SPORE Project outline

Version 1.6    July 23, 2020

SPORE Project Outline

SPORE Information

SPORE presentation at The Moon Society’s Lunar Development Conference 2020

SPORE presentation PDF (with lots of additional information in the Appendix)

Phase One – Define all the components of the Shielded Pressurized Oxygen Resource Extraction concept

The first step is to figure out all the pieces needed to make SPORE work:

  • Why SPORE is necessary.
  • Relevant Lunar geology (selenology)
    • We don’t know much about the Lunar regolith and almost nothing about the mega-regolith.
    • What we do know shows the regolith and mega-regolith to be highly variable in particle size, distribution, and composition.
    • SPORE needs to operate anywhere on the Lunar (and other) surface. The local geology needs to be largely irrelevant. Clever design is going to be the key to making SPORE work.
    • However, it could be useful to run oxygen leakage and excavation experiments using a range of simulated regolith parameters. The data may not be of much use to actual Homesteaders but could be useful for “Proof of Concept” papers. Or even for building prototypes.
    • I had decided that the Lunar Homestead Experimental Location will be based off of the Apollo 12 data. But that was before I came up with SPORE. I was more focused on the regolith but with SPORE the mega-regolith is much more important.  This document is just a historical reference now.
    • The SPORE Apollo 12 Regolith and Mega-Regolith Characterization page is where I’m going to park all the data I can find on, wait for it …., the Apollo 12 regolith and mega-regolith. I’ll probably do a similar page for the other five Apollo sites. I plan on using this data to run oxygen leakage and excavation experiments.
  • SPORE design
    • Version 1 – I had originally thought the Pressure Hull and the Shield Wall would be separate components. Now I think they should be the same thing (the Shield Wall IS the Pressure Hull). This page lays out the advantages and disadvantages of both.
    • Version 2 – This page I move from burying habitats (the current paradigm) to creating habitats while tunneling. I note the advantages and disadvantages of both ideas.
    • SPORE Surface Functions – Some Homestead functions must be located on the Lunar surface. This is a working list of these functions.
  • SPORE physical components
    • Shield wall (also just called Shield on some pages)
    • Radiation/Kinetic barrier
      • Loose regolith blanket
      • Bagged regolith
      • Sintered regolith
    • Excavation tools
    • Material transportation tools
  • SPORE techniques
    • Excavation methods
      • Linear Plate (aka Liner Plate) method
      • Tunneling Shield
      • Dust control
      • Oxygen atmosphere pressure loss mitigation
    • Material transportation to processing machinery
    • Shield wall construction
    • How are we going to build the pressure hull while still allowing access to more excavation?
      • Basalt
      • Iron
  • Existing research done on similar concepts
    • On going – I’ve done a lot of research already and haven’t run across anything like SPORE. Maybe there’s an article out there hidden behind a paywall or buried in an obscure article.

Phase Two – Experiments

  • SPORE Pressure Experiment 1
    • The purpose of this experiment is to determine the oxygen loss through the exposed regolith. I’m not sure how valuable the data will be for actually building a prototype SPORE unit but it may prove useful for a “Proof of Concept” paper.
    • The problem is three-fold:
      • We have very limited data about the Lunar regolith.
      • The data we have shows that the regolith is highly variable.
      • We have almost no data about the Lunar mega-regolith.
  • Basalt Crushing Experiments
    • My original plan was to crush up basalt gravel into several particle sizes for SPORE Pressure Experiment 1. It’s been more challenging that I predicted.

Phase Three – Working (non-flight ready) scale prototype of a SPORE structure

  • The goal is to have a prototype “on the shelf”. I won’t know all the steps necessary until I am further along.

Phase Four – Public outreach and education

  • Scale non-functioning mockup
  • Publish data and findings
  • Book – written for non-scientists

Please check out the Get Involved! page if you find this project as exciting as I do!

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