The original method of building the future lunar spaceport was proposed by the leading researcher of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Bagrov. Speaking at the Royal Readings, the scientist said that future construction will require a lunar regolith and a solar 3D printer.
As the author of the work told “MK”, the cosmodrome will have to be built because of the overly aggressive moon dust. It has abrasive properties and the highest penetrating ability, and therefore can harm the health of astronauts and even disable equipment. To prevent the jet stream of the lander’s brake engines from raising clouds of this dust during landing, the scientist proposed to create a cosmodrome on the Moon in the form of a dust-free monolithic platform measuring 100 by 100 meters.
To do this, at the construction site, it will first be necessary to clear the area from dust with a space bulldozer. By the way, the regolith on the lunar surface has a loose structure only in the upper layer 1-2 cm thick, and under it there is a dense layer, the particles of which are closely related to each other.
The collected dust is proposed to be melted in a solar 3D printer with laying out the resulting monolithic mass on a solid layer of the selected site. The melting process itself will be carried out using the sun’s rays, focused by a concave 4-meter mirror. Experts have calculated that in one lunar day (two Earth weeks) one 3D printer will process 12 tons of regolith, from which 50 square meters of durable dust-free coating 10 centimeters thick can be obtained, and by the arrival of astronauts, an automatic robot-builder will prepare a real lunar spaceport for them.