Lunar SPORE Project Update 19

SPORE Project Update

Hi there. Just wanted to let you know I’m still working on the Lunar SPORE project.

Work on the project today:

  • I’m going to significantly change this project. I originally planned to build an experiment where I could quantify the rate of gas lost through the regolith and mega-regolith. Unfortunately, I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out how to produce useful data. The problem is three-fold:
    • The Lunar regolith and mega-regolith is a complex mix of mineral, rocks, and glass. I could make one simulant for a specific sample but it wouldn’t perform like a sample taken 10 meters away. A Homesteader SPORE unit might encounter something completely unique, even if I ran a hundred different simulants.
    • We just don’t know enough about the Lunar regolith. And we know almost nothing about the mega-regolith. None of our handful of core samples got below 3 meters. We have almost no data on the structure of the regolith and mega-regolith except for some very basic seismic data.
    • It’s next to impossible to properly simulate the Lunar regolith. The conditions that created it are extremely hard to duplicate here on Earth. And so are the in-situ conditions (mostly the high grade vacuum). High quality simulants are hard to find and/or expensive. And they only manage to simulate a couple of parameters anyway. Any simulant I put together would be a far cry from true Lunar regolith actually sitting on the surface.
  • Because of these problems, any experiment I run will only provide data good for that particular simulant under a couple of specific parameters. And it’s going to take a lot of time and effort. And money. I just can’t see the results being of much use to actually create a working prototype. It would be neat from a pure science perspective though.
  • So, I think I’ll focus on the SPORE architecture and procedures instead of kludging together an experiment that would produce rather useless data. A clever design should be able to handle any mix of regolith it encounters. As a bonus, it should also be possible to modify it to work on Mars and some asteroids.
  • I think I’ll start by creating various designs in a design program like Blender. Then move on to making some scale models. And eventually a scale working prototype.
  • I’m going to create an Archive section for posts, pages, and ideas that didn’t work out.
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