Mass and Energy Tradeoffs of Axial Penetration Devices on Lunar Soil Simulant

by Mark P. Nathan, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Frank Barnes, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Hon-Yim Ko, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Stein Sture, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Axial penetration of the lunar surface was performed to collect soil samples with drive tubes and drill cores on the six successful Apollo missions. Although the pile-driving and drill penetration methods were used for exploration tasks to collect core samples they will also be used for lunar construction tasks. Three penetration devices that can be scaled for use on the moon are presented in this paper and each of the devices is analyzed from a work-based approach and a cost-based approach. From these analyses, we make a summary of the costs to dig holes on the moon.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Penetration tests | Construction equipment | Soil analysis | Pile driving | Drilling | Space construction | Space exploration

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