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AeroGav

In situ resource moonbase vs Dwarven architecture

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I've often wondered what a lunar habitat might be like if it started growing itself with in situ harvested resources.

Lunar soil and rock appears to consist mostly of metal oxides and silicates.

So,  probably one of the very first things a colony with aspirations of becoming self supporting can do,  is start excavating additional habitable volume for itself, and constructing bricks and furniture items out of carved stone.   In 16% gravity,  they would not be particularly bothersome to handle.

In terms of processed/man made materials, smelting the regolith to separate the metals from oxygen (which is also useful..) is centuries old tech.

However,  the moon appears to have very little in the way of lighter elements such as carbon, hydrogen or nitrogen, these only being found in ice deposits in permanently shaded craters.

On such a base then,  everything possible would be constructed of stone, metal  , glass or porcelain,  these being relatively cheap due to the materials being locally available.     On the other hand,  plastics, wood, and textiles, the cheapest available materials on Earth,  would be luxury items on the moon, having to be imported at great expense.

So your bed frame would be stone or metal.   The mattress would be sprung,  and the pillows stuffed with wire wool rather than foam or feathers.  Only the outermost cover would be textile.  Perhaps only wealthy colonists would use sheets or duvets.

Your living room might be quite spacious, carved into a cliff face, with quite generous glass windows looking out over the moonscape.    Again, if you're wealthy,  you'll have an armchair with a textile outer cover..  otherwise make do with stone or metal.      A kiln probably isn't difficult, so expect to have plenty of porcelain dining ware.

The real big ticket luxury item is however your entertainment system.   A  PC can do the job of games console, tv, radio, and workstation,  and the bulkiest , heaviest components like the case and heatsinks, cooling fans, could be made locally.    PCBs are medium tech and can be refurbished on site with surprisingly modest equipment in case of most failures,  but actual manufacture of the PCBs is harder,  and the integrated circuits they contain would have to come from earth.  Fortunately they are tiny and light.   It is still likely that new motherboards/graphics cards would ship from Earth.  PCs have an advantage in being modular,  but perhaps small form factor (Mini ITX ?) would save shipping cost.

All of this pales by comparison with whatever you've got to use for the display however.      There seems no way around this - large LCD panels are hard to manufacture yet are also heavy, fragile and bulky.   Your monitor or TV is probably worth more than the rest of your apartment put together !

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56 minutes ago, AeroGav said:

So your bed frame would be stone or metal.   The mattress would be sprung,  and the pillows stuffed with wire wool rather than foam or feathers. 

Spoiler

61619O8lAoL._SX466_.jpg

 

58 minutes ago, AeroGav said:

Your living room might be quite spacious, carved into a cliff face

A carved structure is not pressurized. You anyway need a strong pressurized envelope, even if it's inside a cave.
To minimize the wall mass, the rooms should be a multi-storey building where the neighboring appartments have one wall for both.
For the multi-storey building you don't need to carve a cliff, you would better build it in a shallow excavation and then surround with a regolith embankment against radiation, meteorites, and temperature variations.
So, the rooms will be probably cramped, but the building have large atriums.

1 hour ago, AeroGav said:

The real big ticket luxury item is however your entertainment system.   A  PC can do the job of games console, tv, radio, and workstation,  and the bulkiest , heaviest components like the case and heatsinks, cooling fans, could be made locally.    PCBs are medium tech and can be refurbished on site with surprisingly modest equipment in case of most failures,  but actual manufacture of the PCBs is harder,  and the integrated circuits they contain would have to come from earth.  Fortunately they are tiny and light.   It is still likely that new motherboards/graphics cards would ship from Earth.  PCs have an advantage in being modular,  but perhaps small form factor (Mini ITX ?) would save shipping cost.

Inner walls made of locally manufactured glass, on-wall displays.
No personal computers or notebooks, only a colonial mainframe with personal terminals and a common data center. Only remote workplaces. Personal biometric ids for access.
Personal quota of data storage resources in data clouds.
A virtual personal desktop for everything, from websurfing and smartphoning via wi-fi to the microwave management. On-wall touchscreens or any available pad to access it.

A corporative printing station with an animated poster above: "Why do you betray the nature, loser? Can't you watch on the screen instead of printing? Do you think, it's a lot of paper on the Moon?"

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Guest

If I was going to live on the moon I’d build a town in a polar crater. You can have mirrors on the rim to illuminate the interior while still being sheltered from solar radiation. Easy access to water. Crater walls to protect you from a higher proportion of sky (meteors, gamma ray bursts @_@)

As for TV stuff tho... They might not use LCD TVs in favour of a wall projector. You could probably make a wall projector the size of a phone now and have a TV the size of an entire wall for next to no weight or size cost basically. Hell... you might be able to get smart phones that can project movies and stuff on the wall as a standard feature by then \o/

What about VR glasses? Why have a TV the size of a wall when you can have a TV the size of your whole reality >_<?

Let’s go another level up again. Pesky smartphone taking up pocket realestate? VR glasses make you look nerdy? Ok let’s get a late gen Neuralink with full connectivity the internet of things allowing you to interact with technology by thought, augmented and virtual reality allowing you to experience anything remotely, cognitive augmentation, perfect memory recall...

That’s all a bit far off sure but so is a moon city imo. And you really don’t have to go too far into the future before PCs and LCD monitors are looking pretty retro.

(I just read down a bit, I’m basically echoing Kerbloid :p great minds think alike \o/)

Edited by Guest

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Guest

I will say this tho @kerbiloid, have you actually tried sleeping on one of those ultralight sleeping mats @_@? If I didn’t need the air layer for insulation from the ground I’d probably prefer sleeping Klingon style over one of those!

Although... I guess we are talking Lunar gees here... they might actually be decent in that environment :o

Edited by Guest

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Also,  the air mattress has a plastic skin.    Plastic is made of carbon and hydrogen,  both of which are very rare on the moon.  

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Guest

 @AeroGav I think you might be over estimating the expense of logistics to the moon. Imagine if we are using reusable rockets that bring the cost of cargo down to $1000 per KG. A air mat bed thing will probably only cost a few hundred to ship up there and that might actually be less than the sleeping mat itself costs. Same for smartphones etc... $300 might sound like a hefty postage cost but the phone itself is already probably way over that. I feel pretty confident in saying I doubt your TV (even if it was manufactured on Earth) will cost more than Lunar realestate.

Edited by Guest

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18 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

I will say this tho @kerbiloid, have you actually tried sleeping on one of those ultralight sleeping mats @_@?

Have you on a stone bed with metal springs?

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3 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Have you on a stone bed with metal springs?

I’m sleeping on metal springs right nao \o/ although not a steel wool pillow yet :P

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55 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

They might not use LCD TVs in favour of a wall projector. You could probably make a wall projector the size of a phone now and have a TV the size of an entire wall for next to no weight or size cost basically. Hell... you might be able to get smart phones that can project movies and stuff on the wall as a standard feature by then

Projectors need more power, have lower resolution, depend on the room lighting.
Though, they have their own great advantage.

Spoiler

You can make a warfing dog by fingers.

While a glass wall with a e-paper layer from back (or two of them, attached by their backs) allow you to make your room look any way you like (make it transparent, or show screensavers, or textures).
So, the Moon or not, I believe it's how the future habitats will be filled on the Earth, and on the Moon they will just use what they are already manufacturing at home.

55 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

What about VR glasses? Why have a TV the size of a wall when you can have a TV the size of your whole reality >_<?

Until the eyes melt and ears drop.
They would use video contact lenses instead, by I'm afraid no electronic bodmods have any perspective until the total human remake in far future.

But:...

55 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

Ok let’s get a late gen Neuralink with full connectivity the internet of things allowing you to interact with technology by thought, augmented and virtual reality allowing you to experience anything remotely, cognitive augmentation, perfect memory recall...

... who needs that dusty Moon when you have the Neuralink?
Make your own Moon right before behind your eyes right now, just for $999 per month. For $598 more you can dive into gas giants.

Wait... KSP...

32 minutes ago, AeroGav said:

Also,  the air mattress has a plastic skin.    Plastic is made of carbon and hydrogen,  both of which are very rare on the moon.  

They will spend many times more carbon as fuel.

Edited by kerbiloid

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Processing rock on the moon will be very challenging.  It doesn't get easier to break rocks or to separate them compared to on Earth.  Washing away salts with water is something that occurs on almost all earth ores before smelting. Smelting involves chemicals reactions not just physical ones.  Our ancestors figured out how to use carbon monoxide to reduce the oxygen in metal ores.

It's great if you can sinter the walls of a tunnel into an obsidian like surface.  But I don't think this will be possible in many places.  A salty, crumbly, substance will occur in many places.  Especially if you expect it to interface with oxygen and water.    

One material that is easy to get in a pure state on the Moon is magnetite Fe304 .  A rover with a magnet on the bottom can lift the ferrous fines from the surface.  Other good ceramics probably require water washing and density separation processes.  

If you have 2 or 3 relatively good ceramic powders you can make excellent ceramic surfaces with a hydraulic press.  The brittle crystals interlock into an airtight jigsaw puzzle.  refrigerator magnet stuff

Edited by farmerben

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i have a hunch that additional resources aren't far beneath the surface. stuff that doesn't last long on the surface may be quite abundant a few meters down. moon spelunking required. 

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1 hour ago, Nuke said:

i have a hunch that additional resources aren't far beneath the surface. stuff that doesn't last long on the surface may be quite abundant a few meters down. moon spelunking required. 

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1975LPSC....6.3033B

The moon has variable amounts of radon, with both space and time.

The radon is not always correlated with detectable uranium near the surface.  

The radon is not emitted at a steady rate, disturbances of the crust (such as thawing and meteorite impacts) have an effect.

 

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