Inflation Concept Development for Inflatable Lunar Structures

by Craig E. Miller, Fluor Daniel Inc, Irvine, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Inflatable structures require mechanical equipment to initiate and maintain inflation. Several inflatable structural shapes and forms have been proposed by a number of different authors. Proposed shapes have included spherical, pillow-shaped, semicylindrical, and domed saucer. The mechanical equipment and operations required to support an inflatable structure are identified in this development effort. A previously proposed semicylindrical structure was selected, however, the results are applicable to all inflatable structures. Rationale is provided for the assumptions and decisions used to determine whether liquefied or high pressure gaseous air should be transported to the moon and the possibility of using components of the transportation vehicle as solar collectors to heat the air to the required temperature. Another aspect covered will be demobilization of the structure and whether to release the air to space or recover it for possible reuse simply to avoid contamination of the lunar environment.

Subject Headings: Space colonies | Air temperature | Aircraft and spacecraft | Equipment and machinery | Space structures | Space exploration | Support structures | Vehicles

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