Oxygen Production for a Future Lunar Base

by Scott Hareland, La Cueva High Sch, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space

Abstract: This paper discusses various ways for providing oxygen for a lunar base. Currently, there are three methods available which are technologically possible. One of these is the use of chemical methods similar to those used on current manned space flights for the recycling of oxygen from carbon dioxide. Another of these methods is the use of lunar rock and soil. The moon's surface is made of oxygen-rich minerals that can be broken down chemically to supply oxygen. Finally, photosynthesis, the method that provides the earth with oxygen, could be incorporated by the development of a greenhouse. Oxygen reclamation using the chemical methods will probably be phased out once lunar soil decomposition and photosynthesis reactions become developed because they will not need to be replenished from supply missions from earth. They will be important backup suppliers of oxygen, however, in the unlikely event that the soil decomposition or photosynthesis methods fail.

Subject Headings: Oxygen | Lunar materials | Soil gas | Decomposition | Flight | Recycling

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