NASA considers laying an oxygen pipeline in Moon, in its South pole to distribute oxygen around the lunar surfaces to help astronauts to work freely on the lunar surface.
Exploration of space runs on full swing with numerous concepts and works been carried on for an ultimate discovery of a possible clone of earth to migrate in future. Modern advancements with technology and science had let to developments of unimaginary equipment, with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope as the most sophisticated one, mankind had ever made.
Pertaining to that, NASA now in plans to build an oxygen pipeline in lunar south pole to transport oxygen to various locations for its upcoming Artemis missions.
Oxygen for Lunar Habitats
Artemis is an ambitious project of NASA, where the team aims to “land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon” for exploring the lunar surface and eventually laying the groundwork for a new space station in lunar in plans to send astronauts from Moon to Mars.
In mission to fetch a base for astronauts to work on Artemis project on Moon, NASA wants to transfer oxygen from Moon’s south pole to the rest of the lunar. Moon has abundance of ice in its south pole, which can be extracted and converted into drinking water and oxygen for its usage as breathing as well as rocket fuel.
Lunar South Pole Oxygen Pipeline
The Lunar Pipeline, officially named as “Lunar South Pole Oxygen Pipeline (LSPOP)” aims to connect this NASA’s lunar ice extraction hub present in south pole to Moon’s equator and other regions for delivering oxygen, because Lunar habitats need extra sunlight which is available only around moon’s equator.
At first, NASA planned to conduct oxygen from south pole via Lunar rovers, however they switched to this pipeline project owing to the former’s high expense of doing so. And habitats on moon would also have uninterrupted constant supply of oxygen on execution of pipelines.
The plan starts out by installing roughly 3-mile (5km) pipeline after testing with such prototypes. Peter Curreri, Chief Science Officer at Lunar Resources Inc, stated that “our starting concept is for a 5km pipeline to transport oxygen gas from an oxygen production source, for example, our molten regolith electrolysis (MRE) extraction site or any other source to an oxygen storage or liquification plant near a lunar base.
If NASA does eventually greenlight the LSPOP for its Artemis moon missions, it will be manufactured in segments on the moon before being fitted together into its full length. The pipeline will likely be manufactured out of aluminum, which is abundant in the lunar south pole.
Yes, the pipeline will be manufactured on moon itself.
Space Manufacturing & Exploration
Manufacturing something is not new to this world or moon, as many concepts and ideas have emerged likely including an US-based firm’s Archinaut One – which is a 3D printing satellite that can build objects directly in space, leading to space manufacturing.
Indeed, there has been couple of ideas on desk such as solar-farm on space, constructing tall elevators from earth to space directly reaching the space-station from earth’s surface and most excitingly, an artificial gravity building on Moon by Japan.
I forgot another one – future astronauts and inhabitants of moon would also have access to internet.
The vital element to note here is – that these ideas emerged in just a span of 10 – 20 years and the near future may exhibit these plans to reality, at least few probably.