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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Lunar Regolith Stabilization for Excavation, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Lunar Regolith Stabilization for Excavation, Phase I
Establishing human presence outside the protective cover of earth's atmosphere is a challenge. On earth, the atmosphere does not only present breathing gas, it also acts as a thermal buffer and protects the biosphere from harmful radiation. Shielding of humans from harmful radiation during long-term stays on an extraterrestrial body like the moon is a difficult task. Lunar regolith provides an excellent source of readily available insulation and shielding material. About 2 m of packed regolith would provide an excellent cover for a permanent installation.. In order to either bury shelters or to surround habitats with berms of protective material, it is necessary to excavate regolith on a large scale, a difficult undertaking due to the dustlike consistency of the material. To stabilize the regolith, it is necessary to either consolidate the surface material of the slopes or to convert the regolith into a solid building material. Adherent Technologies, Inc. has developed several specialty resins for material stabilization. This includes penetrating urethane foam for asbestos remediation and epoxy resins for borehole casings in dry-drilling applications. ATI now proposes to develop a stabilization system for lunar surface dusts using a polyurethane foam binder. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.