In-situ Release of Solar Wind Gases from Lunar Soil

by Layton J. Wittenberg, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A concept is described which has the potential to perform the in-situ heating of the lunar regolith in order to release the solar wind gases. The poor thermal conductivity of the lunar soil is increased approximately 100-fold by the introduction of an artificial hydrogen atmosphere at 1 atm pressure enclosed in an inflatable structure. The leakage rate of H2 through the soil is minimal because of the close-packed nature of the soil and the design and operation of the facility.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Dissolved gases | Field tests | Wind engineering | Temperature effects | Soil pressure | Hydrogen | Construction materials

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