - was heated to boiling, and provided the steam for a little turbine...
(Read more about the solar power apparatus)

Valier was among the first to write about using the Moon as a place to obtain propellant for exploring the solar system: see filling station Moon.

Via Space.com.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/1/2021)

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