Directions for Lunar Construction: A Derivation of Requirements from a Construction Scenario Analysis

by William C. Dias, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Subramani T. Venkataraman, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Randel A. Lindemann, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Jacob R. Matijevic, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Jeffrey H. Smith, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Richard R. Levin, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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

Abstract: This paper provides an initial trade-off study among several lunar construction options available to the Space Exploration Initiative. The relative time effectiveness of Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA), and Earth-based remote control assembly and construction methods are studied. Also considered is whether there is any construction time savings to building roads in advance, or surveying the construction sites with orbiters or rovers in advance. The study was conducted by adding detail to a potentially real scenario -- a nuclear power plant -- and applying time multipliers for the various control options and terrain alternatives, provided by roboticists among the authors. The authors conclude that IVA is a faster construction method than either EVA or construction conducted remotely from Earth. Surveying proposed sites in advance, with orbiters and rovers, provides a significant time savings through adding to certainty, and therefore may be cost effective. Developing a heavy-lift launch capability and minimizing assembly and construction processes by landing large payloads is probably worthwhile to the degree possible, as construction activities would use a large amount of surface operations time.

Subject Headings: Construction methods | Space construction | Construction sites | Orbits | Traffic engineering | Remote control | Infrastructure construction

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