Building a Mining Base on the Moon

A base on the Moon will more useful to supply construction materials to building projects in space that it will be for any other purpose. Supply of raw materials for building in space will need to come from locations that are not deep inside a gravity well. That means from asteroids or from moons will low gravity. Mined materials on the moon can be “thrown” out into space using a linear acceleration rail and sled that is driven by solar electric power.

Dropping some robotic explorers on the surface of the Moon will allow prospecting for both materials to be mined and for a good location for a landing site, some dwellings, and the linear sled. Once a location has been chosen, the same robots can begin preliminary excavation and leveling and piling up a blast wall at the landing site.

Dwellings can be constructed by digging holes and placing inflatable structure templates inside them, then reinforcing them with thicker and stronger materials. Eventually, an atmosphere can be contained and life support facilities developed. Most of this can be done with robots before the first humans arrive.

At some point, humans will be needed and when they arrive, the dwellings and many basic supplies can already be there waiting for them. Eventually, air, water, and food manufacturing should be done on site. Most of the mining operation can also be done with robotic devices. Some degree of refining and even crude manufacturing can be done on the surface of the Moon before the materials and goods are thrown out into space, but in some cases, it may be desirable to simply throw out the raw materials and perform the refining and manufacturing in space at or near the actual construction site.

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