Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Moon News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



MOON DAILY
Printing bricks from moondust using the Sun's heat
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 04, 2017


Brick 3D printed from moondust using focused sunlight

Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight - proving in principle that future lunar colonists could one day use the same approach to build settlements on the Moon.

"We took simulated lunar material and cooked it in a solar furnace," explains materials engineer Advenit Makaya, overseeing the project for ESA.

"This was done on a 3D printer table, to bake successive 0.1 mm layers of moondust at 1000 C. We can complete a 20 x 10 x 3 cm brick for building in around five hours."

As raw material, the test used commercially available simulated lunar soil based on terrestrial volcanic material, processed to mimic the composition and grain sizes of genuine moondust.

The solar furnace at the DLR German Aerospace Center facility in Cologne has two working setups. As a baseline, 147 curved mirrors focus sunlight into a high-temperature beam to melt the soil grains together. But the weather in northern Europe does not always cooperate, so the Sun is sometimes simulated by an array of xenon lamps more typically found in cinema projectors.

The resulting bricks have the equivalent strength of gypsum, and are set to undergo detailed mechanical testing.

Some bricks show some warping at the edges, Advenit adds, because their edges cool faster than the centre: "We're looking how to manage this effect, perhaps by occasionally accelerating the printing speed so that less heat accumulates within the brick.

"But for now this project is a proof of concept, showing that such a lunar construction method is indeed feasible."

Following this ESA General Support Technology Programme study, the follow-up RegoLight project is being backed through the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.

Advenit adds: "Our demonstration took place in standard atmospheric conditions, but RegoLight will probe the printing of bricks in representative lunar conditions: a vacuum and high-temperature extremes."

ESA's effort follows a previous lunar 3D printing project, but that approach required a binding salt. The new technique calls for only the 3D printer plus solar concentrator to be conveyed to the Moon.

This continuing research is part of a range of studies being undertaken by ESA investigating techniques to use in-situ lunar resources for manufacturing infrastructure and hardware.

Tommaso Ghidini, heading ESA's Materials and Processes, notes, "For a mission like building a base on the Moon surface, in-situ resource utilisation will certainly be one of the most important enabling technologies. This result offers the opportunity of a complete sustainable approach.

"Back on Earth, 3D printing of civil structures using solar power and in-situ resources could support rapid construction of post-disaster emergency shelters, removing long, costly and often inefficient supply chains."

MOON DAILY
NASA selects ASU's ShadowCam for moon mission
Tempe AZ (SPX) May 02, 2017
NASA has selected an instrument developed by Mark Robinson of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) to map the terrain and search for evidence of frost or ice deposits in the moon's permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). The instrument, named ShadowCam, will be a U.S. contribution to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute's (KARI) first lun ... read more

Related Links
Space Engineering and Technology at ESA
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

MOON DAILY
Japan aims to uncover how moons of Mars formed

Several drives put opportunity closer to 'Perseverance Valley'

Is Anything Tough Enough to Survive on Mars

How Old are Martian Gullies

MOON DAILY
New Movie Shows Cassini's First Dive over Saturn

Cassini Finds 'The Big Empty' Close to Saturn

Saturn spacecraft toting CU Boulder instrument starts swan song

NASA Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn and Its Rings

MOON DAILY
The PI's Perspective: No Sleeping Back on Earth!

ALMA investigates 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system

Nap Time for New Horizons

Hubble spots auroras on Uranus

MOON DAILY
12 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates Graduate at Embry-Riddle Through Project PoSSUM

Elon Musk teases future plans at TED

Students Taste Sweet Smell of Success in Culinary Challenge

Honeywell And Paragon To Create Life Support Technology For Future NASA Space Missions

MOON DAILY
Scientists set record resolution for drawing at the one-nanometer length scale

X-ray microscope optics resolve 50-nm features while eliminating chromatic aberrations

Self-assembled nanostructures can be selectively controlled

Nanotubes that build themselves

MOON DAILY
SpaceX makes first US military launch, then lands rocket again

Strike-delayed European rocket launch to go ahead

India to launch GSAT-9 communication satellite on May 5: ISRO

SpaceX launches classified payload for NRO; 1st Stage returns to LZ-1

MOON DAILY
Reach for the Stars: China Plans to Ramp Up Space Flight Activity

China to conduct several manned space flights around 2020

China's cargo spacecraft completes in-orbit refueling

China courts international coalition set up to promote space cooperation

MOON DAILY
Why space dust emits radio waves upon crashing into a spacecraft

Ground Control Satellite Dish Arrives at University of Leicester

Raytheon receives $327M radar contract for U.S. Navy

SES Offers Panoramic Glimpse into the Future of TV with Live Virtual Reality Demo




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement