Hi there. Just wanted to let you know I’m still working on this project.Work on the project today:
- Huzzah! I actually got to work on stuff that interests me today. Go me!
- I’ve started a new post, Lunar Regolith Surface Mining Challenges. I’ve been gathering information on the regolith found at the Apollo 12 landing site. It’s been slow and frustrating and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions:
- Because of how the regolith is formed, it’s a bit of a chaotic mess. OK, more than a bit. Samples vary between sites and within sites. Our mining and refining equipment will have to handle the constantly varying material we feed it.
- Even with samples, we still have very little hard data on the regolith at the Apollo 12 site. I imagine we have slightly more for the later missions as there were more samples. But not every sample has been comprehensively analyzed.
- While NASA does have a site with information on every sample collected, most of the actual analysis is found in old papers that are very hard to locate. What the hell NASA? A comprehensive, public-access database for every sample with data from every analysis isn’t too much to ask for. You’ve only had nearly 50 years to work on it. Heck, the page for one sample even states that NASA isn’t sure what happened to part of the sample. Unbelievable.
- The surface environment is pretty challenging for mining operations. I’m sure it’s a component in why progress has been glacial. I also sure that a lack of fund and general interest are much bigger components.
- So I’m starting to come up with a different approach. The new post is the first part of helping me figure it out.