Constructing Radiation Shields with Textiles for Lunar Applications

by J. Lewis Dorrity, Georgia Inst of Technology, Atlanta, United States,
James W. Brazell, Georgia Inst of Technology, Atlanta, United States,

Abstract: The problem of radiation shielding on the lunar surface is significant. The mass required for adequate shielding is enormous and economics would dictate the use of lunar soil for this purpose. The idea of burying a habitat is not desirable because of the potential problems with habitat repair. Accessibility to the outer skin of the habitats is essential, give the dire consequences of a slow response to an emergency. Some proposed solutions are to construct a cylindrical duct which could be covered with regolith, yet maintain accessibility to the habitat exterior. This paper explores the potential of using textile structures to contain the regolith, in effect making a cave-like structure on the surface of the moon wherein the habitat could be placed. Methods of construction are explored which include the creation of an inflatable form which forms the proper shape until it is filled with regolith, at which time it becomes a free standing structure. Various means of filling the structure with regolith are explored. Some of these means could be packaged with the structures and erected by the inflation of the form.

Subject Headings: Radiation | Moon | Lunar materials | Fabric structures | Space structures | Space exploration | Duct | Construction methods

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