Lunar Iron Project Update 33

Update - Still working!

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

Work on the project today:

  • I’m back! Sorry for the silence but Jennifer (my wife) and I just got back from a week on Grand Cayman. It was awesome! One of the best vacations ever. Especially since it was part of an award Jennifer earned for being mega-amazing at her job (and in general!). It goes without saying that my focus was elsewhere. Although I did do a lot of reading and research while lying next to the pool sipping a pina colada. Science is the best.
  • Which brings me to the next point. Holy crap is atmospheric pressure and composition hard. I figured I’d start with defining the internal pressure of the habitat as that is a primary driver of its shape (and other characteristics). I quickly learned that I needed to factor in the partial pressure of oxygen (which we need to breathe), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and maybe a physiologically inert gas (like nitrogen). And here’s where it gets very tricky.

We can ignore the carbon dioxide and water vapor for now; they’re only present in small amounts. But the oxygen and nitrogen are massive problems. A standard pressure atmosphere with a 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen mix (what everyone breathes at sea level) would be the most comfortable and healthiest for our Homesteaders. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much nitrogen to be found on Luna. So our Homesteaders will have to import A LOT of nitrogen from Earth to fill their Homesteads. This is a huge problem. On the flip side, we could breathe a 100% oxygen atmosphere at a much reduced pressure. Long-term exposure to this atmosphere presents some know medical risks as well as a slew of unknown ones. Grrrr. Whatever I end up choosing will probably be wrong in the long-run but I’ve got to nail these parameters down or I can’t move forward.

  • I wrote the Atmospheric Pressure and Composition page. This is only part of what I’ve already written. I’ll be adding a lot more to this over the next week (or more) as I gather as much data as I can so I can define what the habitat pressure should be.
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