Version 1.0 January 14, 2020
Lead scientist – Jesse Horne
Oxygen isn’t just for breathing (although that’s pretty important!). Homesteaders will need large quantities of oxygen for reaction mass (aka rocket fuel), industrial processes, and for SPORE (of course!).
There’s a lot of buzz about mining Lunar ice, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen, and using it for rocket reaction mass. There are a whole lot of problems with this idea, which I will layout in my upcoming post “Lunar ice is a trap”.
The other option for obtaining large amounts of oxygen on Luna is to get it from Lunar rocks. Oxygen is the most common element on Luna, with more than 60% of it’s atoms being oxygen (1, pg 363). Unfortunately, this oxygen is chemically bonded to other elements and is rather difficult to extract. Fortunately, we’re smarter that rocks (well, most of us anyway).
That’s where the Lunar Oxygen Extraction Research Project (LOER) comes to the rescue. Jesse and I are going to figure out how to extract the oxygen and build the prototype equipment to do it. And you can help us do it.
Right now we’re using GitHub to collaborate. But eventually everything will live here, on Lunar Homestead.
GitHub repository (github.com/jessehorne/loer)
Project Overview (github.com/jessehorne/loer/blob/master/Overview.md)
- Lunar Sourcebook (www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/books/lunar_sourcebook)