Ropeway Material Handling Systems for Lunar Mining Sites

by H. Peter Huttelmaier, Colorado Sch of Mines, Golden, United States,
Jonathan R. Carrick, Colorado Sch of Mines, Golden, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The establishment of permanent lunar sites will be a requirement for future space explorations during early missions into space as well as long term. During all stages it will be necessary to mine and transport lunar material on the surface of the moon whether it is used as radiation shield, for oxygen production or other types of mineral extraction. The particular constraints imposed on a materials handling system in a lunar environment, namely, reduced gravity, small mass requirements for initial transportation from earth, simplicity yet with a high degree of possible automation makes ropeway systems a highly probable candidate. This paper is an initial discussion on the feasibility of ropeways, for short as well as long distance material hauling on the lunar surface.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Space exploration | Cables | Moon | Automated transit systems | Hazardous substances | Radiation | Minerals

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