The main source of fuel for orbital cargo ships to serve crushed into a fine powder of the solid lunar soil. Due to the nature of its design potential plasma thrusters - "multi-fuel" capable of consuming any of the available liquid "working fluid" and the solids in the form of a fine powder.
The source of powdery lunar soil should serve as a commercial resource moon base.
In contrast to the production of the lunar soil of radioactive materials or chemical components of rocket fuel, the production of his powder, low-tech and energy-intensive process. Technological simplicity of basic production, reducing the weight of equipment, "Powder" lunar base, up to a few tens of tons, and the cost is about creating several billion dollars, which is not beyond the capabilities of today’s investors.
Means of removing the powder from the moon in orbit to serve the mechanical catapult - "Moonlight sling", which is a rotor with ribbons kilometer long, the ends of which achieved orbital velocity, which in the moon a little less than two kilometers per second. This transport system requires no fuel costs, but capable of providing industrial goods traffic from the surface of the moon in orbit.
The fuel consumption of the most expendable in orbit, but the elimination of pounds of fuel with modern native land costs 3, 5 thousand dollars. Deriving alternative systems of complex "Pony - Spaceport" or "cannon launch" can reduce the cost of fuel and 1000, 500 U.S. dollars per kilogram, which is cheaper, but still expensive for consumables.
Output value of the lunar soil resource base in the long term, after the base pay for resources invested in it, may be reduced to one hundred dollars per kilogram or less.
Supply constellation lunar fuel will significantly reduce the cost of orbital transport and provides the economic rationale of industrial activity on the moon.
Lunar soil can be used not only as fuel for plasma thrusters, but also as a chemical feedstock for the production of liquid oxygen, ceramics, metals and goods made of these materials in orbital production centers. Production in space.
The high cost of removal from the land and the availability of accessible sources of raw materials, which can serve as a first secondary raw satellite constellation, tanks and missiles old companions, and later extraterrestrial resources. Will make the appropriate development of industrial activities in space, which began with the production of simple supplies and designs will eventually be able to develop into a separate branch of the space industry. Strongholds in Earth orbit.
Orbital stations should serve as bases for orbital tugs centers of concentration of traffic flows, technology, manufacturing and other activities, serving as the main support bases of all near-Earth space group. That provide a confident and self-sufficiency opportunities for the further development of manned space exploration.
Near-Earth "transport operating system" will provide new opportunities for the development of the commercial satellite industry. Its activities will multiply, from 3 to 6 times to reduce the cost of space transport, will provide the possibility of installation and maintenance of devices in space. That would pave the way for the development of new commercial projects, such as: A Space cellular and broadcasting.
Communications satellites and mesh antennas large area capable of receiving cell phone calls and broadcast live on personal receivers that can make publicly available telephone services, Internet access, television and radio broadcasting.
Beginning of the article: Part One
Continuation of the article: Part Three
Author: Nicholas Agapov