Construction Equipment for Building on the Moon

By Karl Hanson

1)    Intro

a)     The finest building plans mean nothing without the proper equipment to construct the building. 

b)    Throughout history humans have been able to adapt what they have and know to reach their goal.  Why should this trend slow down?  Like in so many other times the military has the technology before the people but why can it not be


2)    Cranes

a)     New robotic cranes for earth construction sites


ii)    uses GPS and video feeds to allow conductor to operate machine from anywhere

b)    NASA project


ii)    NASA Robotics Academy project dedicated to create a automated space crane


3)    Dozers (image)

a)     Military unmanned ACER

i)      4500 lbs with armor

b)    Caterpillar heads a team with Honeybee Robotics, CRREL, Johnson space center and Kennedy space center.

i)      4 year 4 million dollar contract with NASA to develop regolith moving equipment for the moon

ii)    Bulldozers and conveyer belts to move materials


4)    Excavators (image)

a)     Drills

b)    Bucket and Reel

i)      Explosion to loosen dirt

ii)    Buckets pulled up a ramp by a central station

iii)   Dumps lunar regolith onto conveyer to transport elsewhere

c)     Front end loader (image)

i)      Compact design

(1)  Made by bobcat (13,228 lbs)

(2)  Runs on all hydraulic parts (hydraulic fluid and motors) (will these work in space?)

(3)  Many different attachments

(a)   Auger

(b)  Grapple

(c)   Ripper

(d)  Trenching bucket


5)    Existing Military Designs construction tools can be fitted onto these highly adaptable robots

a)     Foster-Miller TALON  Military robot (image)

i)      60 - 100 lbs

ii)    Possibly have weapons and sensors removed from chassis and shovels/drills installed

b)    MATILDA (image)

i)      65 lbs

ii)    Tow 475 lbs - lift/store 150 lbs


6)    Constructing buildings and shelters with Stereo lithography (rapid 3D prototyping)

a)      Robotic rover to concentrate sunlight into to a kind of laser and roll back and forth over an area of the moons surface

b)    Each path melts some of basalt in the lunar surface specific shapes

c)     Each path is a layer of a huge structure

d)    Structure will have to be dug out from underground after complete

i)      Path way could be dug to underground structure

ii)    Underground structure provides more protection from radiation


7)    Build v Transport

a)     Build

i)      Use parts from vehicles left by previous missions?

ii)    Use moon rock/surface for counterweights

(1)  Cut down on the weight of the transported machines/parts


8)    Power

a)     Batteries (these military devices have 1 day to 1 week battery life)

b)    Recharge with the solar energy produced on moon

c)     Fuel Cells

i)      Caterpillar and 250 kW direct fuel cell

ii)    Developed for use on Earth




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