Utilization of On-Site Resources for Regenerative Life Support Systems at a Lunar Outpost

by D. W. Ming, NASA Johnson Space Cent, Houston, United States,
D. C. Golden, NASA Johnson Space Cent, Houston, United States,
D. L. Henninger, NASA Johnson Space Cent, Houston, United States,

Abstract: Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) will be required to regenerate air, water, and wastes, and to produce food for human consumption during long-duration stays on the Moon. It may be possible to supplement some of the materials needed for RLSS from resources on the Moon. Natural materials at the lunar surface may be used for a variety of lunar RLSS needs, including (i) soils or solid-support substrates for plant growth, (ii) sources for extraction of essential, plant-growth nutrients, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, (iv) sources of O2 and H, which may be used to manufacture water, (v) feed stock materials for the synthesis of useful minerals (e.g., molecular sieves), and (vi) shielding materials surrounding the outpost structure to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from harmful radiation.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Space life support systems | Moon | Construction materials | Hazardous materials | Substrates | Industrial facilities | Microbes

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